WSU Extension


Lawn and Turf
2,4-D damage 
Anthracnose/Basal crown rot 
Brown blight 
Brown patch 
Curvularia blight (Fading out) 
Dog injury 
Dollar spot 
Fairy ring and mushrooms 
Leaf spot 
Microdochium patch (Pink snow mold) 
Necrotic ringspot 
Powdery mildew 
Pythium crown and root rot 
Red thread 
Septoria leaf spot (Tip blight) 
Slime molds 
Take-all patch 
Typhula blight (Gray snow mold) 
Yellow patch 
Chinch bugs 
European Chafer 
European crane fly 
Japanese beetle 
Japanese beetle 
Sod webworm 

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Caption: Dog damage
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Lawn and Turf : Dog injury
(revision date: 3/12/2014)

Dog injury typically appears on lawns as brown, circular patches a few inches in diameter. These patches may be surrounded in a few days by a ring of darker green, more vigorous grass, resulting from the nitrogen in the urine. Samples of the dead grass placed in a plastic bag will release ammonia, which can be detected by smell. Animal urine does more damage on dry soils, where the salts cannot be easily dispersed. Urine damage can be mistaken for symptoms of several patch-type diseases. Other chemical injury such as fertilizer spills or salt spills can cause similar symptoms, but do not release an odor of ammonia.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Water spots heavily to help dilute the concentration of urea in the dog's urine. Female dogs are usually more damaging.
  • Overseed damaged spots with a grass seed mix similar to the lawn composition to fill in spots and prevent weed invasion.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Dog damage
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Dog damage
Photo by: C.R. Foss