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13 Ways to Stop Dogs From Peeing on Your Lawn

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Dog Care By Kate Brunotts 13 min read April 20, 2021

dog peeing on lawn

Have the neighborhood dogs turned your grass into a splotchy spectacle? If you put a lot of time and effort into your lawn, pooch pee can be a source of considerable frustration.

But don’t worry — we’re here to help! 

Below, we’ll share some helpful ways to put a stop to the pooch pee-pee problem and answer a couple of common questions about dogs tinkling on your lawn. 

Stopping Dogs from Peeing on Your Lawn: Key Takeaways

  • While the occasional sprinkle on your grass may not cause huge problems, repeated visits may lead to dead spots on your lawn.
  • Strategies to help keep dogs from urinating in your yard includes simple signage, installing motion-operated sprinklers, and more.

13 Strategies to Stop Spot from Sprinkling 

If you’ve been wondering how to stop the neighbor’s dog from peeing in your yard, look no further.

While not every strategy discussed below will work with every dog, a combination of these tips should at the very least, protect your lawn to a greater degree. 

Figuring out what works best for your yard and neighborhood can be a process of trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if the first method doesn’t yield immediate results.

You can also try experimenting with more than one of these strategies at a time.  

1. Ask Nicely 

If you’ve seen the same dog tinkling on your yard several times, it might be worth taking the time to explain your situation with the owner.

You’ll just have to use your judgement to figure out the best approach — you don’t want to end up in a heated confrontation. 

Talk to owners about dogs peeing

In some cases, it may be best to catch the offender in the moment — especially if you don’t have any way to contact the owner later. Just be polite, and point out the problem the pooch’s pee-pee is causing your lawn. 

In other cases, it may be best to simply wait to speak with the owner later. This may yield better results in many cases, as the owner won’t be distracted by his or her dog.

Assuming that it’s someone you recognize, pick a time on the weekend to politely knock on the owner’s door and explain the situation as evenly as possible. It’s likely that the dog owner simply doesn’t notice the problem his or her pooch is creating and will have no trouble avoiding your property in the future. 

Keep in mind that sidewalks near your home are likely public property. Therefore, you may not be able to deter dog owners from walking their dogs near the perimeter of your property. 

An Example Of How to Ask Nicely

Megan (K9 of Mine owner) here! When I first got my dog I didn’t really know yard etiquette and often let my dog pee on my neighbor’s grass.

One day he approached me and said “Can you not have your dog pee there? Once one dog pees there, all the others want to too. I’m counting on you!”

Initially I was embarrassed, but my neighbor’s wording made me feel like I could be part of the solution. He didn’t yell, complain, chastise, or blame me. Instead, he presented the situation as something I could help him with, and that framing maintained goodwill between us!

2. Install a Sign 

One of the easiest ways to deter dog owners from walking near your property is to install a sign that gets the point across with a quick glance.

You can pick up a simple and polite sign or something a bit more to the point.  

Signs to stop dogs from peeing

Note that this won’t necessarily stop dogs from eliminating on your lawn but it should make it clear to your neighbors that it’s not something you desire.

3. Provide A Better Alternative

How do you stop a dog from peeing on a certain spot?

One way is to provide a better, more convenient alternative.

For example, if your lawn is off-limits, you could provide a nice patch of grass (or perhaps a single piece of sod) on the curb that is dog friendly. Make it clear to owners that their dog should be here – and not over there!

An excellent example of promoting an alternative canine potty spot!

This way dogs still have a place to relieve themselves if the urge strikes while passing by your house

You can also include a poop bag dispenser on your property so that passersby have everything they need to keep pooch poo off of your lawn. 

This also might make it easier to communicate your wishes with your neighbors. For example, you could say, “I’d prefer if Fido didn’t eliminate on the lawn, but I have a patch of grass on the curb that he’s perfectly welcome to!”

That way, the dog owners won’t have to switch up their walk routine while still keeping your lawn in great condition. 

4. Apply A Dog Urine Repellent 

Dog urine repellents work by giving off scents that are unpleasant to dogs. Repellents also mask the smell of preexisting urine which is crucial, since dogs tend to eliminate where other dogs have previously done so.

dog urine repellents

Generally speaking, these products are a bit hit-or-miss; they work in some cases, but fail to have any effect in others. Nevertheless, here are a few of the best-rated urine repellents on the market:

Liquid Fence

About: Liquid Fence for dogs only needs to be reapplied every 4 to 5 day and covers up to 500 square feet. 

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Liquid Fence Dog Deterrent

Liquid Fence Dog Deterrent

An easy-to-use, pre-mixed dog deterrent that is safe to use around most plants.

Features:

  • Solution is pre-mixed so you can use it right away
  • Can be sprayed on lawns, flower beds, shrubs, and trees
  • 1 Bottle covers up to 500 square feet
  • Won’t harm most plants or flowers

PROS

This repellent worked well for some dogs and cats, keeping them away from undesired potty spots. The repellent will still linger even after some light rain, so you might not have to apply it as often.

