Repairing Pet Damaged Lawns

If you have a pet, particularly a dog or cat, then there is a good chance you will have pet damaged lawn. It goes with the turf (pun intended).  Female dogs are the worst culprits since they squat; male dogs will normally cause damage to areas around an upright object like a tree.  If you have cats, they too could be a cause for brown spots on the lawn.

The reason for these brown spots is fairly straightforward. They are receiving a heavy shot of unbalanced fertilizer. Pet urine is full of nitrogen and while vegetation like grass needs nitrogen, they need it in measured amounts along with other nutrients. To receive a heavy shot of strong nitrogen in liquid form is just too much for your lawn to handle.

There are two things you can do. The first is to train your pet to ‘go’ in a specified area; the second is to repair the area and perhaps make it a little less appealing.  Dogs, in particular, are creatures of habit so they will return to the same area time after time. This constant supply of urine (and urine is culprit here) needs to be turned off. You will also need to give that area plenty of water to dilute the nitrogen before you even consider repairing the patch.

Once you have flushed the area, cut it close to ground but leave the dead grass in place. Use a hard rake, fork or a tool like the Grass Stitcher to rough up the area. The Grass Stitcher has one advantage in that it aerates while digging perfect perforations that help the seed to germinate. Once you have created the environment for the seed, water and keep watered until the grass has germinated and taken a good hold of the area.

If your pet continues to use the area, consider using an environmentally friendly product like citronella to keep the pet away. Before you know it, your lawn will look great and you will be free of the pet damage.

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