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Lawn Problem Solvers - Dogs

Your Dog, Your Lawn and YOU!

If you have a dog, or plan to get a dog at, you may have wondered what kind of effects canines can have on the lawn you work hard to maintain. You may even have experienced some of the more negative side effects caused by dog urine already! That’s right - repeated or concentrated urination from pets can cause ugly discoloration and even death in a lawn. Many factors go into the severity of discoloration, such as yard size, your dog’s size and urination habits, and the steps you take to prevent pet damage.

Is Fido the Culprit?

If you think there isn’t a very strong correlation between the spots your dog uses to urinate and the brown patches in your lawn, then maybe it isn’t the puppy’s problem. Any number of conditions that affect grass could be the culprit; we have a few other articles on lawn diseases like Brown Patch that could help you identify your problem. If you have reason to believe it may be your dog, take the time to watch where your dog relieves itself throughout the day - if the patches in your yard correspond to your dog’s choices, then you may want to read on.

What does damange from urination look like?

Urine damage commonly appears as yellowish discoloration in patchy spots throughout the yard. Untreated these spots can sometimes develop into dead brown patches after repeated urination.

How can it be prevented?

There are several ways to reduce the effects of dog urine on your lawn. First, you can increase the dog’s water intake by mixing its food with some water, and always have water readily available. This pre-dilutes the urine so that nitrogen naturally found in the urine is less concentrated. It may also help to water over the spots your dog uses to urinate. That's right, you can follow Fido with a hose or watering can and dilute the urine afterwards. 
Another method would be to control where your dog urinates by either training or walking the dog. We understand this may be difficult and a bit of a lifestyle change if you’re used to letting the dog out on its own, but it is certainly the best method of preventing concentrated urine damage to your lawn.
Beyond controlling factors specific to your dog, you should always take good care of your lawn! The healthier the grass is, the less susceptible it will be to pet damage. Give your lawn the resistance it needs by watering regularly and fertilizing when it is appropriate.