Then, just like that, your pretty green lawn becomes an eyesore marked by ugly yellow patches or brown circles.
Grrrrrrr. But we sure do love our dogs.
National Pet Day is April 11th, making this the perfect time to give a bit more thought to our furry friends. How can a pretty lawn and a peppy pooch happily co-exist?
The Science Of Dog Pee
When furry little Sweetums urinates on the grass, she’s depositing concentrated nitrogen and soluble salts onto the turf.
In small amounts, this actually produces a fertilizer “green up” effect. But in larger amounts (for such a small dog, Sweetums sure has a large bladder) it causes ugly yellow or brown dead spots.
Dog feces also add surplus nitrogen to lawns, but it’s released much more slowly. Solid waste mainly causes damage through smothering turf and killing it. Invest in a good pooper scooper to solve this problem.
What To Do?
Naturally, we’d never recommend you get rid of Sweetums! But this is going to take some effort on your part. Some ideas:
- Walk your dog to a park or field instead of releasing him on the lawn.
- Train pets to urinate in a designated spot in the yard. You may even want to include a marking post, such as a bird bath or boulder. Consistency for at least two to three weeks will be necessary to establish routine behavior.
- Heavily water the spot where a dog urinated on the lawn after it happens. This helps to dilute the urine and minimize damage.
- “Grass burning” problems are worse when dogs haven’t urinated for a number of hours — like first thing in the morning and when you get home from work. This concentrated urine is very nitrogen rich. Try taking Sweetums for a walk during these times, instead of letting her outside on the lawn.
- You might have heard about modifying your dog’s diet to try to dilute or change the nitrogen content of urine. Always consult a veterinarian before attempting dietary changes.
Racing, Digging… Sighing
If your dog is a “fence runner,” consider replacing the area right next to the fence with smooth stone, gravel or sand.
Is Sweetums trying to visit China? Lots of dogs dig in the summer to create a nice cool spot to lie down in. Pick a shady place away from your plantings and till up the soil there to get them started. Dogs love loose dirt.
Do the Best You Can
Our furry friends are precious. So it’s all about balance — even if you don’t always have a lawn worthy of a garden magazine cover shoot, you’ve still got a friend for life. Just do the best you can.
In general, maintaining healthy turf through proper fertilization, irrigation and mowing is the best way to ensure good recovery from damage.
Be sure the fertilizer and weed killer keeping your lawn healthy is safe for your pets. The lawn care professionals at Neave Group Outdoor Solutions know how to do this, and can tell you what precautions to take with children and pets until the applications have dried.
Badly damaged spots will need to be repaired by reseeding or patching with sod. Keep a bucket of soil and seed mix handy to quickly reseed burned spots.
When It’s Time to Consult a Professional
Neave Lawn Care is a family owned and operated business faithfully serving the New York and Connecticut areas since 1973. We offer the highest quality lawn care services in the industry.
Our holistic approach to lawn care maintenance means we consider every factor that could affect your lawn — including Sweetums.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.
Give Sweetums a scratch under the chin for us.