If you have dogs, then you’ve probably noticed that they like to urinate in a certain area of your yard. When one of my dogs goes the other one has to go in the same spot, to mark his territory. Over time, especially in warmer weather, this area of the yard can get a strong dog urine smell.
To remove the smell of dog urine from a yard, water down the area daily and use a neutralizer to break down what’s left of the smell. Dog urine neutralizers can be made from products around your house, such as dish soap or baking soda, or they can be bought from pet stores or online.
The truth is it all depends on where your dogs are urinating and how you want to tackle this smelly problem. It’s good to try different solutions to see what works for you and your pets, but be aware that you will probably have to treat the area more than once to remove the smell completely.
The easiest way to remove the smell of dog urine from grass
The easiest way to remove dog urine smells in grass is to use a commercial product designed to do this for you.
These products are made with enzymes that break down nitrogen in urine and remove the smell, not just cover it up until the product wears off.
You’ll need to use the product regularly as long as you have dogs, and be sure to follow the instructions carefully for the best results.
Many people have had success with a product called Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator.
Here’s how to remove the smell of dog urine from grass with a professional product like Simple Green:
- Wait for the sun to start setting, so the day is cooler and your product won’t get evaporated
- Put your pets away and clear the area of any dog mess
- Shake the product bottle well, to make sure the solution is mixed properly
- Connect the hose to the back of the spray bottle
- Slowly turn on the water to a fairly low pressure. Make sure the bottle is pointing at the grass and away from your face (you don’t want it spraying in your eyes)
- Move the safety tab on the bottle towards the hose, to turn off the safety switch
- Turn the nozzle on the front of the bottle counterclockwise – it needs to be set to ‘On’ to work.
- Spray down the area you need to clean. You need to spray enough water and product to soak the area and the ground under it, so it can reach all areas where the urine will be
- Now the trick is to keep the area wet for as long as possible, so the enzymes in the cleaner can break up the smells in the grass. The longer it stays wet, the better. You can cover the area with a plastic sheet or mist the grass with the product if you feel it starting to dry out
- Once dry, you should be able to tell if the urine smell is gone. If not, then keep repeating the process until you’re happy the with results
How to remove the smell of dog urine from grass without a professional product
If you don’t want to use a professional product to remove the smell of urine from your grass, you can try baking soda.
Baking soda is grass friendly! This means it won’t kill your grass or flowers.
You can use baking soda in powder form or as a spray to remove the smell from your grass…
Baking soda powder to remove urine smell
- Sprinkle baking soda liberally on to the grass patch
- Let it sit for an hour or so, to soak up any moisture around it
- Rinse the area well with water, to wash away the soda and smell
Baking soda spray to remove urine smell
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 4 cups of warm water
- Keep this mixture handy in a spray bottle and spray it on to the smelly grass daily or every eight hours
- You’ll need more spray than there is urine, so check the table below to determine how much your dog urinates every day
Keeping the urine smell away
To prevent the urine smell from coming back, water the area down daily. Use about three times the amount of water as what your dog urinates.
But how much liquid do dogs urinate every day?
As a guide, a dog without any health issues or stressors usually urinates 1 to 1.5 ounces (20 – 40 ml) of urine for every 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) he/she weighs every day.
For example, if your dog weighs 60 lbs (27 kg), he/she will release 27 – 41 ounces (650 – 1080 ml) of urine daily.
Here’s a quick reference guide on the amount a dog urinates daily based on size:
|Dog size||Breed Examples||Average Weight for Dog Size (Varies)||Average Daily Urine|
|Small Dogs||– Yorkshire Terrier |
– Miniature Pinschers
|2 – 22 lbs||1 – 15 ounces|
|Medium Dogs||– Border Collie |
– Basset Hound
|23 – 57 lbs||10 – 40 ounces|
|Large Dogs||– American Foxhound |
|58 – 99 lbs||26 – 68 ounces|
|Giant Dogs||– Bullmastiffs |
– Great Pyrenees
|100+ lbs||45+ ounces|
You can also do a maintenance spray with a professional product once a month or so, before the smell returns or gets too strong.
Will dog pee ruin the grass?
The nitrogen in dog urine could kill the grass if there isn’t enough water to dilute it. This isn’t permanent though – with sun, water and a break from pee, the grass will grow back.
Nitrogen is good for soil and grass, but too much concentrated in one spot can make the grass burn yellow in the sun’s heat and make it difficult for grass to grow there.