CONS

Some customers found that Liquid Fence didn’t keep out all dogs, though this is typical of most repellents since every dog is different. Though non-toxic, this repellent has a strong smell. 

NaturVet OFF Limits

About: Off Limits by NaturVet is a non-staining pet deterrent, perfect for keeping dogs away from desired areas. 

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Off Limits dog deterrent

NaturVet OFF Limits

A citrus-scented dog deterrent that is made in the USA and backed by a money-back guarantee.

Features:

  • For use on flower beds, lawns, patio furniture, and garbage cans
  • Non-offensive, citrus-like smell
  • Safe for dogs and puppies
  • Made in the USA
  • Included money back guarantee

PROS

Users liked that this dog repellent has a pleasant, citronella-like smell. This repellent worked well at deterring some dogs and cats from eliminating in an undesirable area. 

CONS

Many customers found that, in order to work properly, frequent reapplications were required.

Ortho Dog and Cat B Gon

About: Ortho Dog and Cat B Gon repellent is a four-footer deterrent that only needs to be reapplied about once a month, making it super convenient for busy homeowners. 

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Ortho dog repellent

Ortho Dog and Cat B Gon

An indoor/outdoor dog deterrent that lasts up to 30 days after the initial application.

Features: 

  • Provides 750 square feet of coverage
  • Lasts up to 30 days with a single application
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Ready-to-use out of the bottle

PROS

This spray has a non-offensive smell and lasts up to 30 days on its own. A single bottle can cover up to 750 square feet making it a good value for those with large lawns. 

CONS

This spray needs 20 minutes of uninterrupted setting to work to its full potential. Some users saw discoloration or damage to their plants after using this repellent in the surrounding area. 

5. DIY Dog Repellent

If you’re looking for an easy, cost-effective way to stop neighbor’s dogs from marking your lawn, why not try your hand at a homemade dog urine repellent?

DIY dog repellent

These two recipes are super simple to make and include ingredients that you probably already have on hand. 

Option #1

Combine one cup white vinegar with two cups of apple cider vinegar. Place it in a spray bottle and mist any desired areas. Note that vinegar may harm plants, so use caution around your favorite ornamentals.

Option #2

Mix up some citrus-scented water and spray on plants. You can just cut up pieces of citrus and place them in the water, or use juice from citrus plants. This will make your yard smell great and will deter some dogs and cats from eliminating in the treated spot. 

Just like commercially produced repellents, there is no guarantee that these solutions will deter all dogs from eliminating in an undesirable area.

Some dogs are more sensitive to strong smells than others, but you can experiment with combining this method with some of the other spotting prevention strategies. 

6. Install A Fence

If nothing else seems to be working, a small fence can be enough to keep dogs and owners away from your lawn. You don’t need a full-sized dog-proof fence, either — even a short plastic fence that’s a foot or two high will usually be enough. 

Prioritize fencing the perimeter of your property. That way, it will be clear to passers by what areas are off limits.

fences can keep dogs out of yard

Alternatively, you could install a series of pathway lights if a fence isn’t your style. This might be enough of a visual signal to keep dogs and owners off of the lawn. 

7. Scatter Used Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds aren’t just great for fertilizing your plants, they can also deter dogs and cats from peeing in a certain area due to their strong smell.

However, this method should be used with caution. The caffeine in coffee is toxic for dogs and cats — even in small amounts.

coffee grounds can deter dogs

While it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure their dog isn’t eating things off the street (and few dogs are likely to find the scent of used coffee grounds appetizing), it is probably wisest to mix in the coffee grounds into the dirt to keep the neighborhood pups safe while also discouraging them from sprinkling on your lawn. 

You may also want to install a sign warning owners that you’ve used coffee grounds on your lawn.

While it’s unlikely that dogs will come near your coffee adorned lawn, it’s better to be safe than sorry if this is your method of choice. 

8. Leave Citrus Peels On The Ground 

The smell of tangy citrus may be appealing to us, but to some dogs and cats, the smell is particularly pungent.

Accordingly, you can use peels of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit to keep Fido out of your yard. Keep in mind that this won’t necessarily deter all dogs.

citrus peels may repel dogs

For the best results, mix in the peels with your soil. This will help the peels break down over time and prevent the peels from unintentionally attracting bugs.

You can even double-up your approach by making a soil mixture that contains both citrus peels and leftover coffee grounds.

9. Apply Vinegar & Lime Juice to Coffee Filters

Vinegar’s strong smell naturally deters dogs. The added lime juice helps to reduce the overall odor for people, while still working as a citrus doggy deterrent.

Lime juice repels dogs

Coffee filters usually degrade over time which makes this method suitable for direct use on a flower bed or lawn. You can also find biodegradable filters that break down even faster if you like. 

Soak your coffee filters in white vinegar and a little bit of lime juice. Once the filters dry, cut them into strips and place around the area you want to keep dogs away from.

