Over 36% of homeowners have dogs as pets and we can vouch for that statistic because we have two four-legged family members as well as many of our lawn care clients we service in the Collegeville, Pottstown and Gilbertsville, PA area.  We typically meet most of these canine friends when performing lawn care treatments and they are always curious and mostly, well behaved.

However, these very same homeowners who love their dogs also love their lawns as well.  And dogs and beautiful lawn don’t always mix well.    But because they look at their yards as also belonging to their dogs, they are open to solutions that involve compromise.  Pet owners are fun, happy people who have their priorities straight! 

Can dogs and lawns co-exist?

Dogs can cause lawn problems in many ways.   Whether your dog is a digger, creates running paths or discolors the grass with urine, the challenge is how to maintain a beautiful lawn and enjoy your pets at the same time.

Yes, maybe you can’t eliminate all grass damage, but using the services of a lawn care company as well as following some practical tips will help you show your love for your dog and your lawn and cut down on damaged areas.  In general, maintaining healthy turf through proper fertilization, aeration and overseeding is the best way to ensure good recovery from damage.

The Dreaded Urine Spots

When your pet urinates on the grass, he or she is depositing concentrated nitrogen and soluble salts on the turf.  In small amounts, nitrogen actually produces a fertilizer ‘greening up’ effect.  But in large amounts, it causes ugly yellow or brown dead spots.  So what steps can you take?

Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions or silver bullets that will fix urine burn.

Heavily watering the spot where a dog urinates will help to dilute the urine and minimize damage but isn’t that practical with our busy lives.  More concentrated urine, such as early morning or when you come home from work, will always be the worse.  Setting up a sprinkler to consistently water the areas of the yard your dog uses might help also.

Training the dog to use a specific area in yard, such as a side yard or a mulched area, is another option but that seems challenging to teach from a dog owner’s position.  Perhaps it depends on the breed’s receptivity.  Not sure any of our dogs would agree or cooperate but then again, how much is that an owner’s training fault or a dog’s stubbornness. 

Use a decoy if your dog lifts his leg on a shrub killing it, and opt to place a handsome bird bath or boulder next to it. 

Badly damaged spots will need to be repaired by reseeding.  Keep a bucket of soil and seed handy to reseed burned spots.

A thick, healthy lawn will withstand urine burn better than an unhealthy, thin lawn but it’s inevitable that you’ll see some damage.  Keeping up with fall aeration and overseeding services can help towards repairing damaged areas and promoting a thicker lawn which will keep you from noticing as many issues.

Discouraging Diggers and Fence Runners

Fence Runners have natural guard tendencies and will race along the fence line to warn passers by that they are protecting the property and people who reside thereIt doesn’t take long to compact the soil and kill the grass leaving a muddy mess.  Consider replacing the area right next to the fence with crushed gravel or mulch.

Digging is often caused by a dog trying to create a nice cool spot to lie down in.  Try picking a shady place where there are no plantings and till up the soil to appeal to your dog.  Dogs love loose dirt!

Seek Out Pet-Friendly Lawn Care Company

Whitehouse Landscaping recognizes your dog is a member of your family.   We work to ensure that your lawn and landscape can be spaces that you and your family can enjoy together.    When our lawn care clients communicate that they have a dog, we record their preferences as to latching the gate when we leave, etc.  The homeowner is informed when a treatment is being performed so they can keep the dog safely inside.

Whitehouse Landscaping is a family owned and operated business serving the Pottstown, Royersford, Schwenksville, Gilbertsville, Phoenixville, Collegeville and Douglassville areas since 2002.  We want the best for you and your lawn.  If you want to learn more about how we can work with you to get the best possible results for your lawn, whether you have a dog or not, contact us for a free estimate or give us at call at 484-300-4290.