There is no home comfort more welcoming, loving and cuddly than having a dog. Furry, friendly and always down for some pats, dogs make houses into homes.
Any dog owner will tell you the joy of arriving home to a furry friend. This little (or big) creature is so happy to see you, loves you unconditionally and all for the meager returns of food, walks and tummy rubs.
Cute, loving and great company, dogs are the best of friends - until they ruin your lawn with their pee, that is. Those “burnt” patches of lawn make many-a-lawn-lover pull their hair out and buy a whole lot of gimmicky products they hope will magically reverse the damage their doggy doo does.
Why is pet urine damaging your lawn?
Some of this damage comes from a misconception that dog urine is “acidic”. When actually it is the concentrated levels of nitrogen in both their urine and feces which is turning your dreams of lush, green lawns into nightmares.
While nitrogen is often used to promote lawn growth, it is present in much higher levels in dog’s urine and feces due to the high amount of protein in their diets. When broken down, the protein turns into nitrogen and this has to be excreted somehow...
The effect is actually the same if you put a large handful of fertiliser in one spot, instead of spreading it lightly across a large area.
Luckily, we have a number of tricks which can stop dog pee damaging your lawn and killing your grass with urine spots.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 1: Designated toilet area
Train them to use only a designated “toilet area”. This could be a gravel or bark area, or simply a patch of grass hidden from sight.
By leading them to the area with a leash and rewarding them with food or treats when they “do their business”, the habit can be trained just like regular toilet training.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 2: Sensor sprinklers
If pet urine is damaging your lawn, another tip is to use a sprinkler with a sensor. This way, when the dog goes onto the lawn - the sprinkler scares it off and it does its business elsewhere.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 3: Don’t bother with repellants
While there are a number of repellents available intended to keep dogs away from certain areas, experts say this could, in fact, work in reverse. Dogs may be more encouraged to mark their territory, instead of repelled to do so.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 4: Up your dog’s water intake
Diluting urine will mean the nitrogen levels are also diluted, so adding extra water to your pet’s diet may see a reduction in grass burn. However, this may not work for larger dogs or female dogs (as female’s squat and expel all their urine in one place).
Try adding water to food (like a doggy soup) or adding non-salted broth to drinking water.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 5: Change your dog’s diet
Using higher quality food may also help to reduce grass burn from your dog’s urine. This is because the higher quality protein ingredients will be easier for your dog to digest with fewer waste products.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 6: Water your lawn more
When it comes to practical lawn maintenance for reducing grass damage from dog urine, try simply watering your grass more. This may wash off the dog urine, as well as strengthen the grass to be less affected by these nitrogen doses. Lawns which are healthier and disease-free are more likely to be less impacted from the dog’s urine, so make sure you also keep a look out for infestation and maintain all round grass health.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 7: Fertilise less
As mentioned above, dog urine kills your grass because of the high concentration of nitrogen. Nitrogen is also they key ingredient in fertilizer, which will also kill your grass if you use too much. So instead of spreading as much fertiliser on your lawn, why not try lessening the dose? The trick to fertilise little, but often. This way, the dog’s urine will not have such a concentrated effect.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 8: Pee-resistant seeds
Some grass seeds are more resistant to dog and pet urine than others. So what is the best grass seed for dog urine spots? This will depend on your soil and climate, some seeds to consider include fescues and perennial ryegrasses - although it is recommended not to see this as the holy grail of solutions. Instead, you should consider changing your grass seeds as one of a number of measures to combat grass-killing dog urine.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 9: Dog water purifier
You may have seen people putting rocks in their dog’s water bowls and wondered what was happening. These rocks are widely regarded as helping neutralize dog urine. The rocks are said to purify the water, removing nitrates and ammonia from the water so the dog excretes less of these grass-killing elements.
How to stop dog pee killing your grass tip 10: Watch your mowing
Keeping your lawn height slightly longer can also help reduce the damage from dog urine. Mowing to a minimum height of 5cm means the grass will need watering less as the moisture will be retained from the shade of longer grass blades and promote healthier grass - the key to fighting damaging dog pee.
To find out the best solution for you, or which combination to use, contact one of our turf specialists by phoning us on 0800 887 383 or emailing email@example.com.