Dog Breeds, Health, Training & Nutrition

Remove Dog Urine Odor from Yard: The Ultimate Guide

Cleaning backyard from dog urine smell

If your dog is using the potty outdoors, a big congratulations to you – house training a dog to pee outside is one of the most stressful aspects of pet parenthood.

What now?

Now that your furbaby is regularly using the yard for bathroom purposes, you might have found a new problem has cropped up.

Your backyard space is now doubling as a toilet for your dog several times a day.

Our backyard or other lawn areas are spots we use for gardening, recreation, and even playtime with Fido.


It’s not as big of a problem as urine stains in the house where urine in carpets or worse, dog pee smell in subfloors can make any of us cringe.

A dog urine smell plaguing the yard can still take away the enjoyment you get from your outdoor space.

So how to get rid of dog pee smell in the yard?

The most effective methods are surprisingly simple, and with a few simple supplies and a good dog urine removal product, you’ll be able to solve this stinky issue.

Evaluate Your Yard

Not all yards are created equally. Some of us have large spaces, while others have a smaller area of land attached to our homes.

I’ll cover the two methods I recommend most for getting rid of urine smells in the yard.

Which one is best?

It depends on the yard size, how much area is affected by urine smells, the climate you live in, and how many dogs you have.

Also, note that these two fixes can work in conjunction with one another. Sometimes, a little trial-and-error is necessary before you figure out which one is the best fit for you.

Option 1: Dilution is a Start to the Solution 

sprinkler in your yard

This is an easy method that works well as a starter-step for a variety of scenarios.

Do you have a medium to large yard, a multi-pet household, or a dog who doesn’t discriminate where they urinate?

All of the above?

Then I recommend watering down the area where the urine smells are worst as a first course.

A hose or a sprinkler will do the trick, and it’s the first stage to treating an affected area with enzyme cleaners, which I’ll talk about in a bit.

Why does water work so well?

You definitely wouldn’t use this method inside on a urine accident that soaked into hardwood or a mattress, so it might not cross your mind to do it outside.

Remember, under the grass is soil, and we’re not worried about soil soaking up our pet’s urine – because it will happen whether we dilute it with water or not.

By spraying down the area, you’ll dilute the urine as it soaks into the soil along with the water, which will do wonders for dissipating the urine smell.

It’s as easy as watering your lawn – literally. What’s better than watching your dog play in the water when you break out the hose?

Speaking of hoses, that’s about all the equipment you need, besides a sprayer attachment.

You can opt for a sprinkler as well, especially if you’re short on time.

When is this the best option?

A bigger area will take a lot of enzyme cleaner to treat, so I recommend trying water first if you have a larger yard.

If you have a dog who likes to use every square inch of the grass to pee, you’ll understand why when you treat the lawn with a cleaner, you’ll definitely want a sprayer attachment.

When doesn’t this work so well?

Obviously, this isn’t an option if you live in an area with droughts or water restrictions.

It’s something you will need to do frequently for it to work – think once a week at the very least. If you can’t do it often, you’ll find less desirable results.

Lawns with tall grass or plants will require more water to flush out the affected areas thoroughly, so keep that in mind as well.

Although this works well for urine spots that are spread all over the place, there is a limit to its effectiveness.

For example, if you have many large dogs, water alone simply might not be enough to dilute all that urine they leave in your yard.

This is why it might not work as well if you have a dog or dogs who use the same area repeatedly to urinate.

Using water to cleanse a small area of highly concentrated urine will result in a backyard pond by the time you’ve gotten rid of the smell.

Option 2: Enzyme Cleaner

spray the backyard

I suggest going straight to this option, especially if you have a smaller area to treat.

Why an enzyme cleaner?

If you don’t already know this type of cleaner for dog “number ones” is great at eliminating urine and other organic odors.


Yes, you can use enzyme cleaners outside and on the grass.

The natural enzymes in the formula eat and break down the smells at the source, and are highly useful in clearing up urine odors outdoors.

If your dog has a designated spot in the yard where they use the potty, you’re probably proud of them – it’s a good habit and good manners.

You also know how the smells can get out of control when they use the same spot every day.

