Few accomplishments feel as fulfilling as taking care of a living thing, whether it’s a family member, a potted plant or a beloved pet. Unfortunately, taking care of both a dog and a lawn can prove frustrating and even counterproductive.
While it’s true that your dog is hard on your grass, you don’t have to settle for just one. In this blog, we give you seven tips to keep your grass green, your puppy healthy and their relationship harmonious.
1. Choose Pet-friendly Grass
Start your yard off right by choosing pet-friendly sod, such as Matilda grass. The best grasses for pet owners have durable fibrous root systems, low evaporation rates and the strength to last year round.
If you already have a full lawn, you can transition to a more dog friendly yard by reseeding gradually under the supervision of a lawn care specialist.
2. Train Your Dog
Whether your dog is young or old, you have the option to enhance its training. To best protect your lawn, your training should include potty training and behavioural conditioning. Teach your dog to defecate and urinate as far from the grass as possible. Additionally, train your dog to dig elsewhere to protect your lawn’s integrity.
3. Create a Separate Space for Your Dog
Some dogs take better to new training than others. If your dog has some trouble adjusting, create a separate space for it. This space could consist of an outdoor pen or a stretch of dirt. If your canine has a dog house and outdoor toys, place them in this area to reinforce your dog’s sense of its own space.
4. Clean Up After Your Dog Immediately
Accidents do happen, and many dogs already have established territorial marking behaviours. If you notice your dog defecating on the lawn, clean up the faeces immediately. If you notice your dog urinating on the grass, spray some water over the spot to neutralise the excessive nitrogen in the urine.
5. Watch for Dead Spots
Over time, the chemicals found in dog faeces and urine (nitrogen in particular) can drastically affect grass growth. If urine damage is impacting your yard, you’ll first notice round dead spots in the areas your dog frequents. When you notice these dead spots, consider immediately following the next two tips.
6. Modify Your Dog’s Diet
You can reduce the chemicals that harm your lawn by modifying your dog’s diet. Add a small amount of salt to your dog’s food to encourage it to drink more water. This increased water intake dilutes the impact of your dog’s urine. If you use this strategy, make sure to provide more than enough water for your dog to ensure its health.
You may also see less damage if you reduce the protein in your dog’s diet. Before making any dramatic dietary changes, talk to a trusted veterinarian.
7. Consult with a Lawn Care Specialist
Regardless of the amount of damage your lawn’s endured, a lawn care specialist can help repair it and prevent future damage. Your lawn care advisor may recommend mowing higher, reseeding portions of your lawn, relaying sod or changing your lawn’s nutrients.
These seven tips can help you keep your lawn beautiful, your dog happy and your life simple. As you water and mow your lawn, look for any changes in the grass. Remember that dead spots do not necessarily indicate a concentration of dog urine–the spots may also result from a lawn disease. If you see the signs of turf disease, consult with a lawn care specialist as soon as possible.
For more information about keeping your lawn lush and green, read our other blog posts.