If you have dogs, you are aware of the difficulties in maintaining a beautiful, green grass. Due of your dog’s urine’s alkaline pH, concentrated pee, and nitrogen load, turf burn is a frequent problem for many dog owners.
Dogs’ urine should ideally have a pH between 6 and 6.5, which is somewhat acidic. The higher pH of your dog’s urine, which is above 7, can burn your lawn and may develop struvite stones, which are bladder stones brought on by alkaline urine. You can buy pH strips and get a urine sample from your dog in the morning to check the pH of your pet’s urine at home. A diet low in carbohydrates and free of grains can lower the pH of a dog’s urine.
Dogs on a diet high in protein can also excrete pee that damages grass. Nitrogen is eliminated during the breakdown of proteins. Increased nitrogen from higher protein intake increases the risk of turf burn. The additional nitrogen in your dog’s urine could harm the grass if your lawn has been fertilized heavily and is already receiving amounts of nitrogen that are close to their maximum capacity.
To assist reduce the concentration of urine, keep your pet well-hydrated. To encourage good water consumption, place water containers throughout your home or yard. You may also think about putting water in your dog’s dry food or giving him wet food.
You can also teach your dog to relieve himself in a separate spot, such a designated gravel- or mulch-filled outdoor toilet place. Since the urine is typically at its highest concentration in the morning, this is particularly crucial. By using a pheromone-treated pee post or taking your dog on a leash to a new location, you can encourage your dog to relieve himself in a particular area of your yard while rewarding the behavior with treats. Regular walks with your pet are a terrific approach to combat this problem and provide both of you with exercise.
Picking a tough grass is essential if you want to maintain your lawn looking beautiful. Tall Fescue grass is a tough grass that can handle dog urine better. Fescue grass also requires less water due to drought resistance and strength to handle canine foot movement. You can add Ryegrass in its perennial form if your lawn has trouble spots. Consider Bermuda grass or Kentucky bluegrass for areas with plenty of foot traffic.
Gypsum should be applied to burned or yellow places to improve the color and health of your lawn. Water your lawn frequently to help dilute the urine. You can also create your own spot-removal spray to use on your lawn: In a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, combine one beer can, one ordinary soda can, and one cup of ammonia. Apply the mixture every other week until the lawn’s color returns to normal, then cut any dead or dying grass.
Additionally, you should rule out any other issues that can contribute to brown spots. Use a lawn fungus control product and keep your lawn mower blade sharp to prevent brown grass fungus on your yard. Brown patches can result from overfertilizing your lawn and lawn pests like Japanese beetles and grubs can also produce discoloration; all of these issues can be resolved with treatments for controlling lawn insects. If the problem is being caused by the neighborhood dogs, fence your yard and think about putting a motion-activated sprinkler to stop other dogs from urinating on your lawn.
Your furry pals will remain content if you follow these advice for treating and preventing lawn burn, and your lawn will remain lush and green all year.
Reseed the lawn with a damage-resistant grass type
Although you might think of grass as simply “grass,” there are actually a lot of distinct kinds of grass. Some grass varieties can withstand your dog playing, running, and eliminating on them every day while others cannot.
If you frequently notice dog puddles or worn-out patches in your lawn, the cause may be a weaker, more delicate grass kind. Think about replacing your current lawn with a grass variety that can withstand damage, like:
- Long fescue
- Virginia bluegrass
- Evergreen ryegrass
Is redoing your entire lawn an undertaking you can’t handle? By reseeding or installing new sod exclusively in your dog’s preferred play or bathroom areas, you can still help your grass.
Deal with dog waste immediately
If you allow urine and feces to permeate the soil, they can both harm your grass. High nitrogen levels in your dog’s excrement cause the grass to burn. The brown areas you can see are where the grass was scorched by the nitrogen.
If you never allow the soil to absorb the nitrogen, you can prevent it from getting to your grass. Always remove and of dog waste right away (yes, even in your own backyard). After your dog urinates, fully wet the area with the hose to wash the soil and dilute the nitrogen.
Mow the grass higher
Taller grass has deeper roots, and a hardier turf has deeper roots. Allowing your grass to grow taller will toughen it up and allow it to withstand more damage from your dog without dying.
This does not imply that you should stop cutting your lawn altogether or allow it to become an unruly jungle in your backyard. Simply set your lawnmower’s cutting height to the highest level advised for the type of grass you have.
Taller grass is not only more resilient, but it will also better conceal any damage than short grass. You might not even notice minor holes caused by digging or brown pee stains.
