Learn why fertilizers make dog urine damage worse and what you can do as a homeowner and dog lover to care for your grass safely.
When we think about lawn care a different approach should be considered for people who have dogs vs. those who don’t. While the normal routine of multiple fertilizer applications several times a year might work for people without dogs, it might not work so well for people with them.
Dog Urine is Fertilizing Your Lawn
The reason is that dog urine basically is fertilizer. It gets applied to your lawn every single day, multiple times a day. That much fertilizer will eventually cause damage to the lawn. Adding more fertilizer on top of that, on a fertilizing schedule, can really cause problems. It is difficult enough controlling the amount of nitrogen that is being constantly applied to the lawn in the dog urine. Adding to it makes the task much more difficult.
In addition nitrogen can build up in the soil and diminish the pro-biotic activity that is essential to metabolize it into a form that is usable by the lawn. As this biological activity decreases and more nitrogen is applied, either as urine or as fertilizer, the problem is compounded. The pro-biotic activity continues to diminish and more severe damage to the lawn occurs. The worse it gets, more and more time is required to restore normal biological activity in the lawn sufficient enough to start controlling the dog urine spots. It can literally take months.
If you have a very green lawn and no noticeable greening of the lawn around the urine spot and the lawn dies over the entire area the urine was added you may likely have an excess of nitrogen buildup in your lawn.
In some instances if the lawn is nitrogen deficient you may actually see a small dead spot in the center with a ring of green around the smaller dead spot. In this instance the lawn is benefiting for the added nitrogen but where concentrated in the center of the spot it overwhelmed the soil before it could be digested.
Other contributing factors
It’s worth mentioning that not all yellow or patchy lawn problems are a result of pet urine. Excessive fertilization, irrigation water high in salinity, or dense clay soil can also cause problems with the health of the lawn. We regularly see customer photos of lawns that are generally stressed from other factors which can play a part in controlling dog urine spots. Some spots are caused by fungus which can be encouraged by high levels of nitrogen. Medications can also hamper controlling spots and in some cases may not be able to control them while medication is given to the dog.
New seed and new sod will be a problem for dog owners.
Germination of lawn seed can be hindered by salt in the dog urine so steps should be taken to reduce the salt. The root system of the new grass as well as new sod will be shallow and susceptible to damage buy pet urine even if the soil is teaming with activity that otherwise would control the spots.
PetiGreen can be a big help.
PetiGreen helps improve the environment of the soil so the pro-biotic activity in the soil can flourish. Within a few months the activity can reach a high enough level that it can start to process more nitrogen than normal. If there is an excess amount of nitrogen it can still take time to get enough of that nitrogen out of the soil to start controlling the pee spots.
PetiGreen may provide a little help with a few other soil problems. As these problems are being addressed more time may be needed until the urine spots start coming under control.
PetiGreen helps improve the environment of the soil and establish pro-biotic activity in the soil. Even though new sod and new grass will have problems, PetiGreen can help accelerate the new root growth so controlling the urine spots can occur more rapidly.
Naturally keeping the dog stool picked up will prevent it from adding to the problem. Keep the lawn well watered without excess water that might encourage detrimental fugal activity from developing. Make sure your dog gets proper nutrition, plenty of water and daily activity.
Remember that the dog continues its routine daily so addressing the problem will also be ongoing. The PetiGreen Program are great tools for improving the soil and improving the lawn for people who own dogs.