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Maintaining a beautiful lawn when you have dogs tearing around can be a challenge. From preventing yellow spots to creating a safe environment for your dogs, here’s a comprehensive guide on how best to maintain a lawn used by dogs.

1. Establish Designated Toilet Areas:

Dog urine contains urea, which is rich in Nitrogen. Unfortunately, it’s too rich in Nitrogen to be of value and whilst Nitrogen in the right application is good for your lawn, excessive concentration will simply burn your grass. The situation becomes even worse when using lawn feed and fertiliser which is also rich in Nitrogen. Preventing your dog from urinating on the lawn is really the only way to prevent damage.

Therefore, the single best strategy is to establish designated areas for your dogs to relieve themselves and train the dogs to go there. It’s more training work to do with your dog, but the investment will pay dividends over time.

2. Choose Dog-Friendly Grass Varieties:

Selecting the right grass types is the foundation of a dog-friendly lawn. Dogs charging around and rapidly changing direction places significant stress on the grass plant and the root system. If you have dogs that are allowed anywhere on your lawn, then you really do need a tough grass plant that can withstand heavy traffic and recover quickly from wear and tear. Select a grass seed mix that is specifically described as “hard wearing” and it will make a huge difference.

3. Mowing Higher:

Consider mowing the grass at an increased height of cut. Dog urine tends to create yellow spots where the chemicals in the urine “burn” the grass. Shorter grass is hugely susceptible to these burns and very short grass will often be completely killed off whilst longer grass can be better at containing the energy from speeding dog paws.

4. Promptly Clean Up Pet Waste:

One of the essential aspects of maintaining a dog-friendly lawn is promptly cleaning up after your pets. Regularly scoop the poop, and if your dog does urinate on the grass, hose down the area as soon as possible to dilute the urine and minimise its impact on the lawn.

5. Watering and Hydration:

Proper watering is crucial for a healthy lawn, especially when you have dogs roaming around. Ensure your lawn receives adequate hydration to promote grass recovery from wear and tear.

6. Repair Urine Spots:

Despite your best efforts, yellow burn spots may still occur. To address these spots, rake out the dead grass, add some fresh topsoil and overseed with fresh grass seed to encourage new growth. Rake the soil lightly, apply a thin layer of compost to protect the seed and keep the area consistently moist until the new grass establishes itself. This helps in blending the repaired spots seamlessly with the rest of the lawn.

7. Provide Outdoor Dog Amenities:

To keep your lawn in pristine condition, offer outdoor amenities that keep your dogs entertained and active. Install a dedicated play area with toys and agility equipment, encouraging your pets to engage in structured play. This not only redirects their energy but also minimises random digging or running throughout the entire garden and smashing their way through the flower beds!

8. Choose Pet-Safe Lawn Products:

Be mindful of the products you use on your lawn. Always check the small print to be sure that you use pet-safe fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides to prevent any harm to your furry friends. Many lawn care products now come in pet-friendly formulations, ensuring that your lawn maintenance routine doesn’t pose a risk to your pets’ health.

Conclusion: It can be done

Maintaining a lawn with dogs involves a combination of planning, prevention, training and a touch of flexibility as dogs will be dogs and accidents will happen. By selecting the right grass varieties, establishing dedicated areas for toilet or play, promptly cleaning up after your pets, you can create a vibrant and resilient lawn that both you and your dogs can enjoy.