Those of us with dogs know how hard it can be to keep the grass looking nice in the "potty area" of the yard. Female dogs especially are notoriously damaging to turf.
The question, though, is why? Female dogs, as well as some young males, senior males, and males who just never got the urge to lift their leg to pee, squat and deposit their urine directly into the turf. Males who lift their leg typically spread their pee around the yard, and actually pee on something like a tree or landscaping. So the yards where male dogs are peeing a little here and there typically don't see as much "urine burn" on the grass.
But let's talk about the yards where dogs squat and pee right into the turf. A common misperception is that those urine burns come from the acidity in the dog's pee. And while urine is acidic, that's not actually what's causing the burn. It's actually nitrogen. Urine is pretty high in nitrogen, so what your dog is doing is fertilizing your grass whenever she pees. the problem is that she just doesn't know when enough is enough.
With a female dog (or male dogs who squat to pee), there's a chance you've got some very lush-looking spots in your yard mixed in with some very dead-looking spots. The lush spots are where the dog's done some great work putting nitrogen into the soil. The dead spots are where she's overdone it. Either way, most of us don't want such uneven turf in our yard; we'd prefer a bit more uniformity.
So what can you do about fixing this unevenness in the turf? First, don't waste your time and money on pills that claim to eliminate turf burn. They're just not effective. If anything, you could reduce the amount of protein in your dog's diet, as high-protein means higher nitrogen in the pee. That being said, there's still going to be nitrogen potentially burning your grass no matter how much you reduce the protein in her diet (and dogs do need protein, so you don't want to eliminate it altogether!).
The more sustainable fix is to increase the frequency of your watering in the potty area. Normally, I suggest less-frequent but deeper waterings for your lawn, but when it comes to your dog's potty area, I suggest watering for 3-5 minutes every 1-2 days (you should also continue doing a deeper watering every 7 to 10 days). Even if you don't want to turn the sprinkler on for that short of a period, just put a spray nozzle on your hose and spray it down for a few minutes, giving a bit more attention to the specific spot where your dog recently peed.
These frequent short waterings will help disperse the urine into the soil and dilute the nitrogen so you won't be facing so much unevenness or dead spots in your turf.
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.