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Dogs and My Lawn

A Labrador puppy laying on the lawn

As much as we love our dogs, they can cause a certain amount of wear, tear and damage to our lawns.

Dogs tend to cause the worst damage and some more than others. This depends on many factors including the type and size of the dog and the extent to which they use the lawn.

Throughout the year we can undertake various treatments to your lawn requiring the application of various products. All of the products that Lawntech uses are certified for amenity use and deemed safe for pets but, in keeping with good practice, sensible precautions must be followed.

Dog Urine

Dog urine is in essence highly concentrated nitrogen and the level of concentration is sufficient to scorch the grass, causing circular brown dead patches. Immediately around the scorched patch, an area of lush green grass will appear. This is where the urine has become diluted to such an extent that it is acting as a liquid fertiliser.

Bitches cause more damage to your lawn than dogs because they tend to squat in one place, achieving very high levels of concentration. Dogs tend to go little and often to mark their territory, which means there is usually not enough in any one place to cause damage.

Dog excrement should be immediately removed from the lawn as it will create dead patches and can cause a health risk if it gets into human eyes.

The Solution

Stopping the dog urinating on the lawn is probably impractical, so the only real solution is to dilute the urine as soon as possible. Keep a bucket or watering can full of water near the lawn and dilute as soon as you can.

Some people are successful in training their dogs to urinate in a designated area of the lawn, so any damage is contained. That area can then be re-turfed occasionally.

Dog urine tends to be at its strongest first thing in the morning, so avoid letting your hound on the lawn at this time. It could be a good time to take them for a walk elsewhere.

Repairing dead patches:

When dead patches occur we recommend that the following action should be taken to assist recovery:

  • Rake the area vigorously, to remove the dead area.
  • Create a tilth by roughing up the area of the patch, possibly adding some fine soil or top dressing.
  • Sprinkle lawn seed over the affected area.
  • Firm seed into the soil to create sufficient contact.
  • Apply water at least twice per day and don’t allow the patch to dry out until seed germination has occurred.

The dilution method of control can be problematical and, even if you are very diligent, you will at some point notice dead patches in your lawn.

Lawn treatments and pet safety:

Fertiliser:

This is a semi-organic product and is applied in granular form. It poses no risk to pets or wildlife.

Moss Treatment:

This is an iron-based product and is applied in liquid form. It poses no risk to dogs and cats etc but it is advisable to keep them off your lawn for at least one day so the product has time to dry. Grazing animals such as rabbits and chickens must be kept off for three weeks.

Herbicide:

This is in liquid form and is applied as a spray. Dogs and cats etc must be kept off for one day so the product has time to dry. Grazing animals such as rabbits and chickens must be kept off for at least two weeks or until the weeds become unpalatable.

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