When looking at Lawn Care Problems and Dogs we must first accept that all animals need to excrete waste from their bodies as part of the normal cycle of consuming nourishment, absorbing and digesting what the body needs and then passing the excess.
Dogs are no different, feeces and urine cause problems for the lawn owner (and Dog lover) mostly due to large amounts of these animal waste products being emitted in a concentrated area. As a result of this, areas in lawns where a dog frequents to do its’ business will develop burns or dead spots.
Some of these smaller spots will revert back to healthy lawn over time whereas larger prominent spots will need seeding to return it to a normal appearance.
Nitrogen is the key contributor to these Lawn care Problems and Dogs as it is present as a result of the breakdown of proteins in the normal body cycle mentioned in the first paragraph. When dealing with animal waste products, urine is the most problematic.
It is a liquid excreted all at once with a higher concentration of nitrogen, while feeces being a solid takes longer to decompose thus giving the pet/home owner the opportunity to remove it before serious damage is caused to the lawn.
As dog owners can attest to, a dog tends to mark their territory by urinating repeatedly on certain places as part of their primal instincts relating to scents detected from other animals. Lawns can be tolerant of small markings, but will show stress and burns due to consistent over-marking by multiple animals.
Both male and female dogs can cause the burned or bare spots on your lawn. Females tend to get more notice due to the method in which they urinate. As you know females tend to squat and go all in one large puddle while males tend to lift their leg and urinate in smaller amounts over larger areas.
Solutions that do work for Lawn Care Problems and Dogs are as follows:
Invest in the time it takes to walk a dog outside of your lawn in nearby fields or dog parks. Choosing a neighbours lawn or other disrespectful place may only cause further problems in your neighbourhood.
Train your dog to do its’ business in one area of your property that is properly prepared for this use. Make sure this area has a layer of mulch or other material such as small sized gravel that will allow the liquid to pass but hold the solids.
The actual training of the pet may take days to weeks depending on the animal. Providing the dog with a target to urinate against may help as well as moving its’ solids from other parts of your lawn to this new assigned area so the animal will get the scent may also help during the training period.
Invest in a better quality dog food. Better quality dog foods have superior quality and more highly digestible protein that are better suited for most average dogs that aren't used for hunting or work. These foods mean less waste and not as strong a concentration in nitrogen in the urine as those high protein supermarket brands.
After discussing this problem with my local trusted pet food store manager, it was suggested that the tablets/chewable s made by Nutrivet, known as Green Grass are designed to help eliminate the burning of your lawn.
A last simple procedure is to add small amounts of water to the dogs’ food as it will aid in diluting nitrogen concentrations in your pets urine and feces.
After the burns have occurred, what can be done to fix or reduce the severity of these spots? If you noticed where the dog has relieved itself, watering the affected area within a reasonable amount of time (less than a day) may be an option.
By watering the affected area, you are in fact diluting the nitrogen in the urine thereby lessening the possibilities of the urine causing more serious burns to the lawn. Depending on how high the nitrogen content was after initially being deposited on the lawn, an actual fertilizing effect may occur (as lawns need a certain amount of nitrogen to grow green and healthy).
Wherever possible with your Lawn Care Problems and Dogs try to follow these common sense approaches instead of buying into myths and “old wives tales”.
“Keep It Simple to Succeed” lets get out there and make our lawns healthy and green!