Because nitrogen is a crucial component for your grass to develop healthily, several lawn fertilizers contain it. But too much nitrogen will cause the grass to burn. Sometimes the nitrogen from dog waste combined with nitrogen from fertilizer can be too much.
Urine burn can be avoided if you fertilize less frequently or using a fertilizer that doesn’t include nitrogen. While many typical fertilization regimens call for four or five feedings annually, you may reduce this number to one or two at seasons that are ideal for your particular grass type:
- Cool-season grasses should be fertilized twice a year, once in early spring and once in early fall.
- Warm-season grass fertilization program suitable for dogs: time in late summer and once in early spring.
Depending on where you live, you should fertilize during a specific time of year. Contact your neighborhood extension office for particular guidance that applies to your situation.
Look out for yellow spots
Pay close care to your yard, particularly the places where your dog tends to congregate. The grass will eventually turn straw-like yellow before dying and turning brown. If you catch these patches while they are still yellow, you might be able to salvage them.
In order to get rid of excess nitrogen and salts from your dog’s feces, cleanse the soil in those places when you notice yellow patches. To prevent dog urine damage to soil, you can use a remedy like:
How can I prevent dog poop from destroying my grass?
You can prevent those green or brown patches from reappearing once you’ve repaired your lawn. Alternatively, if your dog hasn’t already harmed the lawn, you can stop it before it starts. All you have to do is plan ahead and act before any harm is done.
Here are some efficient ways to lessen dog urine’s negative effects on lawns:
- As soon as your dog is through peeing, thoroughly water the area.
- Teach your dog to relieve himself in a specified area that is covered with mulch or gravel rather than grass.
What can I apply to my lawn to deter dogs from eating it?
Lawns and dogs go together naturally. Here’s how to maintain their mutual safety, happiness, and health.
Although perhaps for different reasons, our dogs also love our lawns. While humans adore our lawns for their aesthetic value, our canine friends use them as a place to play, run, roll around, and relieve themselves. Here are a few straightforward suggestions to help you keep your grass looking nice and your dog secure and content.
Don’t Panic If Your Dog Eats Grass
Your dog occasionally eating grass and vomiting is nothing to be alarmed about. Most people occasionally do it to soothe an upset stomach, and it would take a lot of grass clippings to hurt someone.
Repair and Prevent Dog Damage
Those recognizable brown blotches surrounded by rapidly expanding dark green grass can be brought on by salts in your dog’s pee. Maintaining a high lawn mowing can help decrease the impact, as will immediately rinsing the impacted areas with water. However, severely harmed areas will need to be seeded with a solution like Scotts EZ Seed Dog Spot Restore that is especially made to repair bare spots brought on by dogs. By reducing the impact of the salts in the urine, it restores those lawn sections that have been scorched by dog urine. Create a mulched area at the back of your yard, and train your dog to go there for a more long-lasting and practical option.
Feed Your Lawn Regularly
Feeding your lawn on a regular basis (4 times a year is ideal for most grasses) encourages the growth of thick, robust grass that can withstand severe use. Applying too much fertilizer won’t benefit the grass and, in certain situations, can even do damage. When spreading fertilizer and other lawn supplies, be careful to follow the instructions and spreader settings specified on the package, and keep your pets off the lawn while doing so.
Wait As Directed
Keep your dog off the lawn for the duration specified on the label after using any lawn product (including weed or insect control). Unless you decide to water soon away after applying Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food, you can allow your dog back on the lawn straight away. To assist prevent the particles from being tracked back into the home in such situation, let the lawn dry before allowing the dog out on it. To stop a product from washing into storm sewers or waterways, it should be swept up as soon as it is spilt or accidently sprayed on the driveway or sidewalk. All lawn supplies should be properly stored in a dry location away from children and animals.
Keep Unwanted Dogs Off Your Property
Despite the widespread affection for man’s best friend, dogs may be damaging to the lawn. The following advice will help you keep stray dogs off your lawn.
- Develop lavender. While dogs generally avoid lavender because they don’t like the smell, it smells wonderful to humans.
- Vinegar spray. Your lawn’s edges should be sprayed with a vinegar solution. Dogs will detect it and leave.
- Use a sprinkler that detects motion. One effective approach to keep dogs and other animals out of those parts of your yard is to use a motion-activated sprinkler.
- erect a fence. Install a robust fence around your property to prevent animals like dogs from trespassing there frequently.
- Plant shrubs with thorns. A natural barrier that can help keep dogs out of your lawn can be made by planting spiky plants around the edge of it.
