How to stop dogs from peeing on the lawn and killing the grass

May 6, 2019

Dear Joan: Help! My husband and I own a house on a corner lot. We are very proud of our lawn and front garden, and we spend a lot of time and money keeping it looking nice.

Our problem is that a lot of people walk their dogs in front of the house and around the corner, and they let their dogs pee all over the yard. Most people pick up the poop when they let the dogs go on the lawn, but what do you do about the pee? Thereís no way to pick that up.

We love dogs, but we love our lawn, too. I know a lot of people have taken out their lawns and put in rocks and dirt, but we like having a green lawn in front of our home, so donít tell me to take it out.

The dogsí urine is creating burns in our grass, and weíve had to reseed several areas. When I see someone walking their dog, Iíll shout at them, in a nice way, to stay off our grass, but I canít be out there all the time, day and night.

Do you have any suggestions for stopping the dogs from peeing on our lawn and for fixing the burned areas? We donít even know most of the people walking by.

ó Lawn Lover, Campbell

Dear Lawn Lover: First of all, responsible pet owners do not let their dogs do their business on other peopleís lawns and yards, so that needs to stop.

And secondly, I would never try to force you to rip out your lawn. Lawns use a lot of water, but they also give back to the environment by absorbing carbon monoxide, filtering pollutants and keeping high temperatures down. They are not for everyone, but like everything in nature, we need balance; a mix of lawns and no lawns.

Itís not likely youíll be able to stop people from letting their dogs urinate on your grass, even by shouting at them nicely. You can ask the people you know to curb their dogs, but thereís no way to control them or the strangers that pass by.

So, barring building a wall around your lawn, you can look at certain deterrents.

Motion activated sprinklers might work, but it depends on how squeamish the dog and its owner are. The sprinklers are only effective if the dog comes far enough onto your property to trigger them. You donít want to set them too close to the perimeter of your property or youíll be soaking innocent passersby ó and using a lot of water.

There is an assortment of commercial products that promise to deter dogs. They can get expensive, as youíll likely have to apply and reapply the product many times. They also arenít foolproof, but it might be worth a try as theyíll probably cut down on some of the problem.

The issue with urine is that it is very high in nitrogen, which is an excellent fertilizer when used in moderation. Because the nitrogen is so concentrated, instead of nourishing the lawn, it kills it. Dogs also tend to go where other dogs already have gone, which magnifies the problem.

Hose down the spots as soon as you see them to help dilute the nitrogen. You also should avoid fertilizing those areas to avoid an overload of nitrogen.

You also can find lawn repair products on the market ó Dogonit Lawn Repair Treatment and See Spot Run Dog Urine Grass Saver, to name two. These help neutralize the nitrogen and remove salts.

Those are your best bets.

 





 


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