What does lawn care and dog urine have to do with spoiling your dog you ask? Good question - easy answer!
We all have good memories of happy gatherings out on the lawn.
The lawn's the perfect place for having some fun with your dog. It's right there - no need to get
dressed up to go anywhere. And your dog loves that "spoiling" time when he gets your one-on-one attention
out on the lawn - be it a little training time or just some outdoor play. The thing about fun and games
though is that they can be rather "stimulating" and this leads to...you guessed it...dog urine!
You love your lawn. It's a dreamy place to kick back in your hammock on a summer's day, until...you
spot those pesky brown patches in the lawn. You need some solutions to bring back the green ...f-a-s-t!
Lawn care will be next on your agenda - forget the hammock!
What to do?
Can You And Rover Find Harmony Between Your Lawn Care And His Urine?
I know you're
gonna give it your best shot, because your dog enjoys the lawn as much as you do. Hopefully one of the
several solutions I'm going to suggest will at least make a doggone improvement!
Some of these
solutions are focused on dealing with the lawn care while others are related to
adapting Rover's routine.
So here goes, let's start with the main thing that spoils your
landscaping - the dog urine and grass damage.
First of all, if you don't already
have a well-established lawn, you might want to consider planting one that is more resistant to dog urine spots.
Some that fall into this category are fescue and perennial ryegrass, but do some research with your local
experts because water and soil conditions in your geographic area may impact the choice.
Some grasses that are best avoided are Bermuda or Kentucky Bluegrass. Studies have shown these grasses to
be very sensitive to dog urine damage and result in harsh burning.
If you already have a decent lawn and don't want to change it, then we'll just tackle the problem of the
dog urine spots themselves.
Understanding the Chemistry of Dog Urine
From your basic chemistry, many of you most probably
know that the lawn damage is a result of the nitrogen content of the dog's urine. The burn reaction is
similar to when you over-fertilize your lawn.
Female dogs tend to cause more damage because they
usually empty their entire bladder in one place and saturate that spot on the lawn, whereas male dogs
tend to "mark" areas of the lawn with a little here and there.
What About The pH Factor?
To begin with, don't believe those stories about the urine's pH factor being the culprit behind the burnt grass. Lawn
experts agree that the pH level of a dog's urine is not the cause of the lawn damage. So, remedies
aimed at neutralizing the acid by applying baking soda or lime to the burned area, wouldn't be of help. Likewise,
remedies to reduce the pH of your dog's urine internally, is also off-target for the same reason.
Though these things would no doubt reduce the uric acid in the urine, they won't do anything to stop
the burn effect caused by the nitrogen.
On the other hand,
is a product that can really help control lawn burn quickly and naturally. In addition to healthy
nutritional ingredients, Green-ums contains an extract from the Yucca plant. This ingredient binds or
neutralizes the nitrogen compounds in the urine or feces. Thus, Green-UM can benefit both your pet
and your lawn at the same time. Green-UM® can also help prevent burns on plants and shrubs caused by
pets using them as their "favorite" leg-raising spots.
Lawn Care Tips - Target the burn!
Continuing to work
on the nitrogen angle, here are two other remedies you can try. Improve the drainage of the damaged area
so that the nitrogen can be carried down below the roots of the grass. Applying Gypsum
is one way to do this
that also benefits soil quality. Alternatively, you can sprinkle brown sugar on the affected areas and
water lightly. The sugar will attract worms which in turn will aerate the soil - leading to better
Another simple approach for handling lawn damage from dog urine is to flood the area with water. Not just a
bit - a lot, otherwise the nitrogen will only go down so far and end up leaving a green ring. I personally like the water
treatment because it has worked for me, but there is a slight drawback. You have to act quickly. For this
method to be effective, it's critical to water the area right after the dog has just deposited his urine on the grass!
Ways to Protect The Lawn From Dog Urine Spots
After you have repaired your lawn and want to protect it, try keeping your dog away from certain areas of the lawn by using a
motion activated sprinkler. This clever device, gives off a short spray of water when approached and can be very helpful in
training your dog where you don't want him to go for his potty trips.
Adding a second sprinkler of this type to your
front landscaping is also a harmless way to startle neighboring dogs
away from choosing your place as a "watering hole" and leaving brown patches in the lawn there!
OK, aside from addressing the urine damage to the grass
itself, what can we do about Rover's routine to give the lawn a break and still spend some special time
with our best friend?:
For one, take him on more frequent walks to local parks or just around the neighborhood.
Getting some fresh air and extra exercise will do you both some good! Or....
Section off a piece of your property
for Rover's "own" use. Plant a couple of trees, placed within a patch of pet safe artificial grass
or some gravel or both and treat the area with
pheromones - a product that mimics the aroma of animal urine and attracts your pet to the spot. This will encourage your dog to eliminate in the specific place you choose.
For the first few times, you'll want to take him on a leash to the place you set up, but
after that, his own urine odor should do the work. Of course it can't hurt to give him a lot of praise for going where you want him to go, too!
Here a couple of starter ideas for your dog's special space.
Lastly, keep your dog on a well-balanced,
premium dog food diet. This
will help to maintain your dog's chemistry at a "normal" rather than "high" nitrogen level. Remember,
Nitrogen is at the heart of Lawn Care and Urine damage solutions.
Try some of these
suggestions with your own grass challenges. They worked for many and could well lead
you to greener pastures!