Dealing With Brown Spots

Posted in Dog Friendly Gardening

Dealing With Brown Spots

Lawn burn or brown spots are caused by the nitrogen in dog urine. Because dog urine is very high in nitrogen, when the dog urinates, it is similar to pouring liquid fertilizer on the lawn. A little fertilizer is good for the grass, but an excess causes nitrogen burn. The prevention of lawn burn deals with trying to reduce the amount of nitrogen coming into contact with the grass …

Lawn Burn Contributing factors:

There are several contributing factors that increase the likelihood of developing lawn burn.

* Female dogs are more likely to cause lawn burn than males because they void their entire bladder in one location instead of lifting their leg and marking, like males.

* Large dogs deposit more urine so they increase the quantity of nitrogen in one location, making lawn burn more likely.

* Dogs fed a high protein diet (usually young active dogs) are more likely to produce a urine that causes lawn burn.

* Heavily fertilized yards are already receiving near maximum levels of nitrogen. The small amount of nitrogen in dog urine may be all that is needed to put these lawns over the edge and cause lawn burn.

* Lawns that are stressed are more susceptible to damage. Lawns that are suffering from drought, disease, or are newly sodded or seeded are more susceptible to lawn burn.




Six Steps To Solve The Brown Spot Problem:

1. Saturate the urinated spots with water. When you see a female dog urinating on the grass, grab the garden hose. Turn it on and bring it over to the area where your dog has just relieved herself. Douse the area with water, thereby flushing it and diluting the harmful elements in the dog urine.

2. Feed a high quality dog food that does not exceed the pet’s protein requirement. High quality foods have more digestible protein sources that are more completely utilized by the pet and create less nitrogenous waste in the urine.

3. Encouraging your dog to drink more water, will help dilute the urine and decrease the risk of lawn burn. Small amounts of non-salted broth in the drinking water may help increase your dog’s water intake.

4. Train your dog to restrict their “toilet space” to a designated, less visible area. Most pups are creatures of habit and like a routine. Our dog likes to “go” by the side of the house. It works out well since it’s away from the patio in an out-of-the-way spot not readily seen by guests.

5. Replant your yard with more urine-resistant grasses. The most resistant grasses tend to be perennial rye grasses and fescues.

6. If you continue to see brown spots on your lawn – try “ReGreen”. Simply spray it on the problem area and it works quickly with great results. The brown spot will begin to recover and generate new growth within a few days with just one application.




Note: Before you start implementing changes to correct lawn burn, you need to make sure that your dog is actually the culprit. Several lawn diseases will look like lawn burn, with the small, characteristic brown patches.

First, make sure that the brown spots are in areas where your dog urinates. Most dogs will have an area in the yard that they choose to use as the ‘bathroom.’

Secondly, make sure that the grass in the brown spots is still firmly attached. Grab a handful and give it a steady pull. If the grass is firmly rooted, then it points to lawn burn. If the whole bunch of grass pulls up, roots and all, then you may be dealing with a grub problem …

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