This method is safe for plants, and shouldn’t present any harm to doggos either

10. Install a Camera

Shame can be a great tool to alter human behavior. And, if owners know they’re being watched, they may avoid your yard altogether. So, consider installing a security camera on your property.

Cameras will also help you monitor whether or not your other strategies are working. Having a camera makes it easy for you to see what’s working, what’s not, and how you can adjust your strategy to protect your lawn properly. 

keep dogs away with camera

If possible, try to mount the camera in a conspicuous location, so local dog walkers are sure to spot it.

Even a fake camera may suffice, and it’ll be cheaper than a true camera.

11. Use A “Scarecrow”

Halloween is just around the corner, which makes this the perfect time to put this method to the test. Skittish dogs may be deterred by various types of “scarecrows.”

Now, we don’t mean a literal scarecrow — dogs are unlikely to care (or even notice). Instead, we mean other types of things that’ll potentially frighten away dogs, like this spooky, motion-detecting, solar-powered owl.

scarecrows may repel dogs

At the very least, this “scarecrow” may startle the dog owner, if not the dog. This owl can also be used to keep out mice, squirrels, and birds, though users note varying degrees of success. 

12. Install Motion-Operated Sprinklers

Searching for a way to keep your lawn looking pristine while simultaneously deterring dogs? Motion operated sprinklers will do the trick.

While these motion-activated sprinklers might not make you popular with the neighbors, they’re sure to keep dogs, cats, coyotes, and other wildlife away from your lawn at all hours.

use sprinklers to keep dogs away

You can adjust the sprinkler’s line of sight to target different areas of the yard. Plus, you get the added benefit of automatically watering your lawn.

13. Use Ultrasonic Deterrents

Ultrasonic pest deterrents produce loud (but inaudible to humans) sounds to keep out different animals. These deterrents might also repel wildlife, and some have different settings designed to repel different types of critters.  

Ultrasonic pet and pest repellent

Keep in mind that dogs might adapt to ultrasonic deterrents over time. In addition, be sure to shop carefully, as some “ultrasonic” deterrents actually make noises people can hear.

You can also get ultrasonic deterrents with embedded lights to ward off dogs and other animals. There are plenty of these devices with embedded solar power so that you don’t have to constantly charge your device. 

Similarly – while it’s a little mean – you could plant some dog repellant plants that dogs may not be big fans of.

Of course you don’t want to plant anything to purposely hurt a dog or make them sick, but some dense shrubs or shrubs with thorns may be enough to deter dogs looking for a convenient potty spot.

Don’t Use Potentially Harmful Deterrents

As frustrating as misplaced dog waste may be, you don’t want to harm the dog — it isn’t his fault.

He’s a good boy, who just needs to tinkle!

Also, you may be held responsible (potentially criminally so) if you do something to harm the dog. Stick with dog-safe deterrents to prevent Fido from eliminating on your lawn.

Don’t use ingredients like cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, garlic, or ammonia. These agents can be harmful for dogs and lead to illness or injury.

FAQs: How To Stop Dogs From Peeing On The Lawn

Below, we’ll answer some of the most common questions to stop dog lawn spotting.

Do they make Liquid Fence for dogs?

Yes! As discussed above, there is a Liquid Fence for Dogs Urine Repellent. The product is safe for use on lawns and plants. You can also make your own DIY urine repellent using vinegar or citrus juice. 

Does Liquid Fence work for dogs?

The original Liquid Fence formula is specially formulated to deter deer and rabbits, so it might not be super effective for keeping out dogs.

However, some owners have had success with the liquid fence formula made specifically for dogs. 

Do dogs repellents really work?

Dog repellents can repel and deter dogs — at least in some cases. Many dogs are sensitive to smells like citrus, citronella (hence the existence of citronella bark collars), and others which are usually embedded in repellent solution.

There are even plants that sometimes deter dogs. However, it is possible for dogs to be completely unbothered from the scent of deterrent. 

What smells repel dogs?

Some smells that are non-harmful and potentially effective at repelling dogs are citrus, vinegar, and citronella. Every dog is different, but many dogs find these scents to be overpoweringly pungent. 

Is it illegal for people to let their dogs pee in my yard?

Figuring out what’s legal and illegal can be tricky. Laws vary by state, region, and even county.

In addition, there are separate penalties for failure to comply with leash laws, trespassing, and waste elimination laws. In New York, for example, failure to remove poop is subject to a fine, but there is no mention of pee. 

While some consider a dog peeing in someone’s yard a form of trespassing, a lot is open to interpretation. Most waste laws pertain to poop without mentioning pee, so it’s best to reach out to your local law enforcement agency to get a clear view of the pet laws of your area. 

***

Damaging pet waste can be incredibly frustrating. Hopefully, one of these strategies will help you stop dog lawn spotting for good!

Have you had any success with these methods? How do you keep your lawn pet waste free? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below! 

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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