How to Prevent & Fix Dog Damage to Your Lawn

fix dog damage to grass

Plenty of Oakville homeowners have dogs.  One of the most common questions I hear is how to keep a beautiful looking lawn when you have a dog?

Well, if your dog is always going pee on your grass, you are going to see damage to your lawn.

Dog urine will cause yellow round spots caused by burns. It’s more of a problem with female dogs because of the way that they urinate. They squat!

Mature male dogs tend to like to lift their leg and pee on a bush, or around poles, and fence posts. They do this to mark their territory.

But females normally squat while urinating, and this causes a greater concentration on one area. Due to the high concentration of salt and urea, it causes a circular dead spot.

Normally a ring of healthy grass will surround the dead patch. This is caused by nitrogen in the dog’s urine, which acts as a fertilizer.

Best Way to Prevent Doggy Damage to Your Lawn

Create and keep one area in your yard where the dog can go to the bathroom. Having a graveled dog run will go a long way to help keep the majority of your lawn green and healthy.

If a dog run is not an option, keep a hose handy!

By watering the peed on grass immediately after your dog is done doing his/her business will dilute the urine and can prevent the burning damage from happening. But you need to do this pretty soon after the dog urinates, or it just won’t work.

And beware of drought.

When your lawn is very dry due to drought, the roots are just waiting to suck up moisture. So they will instantly absorb the urine and watering it right after may not mitigate the damage.

Nitrogen is the principle cause of lawn dog damage from pet urine. Roots are often waiting for water and will instantly absorb as much liquid as possible.

To prevent lawn dog damage, implement proper lawn irrigation techniques during dry periods to help lower incidents of burned spots.

Effects of Heavy Clay Soil and Dog Damage to Your Lawn

If your soil is compacted or is heavy clay – the soil doesn’t drain as well and this will lead to more lawn dog damage. This is due to the clay and compacted soil holding more moisture and nutrients in contact with roots longer.

On the other hand, by having well-draining soil – the type with a higher amount of sand and/or organic matter, will absorb moisture quickly and also allow it to seep down below the root zone faster.

Very sandy soils do not hold moisture for long, so the nutrients will also leach away from the roots more quickly.

To remedy clay soil, you need to add organic matter, such as compost. However, we do not recommend adding sand to clay soil. Unless the sand is added in the right amounts, you could actually create more problems than you solve. Adding too little sand can actually make clay rock hard.

So stick with compost.