Dog Spots: Preventing & Repairing Damage
What Are Dog Spots?
Even though we would do practically anything for our little fur babies, we don’t love it when they damage our property. Ruined leather couches, soiled carpets, and chewed up shoes are just a few examples of the things your pets might wreck. But what about your lawn? I don’t mean the obvious stuff like digging for bones. I mean the circular patches of brown, dead grass you see riddling your perfect green lawn. These are called dog spots and they are caused by your dog urinating on your grass.
You may not know that your dog’s urine actually has a high concentration of nitrogen in it. Nitrogen is one of the main ingredients in fertilizer, but it’s only helpful in the right concentration. The high concentration found in urine actually burns the grass and can cause irreparable damage. Unfortunately, this is a natural result of housing mans’ best friend.
She Does More Damage than He Does
Some people may notice that their female dog causes more noticeable dog spots than their male dog does. While this is true, it is not due to the make-up of the urine. Rather, it is how the dogs do their business. A female dog squats and her urine is concentrated on one area. A male dog lifts his leg and sprays his urine, sort of “spreading the wealth” if you will.
Create a Space for Your Dogs
One of the best ways to avoid dog spots is by training your dog early on to go in a specific place. Somewhere out of the way so that the damaged grass is less noticeable. Alternatively, you could create a space using gravel or rocks so that your pet won’t damage any grass at all.
Dilute the Nitrogen in the Dog Spots
However, if your dog is older and no longer able to learn new tricks, pay attention when you let them out to do their business. Try to water the spot where they go immediately after. This will dilute the nitrogen and allow the grass to soak it up in a much more healthy way.
Another way to dilute the nitrogen is by adding more water to your dog’s diet. Try adding water to their kibble before feeding it to them. Make sure you don’t alter their diet too much without checking with their vet. Some people have come up with other solutions to help prevent dog spots that we wouldn’t recommend. Adding salt to their food to make your pets want to drink more, or feeding them baking soda to raise the pH level of their urine can actually be very harmful to them. Consult your vet and exhaust any other solutions before resorting to altering their diet.
Repair the Area
If the damage has been done and you are looking for ways to repair those dog spots, start by raking up the dead grass. Remove all the loose debris from the area and neutralize the soil with aglime. Allow the grass some time to fill in. If this doesn’t work, pick up some grass seed and reseed the damaged area. Alternatively, you can also choose to replace the area with new sod.
Even though they may cause damaging dog spots all over our lawns, we love our pets so much. We want them to be able to love our lawn as much as we do. Following these simple solutions will create a better space for you and your dog to enjoy the outdoors.