Dog damage to lawns

We’re a nation of pet lovers and the old saying does run true – dogs are man’s best friend. However, sadly, they’re not always a lawn’s best friend! To celebrate National Pet Day, we’ve written some handy tips on how to keep your grass looking healthy if you have a dog at home…

dog Damage

There is some truth in that bitch urine is more harmful, but is down to the fact that the bitch wees closer to the ground causing a more concentrated patch of urine which then burns the lawn. Dogs tend to cock their leg and distribute further afield.

A dog or bitch’s urine is a highly concentrated nitrogen (urea) liquid. Where it is too concentrated it kills the grass, but as its concentration dilutes on the outer ring of the wee patch the grass actually thrives on the additional nitrogen, which is why you see a green flush of grass around the outside.

Golden retriever with shears

Prevention

Encourage your dog to wee elsewhere or take them out first thing for a walk in the park to do their business (but always clear up No. 2 ‘s please).

There are supplements such as greenum tablets (tomato juice) which can reduce the effect of the urine, or Australian dog rocks which you put in their water. Results of both are mixed.

If you see your dog wee, pop out quickly with a watering can and pour on the tainted areas to dilute the urine.

Puppy on grass

Repair

Spike the affected area with a fork, sow seed and cover with a turf dressing (finely sieved soil:sand mix) Then water well to help the news seed germinate.

Top Tip: It also helps if you keep the lawn as healthy as possible by feeding every 6-8 weeks and mow weekly on the high side. Use the middle to top height settings on your mower only.

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