For a natural solution to fixing yellow areas in your lawn from dog pee:
- Don’t fertilize the area – there’s enough nitrogen there
- Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of warm water
- Make sure the solution is mixed well and the water is cool
- Pour it over the urine spots in your lawn
- Water the area daily for at least a week
How to remove dog urine smell from turf / artificial grass
If you have turf or artificial grass in your yard, you can use a professional product or a home remedy to remove any smell from dog urine.
How to use a professional product to remove the smell of dog urine from turf
To remove the smell of dog urine from artificial grass, a professional brand like Urine Zero can do the trick.
Here’s how to remove the dog urine smell from turf with such a professional product:
- Wait for sunset, so the day is cooler and your product won’t get evaporated
- Put your pets away and clear the area of any mess
- Mix the product with water in a spray bottle – be sure to follow the directions carefully as the wrong dilution means the product won’t work
- Shake the bottle well, to mix the solution properly
- Point the spray bottle at the area you want to spray and start spraying. Soak the area completely, making sure you cover the entire smelly area and use enough product to soak into the turf where the urine goes too
- Keep the area wet for as long as possible, so the cleaner can do its job. The longer it stays wet and works, the better your results will be. You can cover the area with a plastic sheet or wet towel to keep the area moist
- Once dry, rinse off the turf
- Repeat this process until the smell of dog urine is gone
How to remove the smell of dog urine from turf without a professional cleaning product
If you don’t want or don’t have a professional cleaning product to remove the urine smell from your turf, you can try using dish soap or biological washing powder/soap. Here’s how to do that:
- Wait for the sun to start setting so your cleaning solution doesn’t evaporate quickly
- Put your pets away and clear the area of any mess
- Add a scoop of soap powder, or 3 ounces (75 ml) of liquid, to a bucket full of warm water
- Mix the solution well
- Pour the soapy water evenly over the turf, making sure the area is soaked well
- Keep the turf wet for as long as possible by covering it with a plastic sheet or wet towel, if possible
- Leave the solution to work its magic overnight
- The next day, rinse the area with fresh water
Will dog pee ruin turf?
Unlike grass, turf won’t die from the nitrogen in dog urine. The urine will be washed away when it rains or when you water the artificial grass.
How to remove dog urine smell from gravel or a pathway
Here’s the best way to remove the smell of dog urine from gravel in your yard:
- Water is your friend: Put a hose on the gravel and let water run over the gravel, especially any areas that smell. Let the water run for a few minutes.
- Use a metal rake to neaten up the gravel if the water moved any gravel out of place.
- Wash the area with water daily to ‘flush’ it and keep it smelling clean.
- About once a week, use a gentle disinfectant, such as Safe4 or Uri-cide, to rinse the gravel.
How to tell where the dog urine smell is coming from
If you’ve treated your yard and you still smell urine, your dog or other stray cats may be spraying in places you don’t know about.
The only way to find these places and make sure you’re treating the right area is to use a black light or UV light.
Once it’s dark outside, take the black light and scan the area where you smell urine. If there is urine there, it should glow yellow under the UV light.
Be sure to check any walls, floors, or any other objects where dogs and cats could mark their territories.
What not to do when trying to remove dog urine smell from your yard
Here are some tips on what NOT to do if you’re trying to remove the smell of dog urine from your yard:
- Don’t just cover the smell
If you’re trying to remove the smell of urine, you want to break down the nitrogen in the dog urine to remove the smell completely. Once the smell is gone, wash the area daily with clean water and treat it once a month or so, to stop the smell from coming back.
Some cleaning products work as deodorizers: they cover the smell of urine with an even stronger smell. This may work for a while, but once the deodorizer wears off, the smell of urine will just come back.
It’s best not to use a deodorizer. Choose an enzymatic cleaner that eliminates the problem.
2. Don’t use ammonia or bleach
You may have read that ammonia will break down the nitrogen in dog urine but using ammonia could just make the urine smell worse, and it can kill any plants, grass, or herbs growing nearby when it seeps into the soil.
Bleach disinfects but won’t remove the smell of urine either. Using bleach will also kill anything growing in the area and is bad for you and your pets.
Also, don’t ever mix bleach and ammonia together as this is a deadly combination.
3. Don’t let your dog get near any products
Whether you use a professional product or homemade DIY cleaner, don’t let your dog swallow or get into contact with the product.
Always put your dog away while you apply the product and don’t let the dog near the area again until the product is completely dry or washed away.