Dogs bring so much joy to our lives, they give unconditional love and affection and they ask nothing in return. Apart from maybe some belly rubs and the occasional tasty treat.
But one thing our dogs aren’t great at is gardening. Some playful pups think it’s fun to dig up our grass and flower beds. Their claws turn up the lawn as they run around and their toilet habits are no treat either.
Dog urine causes long-lasting damage to our grass bed, and any pet owner who has tried to tackle the pesky patches knows how difficult they can be to fix. So one expert has shared some advice to help.
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Carlos Real, Lawn Care Expert and Managing Director of TotalLawn, has revealed that dog urine is so acidic that it can completely kill grass in areas. He advises: “the best thing to do is to train your dog to go to the toilet in a specific area of the garden, or if that’s not possible there are ways to repair your lawn.”
Is it necessary to keep your dog off the lawn?
“It’s a difficult ask keeping dogs off the lawn, so realistically any household with dogs and children isn’t going to have an immaculate lawn. It also isn’t completely necessary, instead just ensure you are maintaining your lawn after heavy use. Using a garden fork to aerate the most damaged areas will help to reduce compaction or use a patch repair kit to repair badly damaged areas and just keep your dog off that area for a week or so.”
Do you have any hacks you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments
If your lawn is damaged by dogs/children, how can you repair it?
“Section off the affected area and aerate the ground with a garden fork, this will help to reduce compaction. Then apply a mix of pre-seed fertiliser, new grass seed and topsoil to the area and keep it moist for a couple of weeks until the new shoots start to come through, you should also consider using a hardwearing seed as it will help with recoverability and stress tolerance. Another great prevention method is to apply seaweed to your lawn every few weeks, it helps with turf recoverability and overall stress tolerance.
If you’re wanting to train your pooch to pee elsewhere, Rob Cammish, Dog Training Expert and Managing Director of Total K9 Ltd, has shared his top tips:
Erect a barrier
“The most effective way to prevent your dog from going on your lawn is by installing fencing, however this can be costly and not the most aesthetically pleasing, so another option is to introduce dog safe plants, shrubs, or hedge rows. Or if you’d prefer not to erect a barrier, a motion activated water sprinkler is just as effective.”
Create a designated toilet area
“Teaching a dog to go to the toilet in a specific area is very similar to house training a puppy – training and repetition is key! You should create a designated area for your dog to go to the toilet and encourage your dog to go into that area, and once they have, be sure to praise them. Remember to remove any faeces outside of this area to avoid confusion.”
Create DIY repellents
“Dogs can experience similar side effects to humans when using repellents and pesticides, so it’s important to check the ingredients to ensure they are dog friendly. Or, create your own using ½ cup of citronella oil and four couples of water, placed in a spray bottle – any other solutions might be too acidic and damage your lawn.
“Although some breeds may appear to have an easier time learning new commands, every breed of dog is trainable, but it’s important to remember each breed of dog was developed for a specific job. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, do your research to understand the breeds skill set and lifestyle requirements – some of the easiest breeds to train include German Shepherds, Border Collies, Schnauzers, Poodles and Labrador Retrievers.”
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