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Maybe you are currently experiencing lawn damage from your dog peeing on the grass, or you just got a new dog and want to avoid lawn damage, but you keep asking yourself, "are dead spots inevitable with dog ownership?" Well, good news for you! It's possible to have a beautiful lawn and a dog at the same time! When dealing with dog urine on grass, the best thing is to be proactive. However, if you already have many dead spots, there are easy ways to fix this problem, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Work from the Inside Out
To prevent those dreaded burnt dead spots, you have to take some control over your dog's urinary behaviors. Instilling habits is easier in puppies, but within a few weeks you can train older, more stubborn dogs as well.
Firstly, think about all the factors leading up to the actual process of peeing on the grass. One way to prevent deep, dead grass is to make sure your dog drinks a lot of water. Providing the proper amount of water to your dog each day is vital to living a healthy and active lifestyle, and it helps dilute their urine. Diluted urine causes much less damage than concentrated urine. Your dog's water bowl should be filled with fresh, clean water all day long. Aim to have your dog consume one ounce of water for every pound of body weight.
Again, keeping a nice lawn starts even before you let your dog outside. By using a leash to take your dog outside for bathroom trips, you can control where he goes. It's important to have your dog go in several areas. In the morning, when his urine might be most concentrated because he didn't drink much overnight, have him do his business in a patch that receives adequate sunlight and water. These environmental factors will help the grass recover.
If it seems like you can't get your dog to go where you want him to, you may need to find out if your dog is just being stubborn or if he may be having urinary issues. If after a week your dog refuses to urinate outside in areas you lead him to on the leash, it is important to contact your veterinarian and rule out health conditions. Be consistent and persistent in training your dog where he may and may not go on the lawn.
Fix It and Forget It
If it seems like the grass is greener on every other side of your fence and you already have lawn damage, you may have to test your soil. Grass that has heavy clay soil may require compost. Other types of soil and grass blends may just need additional water. Sometimes local farm bureaus or college agriculture programs will test soil for free.
A really savvy lawn care professional may suggest that you adjust your pup's food to keep the grass nice and green. Dog foods with a balanced pH may neutralize the dog urine and prevent additional lawn damage. If your lawn develops fewer brown spots, it may be a sign of a healthy dog that drinks enough water and enjoys well-balanced dog food. Some vets may even recommend that you spray the lawn after your dog urinates to help dillute it with water.
Designate a Spot
If your dog still insists on peeing in a certain part of the yard when you let him out, you might designate a corner spot of your yard to fence in where he can go and do his business that has less foot traffic than the rest of the yard. This will help keep the dead spots out of the middle of your green yard and leaving eyesores.
Once your lawn is healthy and your dog's eating, drinking and urinary habits are well-established, you'll find fewer of those dreaded dead spots. You may even find with the balanced nutrition and proper water intake, your dog is energetic and ready to take on dog parks and other outdoor areas, which could mean less urine on your lawn. So, start from the inside out, and get ready to own the green grass every dog owner envies!
Chrissie Klinger is a pet parent that enjoys sharing her home with her furkids, two of her own children and her husband. Chrissie enjoys spending time with all her family members when she is not teaching, writing or blogging. She strives to write articles that help pet owners live a more active and meaningful life with their pets.