Does having grass with dogs make sense?
Here are the fundamental elements for growing grass successfully while having dogs nearby:
- Begin modestly. Plant only the amount of lawn you can keep up. The neighborhood dog park is still an option for occasional variety (and to catch up with their canine companions!).
- Plant hardy breeds. Don’t skimp on sod, plugs, or generic grass seed mixtures. Spend money on tough, high-quality grass seed to grow turf grass plants that are robust and resilient. Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass (or a combination of these kinds) are all suitable possibilities for states with temperate climates. The three greatest forms of turf for dogs on Southern lawns are zoysia, bermuda, and bahia grass.
- Locate the bright side. Where the lawn will receive a lot of sun, plant grass. It is far more difficult to maintain a shaded grass lawn with dogs around than a sunny grass lawn.
- Select a sandy area. Try to pick a spot where the soil is naturally sandy. If you’re stuck with clay soil, buy some high-quality topsoil or sandy loam and spread it over the clay before planting seeds. A clay lawn can be completely wrecked by dogs, and the clay-soil lawn can completely wreck the dogs. In addition, grass will grow more effectively in sandy loam.
- Avoid incline. Compared to lawns with steep slopes, generally flat lawns are much simpler to manage (particularly with paw-traffic around).
- Develop deep roots and long blades. The strongest grass plants have deep roots and long blades. The best grasses for dogs are those mentioned above. Never remove more than one-third of the blade of grass at a time when cutting it at a height of three. Water the grass sparingly yet deeply to promote root growth.
- Continue the grass’ rapid growth. Make sure the lawn has enough nitrogen and water to maintain a healthy growth rate. Use a pet-safe lawn fertilizer on your turf grass, such as Scott’s Natural Lawn Food or Kellogg’s Organic Lawn Food. However, excessive feeding and watering can be damaging, so pay close attention to how your lawn is doing.
No matter whether you have dogs around the house or not, getting the fundamentals right from the start can make your lawn much healthier. However, it is important to give lawn grass the best opportunity possible by creating the right conditions for it to succeed in the first place given the added burden of dogs.
Does dog feces damage grass?
Due to its high nitrogen content, dog feces damage grass. Dogs require a diet heavy in protein, and the breakdown of all that protein produces nitrogen as a byproduct. After that, the dog excretes that nitrogen (dog urine has high nitrogen content, too).
What connection does nitrogen have to your lawn? Although some nitrogen in the soil is necessary for grass to grow lush and healthily, everything good can be in excess. The grass burns when there is too much nitrogen concentrated in a limited region. If you apply too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer, the same thing takes place.
Dog waste releases a lot of nitrogen when it decomposes in the soil after being left outside for a while. The grass dies and turns brown because of this.
What dog poop damage looks like
Damage caused by dog waste:
- Tall, deep-green grass: The decomposition of the feces has only started.
- Yellow spots: As the feces continues to decompose, too much nitrogen is starting to burn your grass.
- Brown patches: Dead grass. If you wish to see green grass there once more, you will need to reseed such areas.
Don’t be deceived if dog feces first causes your grass to grow more quickly. Dog poop damage manifests itself initially as tall, dark-green patches of grass that appear to be in better condition than the rest of your yard.
This is due to the fact that dog excrement decomposes slowly, taking up to a year. It first only releases a small amount of nitrogen, which fertilizes the grass. However, if the feces is left outside and completely decomposes, the nitrogen burn will cause the same grass to quickly turn yellow and ultimately brown.
Pay close attention to those areas of dark green! Without reseeding, it will be too late to salvage the grass once they transform into brown areas.
Why is pet waste different from cow manure?
Compare the diets of a dog and a cow. Dogs consume a lot of meat, whereas cows just consume plant matter. Remember that dog poop contains too much nitrogen for your lawn because it contains protein from meat. Cow manure doesn’t have the same issue because cows don’t consume meat. Cow manure actually makes excellent fertilizer because of its high nutritional content and low nitrogen content.
Keep in mind that hazardous bacteria like E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia can still be present in cow manure.
How dog poop causes lawn fungus
In addition to causing nitrogen burn, dog waste can also harm your grass indirectly by encouraging the development of lawn fungus. If given the chance to spread, several fungal lawn diseases will cause the death of your lawn.
Fungi thrive in damp environments, and too much nitrogen in the soil encourages their rapid growth and spread. Dog waste offers fungus that harm lawns a damp, nitrogen-rich environment in which to grow.