Animals, especially female dogs, can cause considerable damage by urinating on a lawn.
Animal urine contains soluble salts, urea, and other compounds.
The displacement of animal wastes throughout a lawn will result in a patchy uneven colored lawn including dead spots.
The soluble salts content in urine helps determine how much damage will actually occur. When the soluble salts content is low and the soil affected is moist and fertile, damage may be minimal and show up as faster growing patches of dark green grass. However, when the soluble salt content is high, and the affected lawn is dry, there is strong potential for injury. A margin of dark green, rapidly growing grass may surround a yellow patch of dying grass.
Similar damage may occur from other sources of salt such as road salt and fertilizer spills, but these damaged areas won't have the marginal green areas around the patch that is associated with dog urine.
Dog spots are often confused with patch type lawn diseases. Practices that will help correct damaged areas are:
- Watering deeply to disperse salt concentrations.
- Rake out and overseed severely damaged areas with a suitable seed mixture. (For more information on overseeding, refer to Weed Man customer fact sheet on lawn renovation.)
- Train the dog to make use of a designated area away from the lawn.
- It may take a few weeks before the problem is alleviated; consult your local Weed Man if you have further questions.