There’s nothing like a soft, green lawn for you and your pups to relax on together on warm summer days. You can spread your picnic blanket on the grass, settle your pooch in next to you, and enjoy a meal together. Say you did this and one day you noticed unsightly yellow spots on your pretty lawn. Then you thought about all the times your dog had peed on the lawn, each yellow spot serving as a reminder.
This recently happened to me, with the grass we planted this spring. Mind you, we simply bought a bag of seed from the store and tossed it down, so it’s not the most pricey or high-maintenance lawn in the world. It is, after all, a rugged Alaska lawn! Still, we want it to survive and thrive, and I recently started noticing yellow spots in the area where Eira comes through and pees just before going for a walk. All the other sections of lawn were staying green expect that area, which led me to think: what if her pee is drying the grass out?
Why Does Dog Urine Kill Grass?
That is, of course, what was happening: Eira’s urine was killing my healthy new grass. Obviously, I want her to be able to enjoy the lawn as much as I do, but in order to enjoy it, it has to stay alive. Dog urine is rich in nitrogen and salts, which can actually make your grass healthy and green in small amounts but can kill it (burn it, essentially) if your dog likes to pee in that spot over and over. Strangely enough, female dogs like Eira can cause grass to die sooner because female dogs tend to squat instead of lift their leg to pee all over the place.
So if you have a sweet female dog and you’re noticing dead spots in your grass, maybe it’s time to try something new: like grass-saving biscuits for dogs and similar products.
How Do Grass-Saving Biscuits Work?
Nitrogen makes your dog’s pee more acidic, and that acid is what burns your grass. Grass-saving biscuits and treats neutralize the pH balance of your dog’s urine so that it’s not as acidic. Some products include methionine, an amino acid that neutralizes the pH of your dog’s urine. Some contain yucca schidigera extract, which binds to the nitrogen in your dog’s pee and thus makes it less concentrated and harsh on your grass.
Yucca extract is extra neat because it also reduces urine odor by 26%, and it might even be in your dog’s food. It’s a natural, plant-based product that can be safer for your dog than methionine (which can give your dog urine crystals if you give her too much).
Whichever biscuits you purchase, make sure you choose a high-quality product that contains the best ingredients for your lawn AND your dog.
The Grass-Saving Biscuit That Rescued Our Lawn
For our grass, we decided to try chewable grass-saving biscuits. Eira tends to like chewy treats better than dry ones, and sure enough, as soon as I took out the bottle, she started sniffing at it.
Eira, eager to taste a grass-saving treat.
The biscuits are small and tasty — Eira ate the allotted three within minutes. She loved them! So that is a big plus. There’s no point buying a grass-saving biscuit that your dog won’t even eat.
What the grass-saving biscuits look like on the inside.
These particular chews have added enzymes to further boost the smell-blocking, grass-killing chemicals in urine, and they contain both methionine and yucca extract. I have decided to give Eira two biscuits every other day instead of three or four daily, to reduce chances or her contracting urine crystals.
The instructions on this box of chews are interesting: they ask you to water your lawn really well for two weeks while also feeding your dog the chews every day, and then throwing down more seed after two weeks, once the grass starts getting green again. Personally, I didn’t find all of these instructions necessary. Not so far, anyway.
The instructions for Eira’s grass-saver biscuits.
Here’s what I did. In addition to giving Eira the two chews every other day, I also watered the grass morning and night. I always water the whole lawn daily, but for the patch she likes to pee on, I decided on twice daily waterings.
Here’s the patch of grass on Day One:
The patch of dead grass where Eira likes to pee.
Note how surrounding this particular spot, the grass is vibrantly green. (And yes, the lawn is rocky — remember, it’s an inexpensive work-in-progress!). That’s because a small amount (a little splash, for example) of minerals in the urine actually help the grass thrive. But too much burns it, as you can see in the flattened center.
Now, here’s the grass on Day Four.
The grass after four days of heavy watering and grass-saving biscuits.
