Like our canine friends, we love to have yards with a green coat of grass. However, it’s no secret that the more the dog plays and urinates on the grass, the worst the coat gets. In no time, brown spots start showing on the green mat of grass. So what the deal and how can you tackle this problem?!
Here is everything you need to know on how to treat the brown dead grass spots in the yard caused by your dog.
Why Does It Happen?
It is important to understand the severity of a problem before diving head-first in an attempt to solve it. So, why is dog urine killing the green grass?
The Science Behind It
Lawn damage usually happens when lots of dog urine gets collected in the same area for a prolonged period of time. Dog urine contains high concentrations of Nitrogen. It is this exposure to Nitrogen for a long period of time that kills the grass.
Is it Gender-Specific?
There is a perception that female dogs are more likely to burn grass than male dogs. But there is no scientific proof that there is any marked difference in their urine composition. One factor that can be considered is that female dogs squat to urinate which leads to a pool of urine in a small area which can accelerate the pace of destruction. The same is true for puppies and old dogs. However, male dogs urinate standing up in intervals to mark their territory. So, the small volume spread across a larger area leads to less concentrated spots.
What Not to Do?
Animal urine, including human urine, contains nitrogen. So, there is nothing wrong with the dog if the lawn is growing brown spots. Yet, you will find multiple brands of pet food and dietary supplements that promise to alter the Nitrogen content or the pH level of the dog’s urine. Here is why you SHOULD NOT do it.
Deficiency in Dogs
First of all, manipulating the dog’s natural processes is unwise. It can lead to nutritional deficiencies and associated problems.
Lack of Evidence
There is no scientific evidence that supports the claims these products make. So, you might be giving an unnatural dietary supplement to your pet without actually getting any results. That is a lose-lose situation.
The worst part about feeding such untested supplements can be long-term problems in the urinary system of the dog. In fact, in younger dogs, these can cause serious problems of excessive calcium deposits in the body.
What Can be Done?
As already mentioned, higher concentrations of Nitrogen over a long time causes visible damage. Minor damage to grass is not worth the repair. If the spots are not significant, the new growth will take care of it. However, a larger area will need your attention and a concerted repair effort. For damages that cannot be left to Mother Nature, here are some effective solutions.
Uprooting the Cause
The root cause of the brown spots in your lawn is not the dog, it’s the dog’s urine. So, the easiest solution is to train your dog to find a different spot to urinate. You can create a special area full of mulch that the dog can relieve itself on.
Train them like you would do for any other task. Every time they relieve themselves in the mulch area, praise them, give them a treat, or just play with them. When they observe you giving them extra attention for urinating in the designated area, they will make a habit of it.
Treating the Area
The brown grass spots left by your dog is essentially dead grass. While natural re-growth may not be possible, you can still get the green patch back. All you have to do is remove the dead grass from the area, and repair the patch with a combination of natural mulch and high-grade fertilizer. You can also plant new grass blades. However, even if you leave the ground after proper treatment, the grass cover will take over in some time.
The important pointers to keep in mind is to either cordon off the newly treated spot or keep your pet away from it. The grass should grow 4-5 times before the area is made open to people and pets.
Enjoy the Lawn and Your Pet
It is possible to enjoy a green mat on your lawn and the unconditional love of your pet simultaneously. If the brown spots are getting out of hand, just call in professional help. With expert support, you won’t have to put in the time or the toil. You can also get specialist advice on how to maintain your garden spot-free for the future.
Give your pet the proper outlet for their energy, maintain your garden, and follow these simple tips. You should be alright.