The water method isn’t likely to cut it in this case, especially when multiple dogs are using the same territory for bathroom purposes.

The enzyme cleaner we recommend below comes with an adapter for the hose, so your job will be easy.

All you’ll need to do is follow the instructions for attaching it to your hose, spray the area, and leave it to dry.

The method is the same if you have a simple spray bottle. The only difference is you will need to find and spray the spots rather than treat the general area.

While many enzyme cleaners recommend a spot test on any surface, they are generally safe on turf and grass.

They work well if your dog missed the grass altogether and left a puddle on the concrete patios, sidewalk or deck, too.

You will need to use this method of getting rid of urine odor in the yard often – how often depends on the number and size of your dogs.

For just one dog, you might find you only need to treat the lawn once a week.

Using an odor eliminator is just as simple as using the water method – the only difference is using an enzyme cleaner with a hose attachment.

How to Remove Dog Urine Odor from Yard: 3 Ultra-Easy Steps

1. Locate the Problem Areas:

Identify if one spot or a broader area needs to be treated. If it’s just a small part of the yard, no need to spray all of the grass, right?

If you can’t easily tell, it’s worth investing in a black light. In the dark, this light will “light up” where urine is the most concentrated — the places where your yard is getting most of its “perfume” from.

Simply wait until dark, turn off lights around your house and shine the black light around like a flash light.

Mark the areas you find by placing pieces of scrap wood or some other scrap material as needed.

Now you’re ready to get to work!

2. Clean and Spray!

To make your life even easier, many enzyme cleaners offer bottles that can attach to your hose for easy application.

For treating yards and making them smell “neutral” again, we recommend: Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator

Best cleaner for dog urine in yard



Simply attach the bottle to your hose and run the water through your hose at full throttle.

Spray and saturate the areas you identified in the first step. You can be liberal since there’s not such thing as doing too much.

The best part?

No rinsing and no scrubbing.

3. Let it Sit

Now the easiest part of all… Just wait for it to dry and your yard will be odor-free.

If you sense more smell after it’s had a chance to dry, see if you’ve missed a spot or simply treat again.

You may be treating tough spots where urine has had a chance to really seep into the ground.

Preventing Urine Smells in the Yard

dog lawn

If you’d rather avoid than treat urine odors in your backyard, there are some options out there.

Disposable “potty patches” made with real or artificial grass can save your lawn from becoming a rest stop for your dogs.

Similar to pee pads, the small, portable lawn provides a spot for your dog to relieve themselves without damaging things under them.

Many apartment dwellers opt to use these on balconies for their smaller dogs – it’s a more convenient solution than taking ten flights of stairs five times a day – since dogs can only hold their pee so long!

Potty patches or dog lawns can be used outside as well, as an alternative to allowing your dog to urinate on the real grass.

They’re more attractive than pee pads, as they mimic real grass – or in some cases, actually are real grass.

Teaching a puppy to use a potty patch isn’t much different than basic house training. And older dogs who are already house trained can be taught to use a dog lawn.

Lucky pet parents will find that their pet is naturally drawn to the dog lawn, and require little guidance to encourage regular use.

Some potty patches have disposable components, so you don’t have to worry yourself with cleaning them.

Once it gets stinky, you can replace it.

Real grass potty patches can be composted and are biodegradable.

Others are washable with a hose and some detergent. Some work similarly to a litter box with a removable tray that needs emptying and cleaning.

You can even DIY a dog lawn, if you’re ambitious.

If you choose to try a dog lawn such as artificial grass that requires cleaning, enzyme cleaner can still help with eliminating odors – and you’ll use a lot less of it than when you need to treat large portions of your yard.

There’s an added benefit to potty patches if you’re not sold quite yet.

In a pinch, they can be placed on porches, balconies, or in garages – perfect for when foul weather strikes.

Smell the Roses – Not the Pee

dog pee in the backyard

When it comes to your dog relieving themselves, the yard is ideal. What’s not so ideal is a urine odor invading your backyard space.

How to get rid of dog pee smell in the yard? Water and enzyme cleaners are both simple and effective options.

One might work better than the other, depending on your yard (and pack) size. Or, you might find both work together.

The best part is they’re safe methods for everyone, including your dog.

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