Doggonit – Tips to help with dog damage in the lawn

dog damage in lawn

Doggonit – Tips to help with dog damage in the lawn

We love our dogs and we love our lawn but sometimes the two do not get along!  We have three dogs at our home. They spend most of their time indoors with us but they do spend a few hours each day playing and “doing their business” outside in the yard. Their activity definitely takes a toll on the health of the grass. We see large dead patches of grass that coincide with their favorite spots to relieve themselves. In the cold winter months these patches usually occur right by the back door!

The science behind this is that their urine is highly concentrated with nitrogen. Although nitrogen is important in measured amounts for you to have a nice green turf, the high concentration in dog urine stresses and eventually kills the grass.

Here are some dog-friendly tips to help alleviate the lawn damage.

  • Follow after your dog with a pail of water or the hose to dilute the urine (nitrogen) in the soil. Since dogs will go outside several times a day, this could be very time consuming. You could start with just the morning routine since this is when their urine is most concentrated.
  • Make sure your dog has plenty to drink throughout the day. This will prevent their urine from being too concentrated at any one time during the day.
  • Train your dog to urinate in a certain area of the yard. This could be a mulch bed, a gravel area, or a natural area along the perimeter. Before we go on a walk, I take the dogs to a tree in a pine straw bed. This has become a favorite spot for them and it does not damage the grass!
  • If you have a Fescue lawn, we can repair this damage for you in the fall with aeration and reseeding.
  • Bermuda grass will spread during the summer months. If the damage is not widespread, a Bermuda lawn in a bright, sunny area will most likely repair itself throughout the growing season.

Wag More, Bark Less!

by: Marlene Civis