Can Your Dog and Your Lawn Be Friends?
Many homeowners love their lawn, and many love their dog. The question is: can they love each other? If you find it difficult to balance the equation between canine and lawn, you are not alone. In fact, dogs are notorious for ruining that landscape you’ve worked hard to maintain. Whether it is doing their business on your green turf or digging up holes in your flower beds or gardens, you may be desperate to find out how your dog and your lawn can peacefully co-exist. Read below about problems your pet can cause, and solutions that will work to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful.
Canine Potty Problems
When it comes to dogs and grass, the most common concern is urine. Canine urine is known for its high levels of nitrogen. While your soil can benefit from nitrogen, your grass simply can’t handle such concentrated amounts. This is why dog owners may notice spots or patches of brown where their beloved pet has emptied his or her bladder. The grass damage from a dog’s urine can occur in all types of turf and across all seasons. If you have a female dog, the consequences are typically more dire since they like to squat to urinate instead of the male dog hiking a leg on a fence post, tree or nearby bush.
Not only is a dog’s urine harmful to your lawn, but their solid waste can be a problem too. If left for too long, dog feces can slowly release nitrogen and create a slower but visible damage on the grass underneath.
Dog Digging Issues
Dogs are diggers by nature. While some dogs are more active than others, most breeds are born with an instinct to explore their environment. Unfortunately, this often involves persistent digging in areas of your landscape that you’d prefer undisturbed. Whether it is a curious puppy or an older dog trying to bury a bone, your dog’s digging obsession can wreak havoc on your grass, mulch and flower gardens.
Solutions to Bridge The Gap Between Your Dog and Your Lawn
Unless you have the willingness and mastery to keep your dog off of your lawn altogether, you’ll need the following tips to maintain an attractive landscape and a happy dog:
- Designate a certain part of your lawn as your dog’s “potty area.” This should be covered with mulch, pine straw or pea rock so that there is no visible trace of damage afterwards. Train your dog to use this spot – it may take patience and lots of reinforcement, but the reward is worth it!
- Dilute the area of grass with water after your dog urinates. This requires some extra work on your part, but it can drastically reduce the damage from concentrated nitrogen.
- Pick up your dog’s poop. Tidying up your yard and cleaning up your canine’s feces on a regular basis can also prevent lawn damage.
- Consider taking your dog on more walks. Not only does this allow other places besides your grass to serve as your dog’s bathroom, but it can also keep your dog active and less likely to dig in your backyard.
- Do your part to maintain healthy grass so that it can recover more easily after your dog urinates. This involves a higher mowing height, adequate irrigation and proper fertilization schedule.
Want a professional’s advice and assistance on “dog proofing” your lawn? Call Pannone’s Lawn Pros & Landscaping. There is no reason why your love for your dog should have to come at the cost of a healthy and attractive landscape!