Look closely and you’ll see new shoots of fresh green grass growing up through the old, flattened mess — no re-seeding necessary! Eira has peed here a few times, but the grass has only improved since she started taking the grass-saver biscuits. In another week or two, it should be green again.
Here’s the link to buy the same biscuits we used:
We love the NaturVet soft chews, but if you want to try another brand for your dog, these grass-saving biscuits are also wonderful.
Zesty Paws Stay Green Bites
This tasty grass-saving treat contains methionine, yucca extract, AND cranberry, which helps keep your dog from developing painful urinary tract infections. The wonderful thing about this treat is that you can give it to dogs of all ages, and puppies often burn grass with their pee because most puppies, both male and female, squat when they are young.
You can give your precious pup the Zesty Paws Stay Green Bites and know that they’ll be safe and healthy, and so will your grass. Also, you only need to give your dog one or two chews instead of up to five. That means these treats will last you a little longer than the NaturVet brand.
They’re a little more expensive than NaturVet’s Grass-Saver Biscuits, but that added cranberry concentrate is a real winner in our book. Also, Zesty Paws Stay Green Bites contain no artificial preservatives or flavorings, so you can be sure you’re feeding your pet the cream of the grass-saving biscuits crop.
PetHonesty GrassGreen Grass Burn Chews for Dogs
You won’t find many duck-flavored dog treats out there, but this grass-burn saving biscuit is one of them. If you’ve tried other brands and your pup just won’t eat them, try these. The creators of the products went to great lengths to make sure dogs would appreciate the taste of these biscuits, and it worked: 9 out of 10 dogs in a double-blind study “gobbled them right up”.
These treats also contain cranberry extract and methinione, but instead of yucca, this chew uses apple cider vinegar to help naturally reduce burn spots on your grass. It also includes bacillus coagulans, a probiotic to keep your dog’s digestive track running smoothly and free of constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting.
If you’re from a family of veterans, you’ll appreciate that this is a veteran-owned company that gives a portion of its profits to dogs who help vets with PTSD and other disabilities. Some proceeds also go to charities that work to keep dogs out of kill shelters.
All in all, PetHonesty is a fantastic company with top-notch customer service and a product that tastes good, keeps your dog healthy, AND saves your grass. We may just be purchasing this brand for Eira after our NaturVet runs out!
Nutri-Vet Grass Guard Biscuits
If you’ve been looking for a true biscuit to feed your dog and save your grass, look no further than the Nutri-Vet Grass Guard Biscuit. Some dogs simply prefer biscuits to chews, and if your dog is one of them, he’ll love these chicken-flavored grass-saving biscuits. These biscuits don’t have any cranberry or apple cider vinegar, but they do contain enzymes, probiotics, and methionine. The crunchy texture helps to clean your dog’s teeth and gums — a plus!
Eira loves her grass-saving chews, and I love how our lawn is actually recovering and turning green again. If your grass is struggling to stay green, find out if your dog’s urine is the culprit — and then choose one of the wonderful grass-saving biscuit options above!
Eira and our lawn are both happier and healthier after using grass-saving biscuits!
Laura Ojeda Melchor grew up with two beloved German shepherd dogs—Clancy and her daughter, Bella. From the time her family brought Clancy home, Laura took on the duty of pooper-scooper and potty trainer. As a teenager Laura helped her mother care for Clancy during her pregnancy. She still remembers fondly the exciting, frigid winter night when the seven special puppies were born. Laura kept the youngest puppy—Bella—and potty trained her, too. She taught Bella important commands, took her for long walks, and spent hours throwing tennis balls for her.
In November, Laura brought home a sweet new puppy, Eira Violet. Eira is half Alaskan malamute and half German shepherd, and Laura loves her deeply. She chose not to use a crate to potty train Eira and was pleasantly surprised at the results. She now has a sweet, energetic dog who always uses the potty outside, plays well with Laura’s toddler, and enjoys long family walks in beautiful Alaska. If you were to meet Eira, she’d bound up to you with a wagging tail and get you running around the yard with her in no time.