No doubt about it: urine spots stink! The brown and yellow patches that urine spots leave dotted across your lawn are an absolute eyesore in an otherwise stunning landscape, taking away from the natural beauty of your home. Unfortunately, after a long winter of letting our fur babies do their business on our snow-covered yards, urine patches and their repair are just something that we dog owners have to deal with every time the snow melts. Because we know you've already got enough chores to worry about this spring without worrying about the state of your lawn, we've put together this quick guide to help you repair your dog-damaged landscape, along with some pet-friendly tips and suggestions to help you keep your grass healthy and green for years to come!
How Does Dog Urine Affect Lawns?
Dog urine has incredibly high concentrations of both nitrogen and salt, which doesn't often bode well for your lawn. When concentrated in a small area, this nitrogen and salt content burns your grass, resulting in those unsightly yellow or brown dead patches. While many think only female dogs can cause these patches, the truth is that all dog urine is created equal! Female dogs, seniors, or any dog that squats to pee will leave more pronounced burn patches simply because this concentrates the urine in one area. Most adult male dogs lift their legs, spraying their urine over a wider area of your lawn and causing less damage.
Can My Lawn Recover From Dog Urine Spots?
You bet it can! With a little bit of patience and the right supplies and know-how, you can easily correct dog urine spots in your lawn and get it back to green again. Here's how:
- Water the urine spots thoroughly to flush away any excess salt compounds. This essential first step preps the ground for the next steps in the lawn repair process.
- Remove all dead or dying grass from the spot, either by raking it or by hand. Make sure not to leave any behind!
- Add a fresh layer of topsoil or Scotts Lawn Soil to your cleared area.
- Put down a good-quality grass seed, or use an all-in-one grass repair kit. We like the EZ Seed Dog Spot Repair from Scotts.
- Water your new grass regularly and thoroughly until it starts sprouting, and don't let your pooch set foot on it! We recommend setting up stakes and either chicken wire or snow fencing to block off the new growth area and prevent trampling or digging.
How Can I Prevent Urine Spots on my Bettendorf Lawn?
If you're not really up for repeating this lawn repair regimen year after year, or month after month, there are some things you can do to reduce or–even better–eliminate dog urine spots. Using a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and keeping your lawn well-hydrated are tried-and-true methods for lessening the impact of dog urine on your landscape. Many dog owners also reduce the number of urine patches in their lawns by creating a designated "pee zone" in their backyards using a pile of mulch or a sectioned-off grassy section. They then train their dogs to relieve themselves in this area exclusively by rewarding them every time they use the pee plot. Some people have also found success using pee pads made from artificial turf for their dogs. However, these require some additional light maintenance, including regular washings with proper enzyme cleaners to control odors and bacteria growth.
Another great option to help prevent dog urine spots in your lawn is to take your pups out for more walks! Training your dog to pee only when out walking will completely eliminate their need to do their business on your lawn, saving you the hassle of constant reseeding and spot repair. This might not be the best option for everyone, of course, and will require more frequent outdoor trips on your part, but it will save you from leaving your dogs in your backyard unattended and all the potential damage they can cause as a result!
If you've got dog urine spots in your Bettendorf lawn, come visit us at Wallace's Garden Center today for more maintenance tips and to stock up on grass seed mixes and other supplies. The grass can always be greener, even if you're living with dogs!