Has Rover been watering the lawn for you lately? If so, very likely his urine has created unsightly yellow spots. Owning a lush yard and a dog at the same is possible. Act now, and the grass won't always be greener on the other side of the fence.
Train your dog to eliminate on command in one specific area. This may sound like obvious advice, but if Rover cannot get to your lush lawn, the lawn most likely will stay in top shape. Your dog does not need to mark every single blade of grass in your yard! If he has trouble urinating in one specific spot, you can always leash him and walk him to an appropriate area or invest in special products designed to encourage dogs to urinate nearby them. A pheromone-treated plastic yard post may be helpful in such a case.
Encourage your dog to drink more. What makes the grass turn brown and die is the concentration of nitrogen in your dog's urine. If you can get your dog to drink more, your dog will be well hydrated, the urine will be more diluted and the concentration of nitrogen will be lower. Feeding your dog canned food or moistening dry food with water before feeding is a good way to increase water intake, explains veterinarian Steve Thompson.
Cure your lawn by treating your dog from the inside out. Look for a superior dog food containing high quality, easy- to-digest protein. Premium and super-premium dog foods contain higher-quality protein compared to cheap grocery-store brands. By feeding a premium dog food, less protein by-product will be released into the dog's urine and feces, ultimately causing less damage to your lawn, according to Dr. Thompson.
Use your garden hose to immediately dilute the urine and prevent excess absorption of nitrogen. This entails keeping an eagle eye on your dog's urine output so you know exactly where you need to water. Do this in a timely manner; if you are too late, the damage may be irreversible.
Repair unsightly areas by taking good care of your lawn. If you are dreaming of owning the perfect lawn, use a lawn repair product with enzymes to restore the affected areas. Products containing enzymes and soil cleaners will help flush the excess nitrogen away. Also, if you are using fertilizers, make sure you fertilize less or invest in low-nitrogen products. Verify that the products you buy are safe to use around dogs.
Choose a urine-resistant type of grass for your lawn. Skip the Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass, which are the most sensitive to dog urine. Try instead planting some ryegrass or fescue; these tougher species may be better able to cope with your dog's routine "sprinkling."
- Collect some of your dog's urine and place it in the potty area so to encourage your dog to use it.
- Remember to praise and reward your dog for using the appropriate potty area.
- Make sure you water the grass to dilute urine within 8 hours after urination.
- Consult with your vet before making any changes in your dog's diet.
- Avoid letting your dog use other areas to eliminate other than the designated potty area.
- Expect your dog to urinate more frequently when you increase his water intake.
- Giving your dog acidifying agents or nutritional supplements may put him at risk for bladder stones.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.