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Fertilize your lawn less, or not at all, in areas where your dog urinates. Fertilized lawns may already have as much nitrogen as they can handle. Even a small amount of nitrogen in dog urine may be all that is needed to burn the lawn.
The unsightly yellow or brown spots on your otherwise lush, green lawn often are the work of man’s best friend, whether it’s your dog or a neighbor’s. While it’s true that once you see the dog lawn spots, it’s too late to prevent that damage, you can take steps to prevent them or repair them once the damage is done. Keep reading to learn more about removing dog spots from your grass.
So . . . you can have a beautiful lawn and keep us dogs safe
What Lawn Dog Damage Looks Like
"Dogs Damage Lawns," would not be an attention-grabbing headline, because its so commonplace. So common in fact that a series of urban myths has arisen over what causes the damage, i.e., female dog urine is more acidic and therefore damaging than male, and what homeowners can do to avoid the problem such as, adding tomato juice to the animals diet or baking soda to its water. The primary concern in addressing urine damage to lawns is minimizing the nitrogen concentration added to the lawn at any single time. Female dogs, being less likely to urine mark and more likely to squat, are the primary culprits of lawn damage since they will urinate anywhere on a lawn and usually all at once. This results in a single nitrogen dump confined to a small patch of grass. The brown spot that results will often have a green ring around the outside. The nitrogen overload at the center causes the burn, but as the urine is diluted toward the periphery, it has a fertilizer effect. This characteristic brown spot, green ring pattern has been called "female dog spot disease" by some horticulturists. As might be expected, lawns are most susceptible to nitrogen burns when standard fertilizers are maximized in the lawn. Homeowners making the extra effort to have a green lawn may be quite discouraged by their neighbors dog damage or their own housepets potty residue. The fundamental problem with the presence of urine or feces on the lawn is related to the nitrogen content and concentration of these waste products. Urine, when produced as a waste product in animals, primarily removes excess nitrogen from the body via the kidneys. Nitrogen waste products are the result of protein breakdown through normal bodily processes. Carnivores, including cats and dogs, have a significant protein requirement, and urine volume/production varies due to size and metabolism. Urine is a more serious problem for lawns because it is applied all at once as a liquid fertilizer, whereas feces slowly releases the waste products over time. Since stools are usually solid, owners have the option of frequent manual removal. With more time for the nitrogen waste to dissolve into the lawn, stools that are frequently removed damage lawns less than urine. Where applicable, fences can be used to keep neighboring dogs from eliminating on the lawn. Advising neighbors of the legality of leash laws, where applicable, can restrict damage to areas near sidewalks and on tree lawns/median right of ways. Unfortunately, no repellents are universally effective although a variety of home remedies have been tried. Hot and bitter products are most likely to have taste or odor aversive properties to dogs. Most repellents function better as taste repellents than to touch or odor repellents. Some odor repellents may actually encourage a dog to overmark the strange smell. Some of the better known commercial repellents have these limitations as well. A newly developed motion activated sprinkler, primarily designed to keep cats and rabbits out of gardens, may have benefits for some yards. The sprinkler, may provide benefit in small yards or at corners of front yards where damage is most likely to occur; however, the presence of numerous squirrels, stray animals or children may result in over-watering and very high water bills if they continuously trigger this device.