Dog owners know the problem of yellow spots on their lawns all too well. We show how to get rid of the damage caused by dog urine on the lawn.
Dog owners know the problem well enough: When romping around in the garden, the four-legged friend has to relieve himself and uses the lawn for this. What doesn’t sound bad at first, can turn into a big problem for the laboriously maintained lawn. Unsightly, yellow spots form in the places where the dog’s urine has touched the lawn. Places that regularly come into contact with dog urine, for example, because the dog marks the spot, are particularly badly affected. But what can you do about the yellow spots and why does dog urine break the lawn in the first place? In our article, we clarify.
Why does dog urine break the lawn?
Basically, just a little bit of dog urine does not automatically ruin the lawn. In fact, the smallest amount of it can even have a fertilizing effect on the lawn. However, this effect is reversed with larger amounts or frequent urination in the same place. The high salt content in the urine removes the water from the surrounding grasses and thus ensures that the areas dry out. In interaction with the sunshine, the grass literally burns, similar to over-fertilization. If the dog’s urine gets into the ground, it also has the effect that the roots can no longer absorb water. This ultimately leads to the fact that the grasses die off and the yellow-brown spots remain.
The osmotic effect of dog urine causes grasses to dry out
This is how to remove urine stains from dogs on the lawn
If the lawn has been affected by dog urine, the only thing that will help is a lawn repair. For this purpose, the dead plant and remaining root parts are removed from the affected area as completely as possible. Then loosen the soil and rinse it thoroughly with water to rinse out any urine residue. Now you can reseed: The combination lawn repair is particularly suitable – this not only contains suitable seeds for closing gaps in the lawn, but also the best varieties for fast and safe germination – and organic lawn fertilizer.
The balanced mixture ensures that the growth of the grass is particularly high and the gaps are quickly closed. In addition, the organic lawn fertilizer is also suitable as lawn fertilizer for dog owners, as it is also completely harmless for animals. Alternatively, you can re-sow the spots by hand with simple lawn seeds. However, these need more time to completely close the gap. In the period after sowing, particular care must be taken to ensure that the dog does not use the area again to urinate. Otherwise, the urine will dry out the new plants immediately.
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The best way to ensure the dog doesn’t urinate on the spot again is to cordon off the said area from the rest of the garden with fencing or large flower pots. However, this is neither visually appealing nor particularly simple. Therefore, you can also grab a simple garden sprinkler and place it near the spot. If the dog runs around freely in the garden, it should be switched on – many dogs avoid the water and prefer to look for other places for their relief. If strange dogs pee on your property, you can also use sprinklers with motion detectors, which are activated as soon as someone approaches the area. A positive side effect: the freshly sown area is adequately supplied with water.
Prevent dog urine staining
If you have frequent problems with urine stains on your lawn, then you can definitely try taking preventative measures. For example, if you see the dog using the lawn to urinate, grabbing the water hose will help. Watering the affected area can neutralize canine urine on the lawn. Due to the high dilution, the osmotic effect of dog urine on the lawn does not have any effect. Possible residues in the earth are also washed away. At the same time, watering reduces the smell of pee on the lawn. As a result, strange dogs are less interested in marking the spot again.
Water can prevent urine stains on the lawn
Owners of a front yard, in particular, are often annoyed by strange dogs that make their lawns. If you want to prevent urine stains on the lawn, you can make your property unattractive for dogs by choosing the right plants. Lavender ( Lavandula angustifolia ), for example, is an eye-catcher in the garden, but most dogs avoid it because of its strong smell. The piss-off plant ( Plectranthus ornatus ) also lives up to its name, because neither dogs nor cats can suffer from its smell. Thorn hedges also help as a natural defense against dogs: raspberry ( Rubus idaeus ), barberry ( Berberis vulgaris ) or holly ( Ilex ) can serve as a natural barrier if they are planted between the sidewalk and the lawn. Their spines ensure that the dogs do not like to cross them and therefore do not step on the lawn. However, caution is advised here: some high-spirited four-legged friends throw themselves into the hedges despite all the dangers and can incur minor injuries such as scratches or thorns.
If only the yellow spots in the lawn are bothered by dog urine, you can also fall back on salt-tolerant plants. Reed ( Phragmites australis ), beach mugwort ( Artemisia santonicum ), ribwort ( Plantago lanceolata ), or beach rye ( Leymus arenarius ) are known for their high salt tolerance. As a result, they tolerate contact with dog urine much better than lawns.
Would you like to do something good for your lawn, but also not burden your dog? In our article “Lawn fertilizer for dog owners: What do you have to pay attention to?”, We reveal what you need to consider when fertilizing in order to protect your four-legged friend.