While sharing your yard with a dog can be a lot of fun, keeping your lawn healthy and lush can be especially difficult with an active pup in the home.
From urine stains to digging, dead grass and trampled turf, adding a dog to your home introduces a range of issues for your grass. Luckily, you and your pup can enjoy your lawn in harmony with a few simple tweaks to your garden!
How to repair damaged grass caused by dogs
Keeping your lawn strong and healthy is an important part of reducing wear and tear from your pup. Be sure to water your turf regularly and fertilise it at least once a year to keep your lawn healthy, happy and thriving all year round.
We also recommend choosing durable turf that suits the amount of light and sun exposure in your yard. Turf that prefers sunlight will become weaker in shady areas, making it more vulnerable to damage caused by your dog.
Wondering how to repair damaged grass caused by dogs? In this blog, we’ll show you how to repair dog-damaged lawns and return your turf to its former glory. Read on!
#1. Clean their messes as soon as possible
Most dog owners know that even the most obedient pup will relieve themselves on the lawn on occasion. While most dog owners don’t bother cleaning dog urine from their lawns, dog urine is actually one of the most damaging substances for grass.
Dog urine contains a substance called urea, which contains nitrogen. When your dog relieves itself on your lawn, your grass and soil are exposed to a high concentration of nitrogen and harmful salts. This causes your lawn to dry out over time, especially if your dog is prone to peeing in the same spot.
To clean dog urine stains on grass, spray the affected areas as soon as your dog is finished. Spraying these patches will water down the urine and reduce the levels of nitrogen and salt in your soil.
Aside from ruining the look of your lawn, dog faeces also contain nitrogen and harmful bacteria. This bacteria can disrupt the microflora of your soil and cause fungi to grow. Always clean your dog’s droppings as soon as possible to prevent bad bacteria from spreading across your lawn.
#2. Encourage better bathroom habits
All dogs are creatures of habit, which means they’ll often relieve themselves on the same spots throughout the day. You can avoid the need to repair dog-damaged lawns by training your dog with better bathroom habits.
One common solution is to train your dog to relieve themselves during their walks, which stops them from going to the bathroom on your lawn. However, it’s also a good idea to have a backup bathroom spot in place in case your pup can’t wait for their daily walk.
Most dogs will choose the same spot to relieve themselves each day, so brown patches tend to occur in one or two spots in the garden. This gives you two options for changing your dog’s bathroom habits.
Firstly, you can train your dog to use a designated bathroom patch. This prevents multiple spots from getting damaged and is especially useful for shaded, low-visibility areas that you don’t mind looking a little patchy. Alternatively, you can encourage your dog to relieve themselves in different areas throughout the garden to reduce the impact of their urine and faeces on individual spots. This is a good choice if you’re in the habit of watering your lawn regularly, as you can dilute any remaining urine patches in one go.
Either way, always give your dog plenty of water each day to ensure their urine isn’t too high in nitrogen. We recommend leaving some water bowls around the garden to keep them hydrated throughout the day.
#3. Keep your dogs from playing on wet grass
Active dogs can cause a lot of damage to your lawn simply by running, playing and rolling around. While it’s always good to keep your pups active, avoid letting them play on wet grass.
Wet lawns are more susceptible to damage and wear and tear than dry lawns, which is why lawns will often get muddy and worn down by walking on them after heavy rainfall. While most sturdy turfs can stand up against wear and tear while dry, wet lawns can easily become damaged if your pup decides to roll around or play on them.
Try to avoid letting your dog loose on a wet lawn – especially if they’re a fan of digging!
#4. Use dog-friendly turf
A dog-friendly turf can make a world of difference in keeping your lawn fresh and free from damage. There are several things to look for when choosing a dog-friendly turf for your home.
- Deep root systems. A deep root system makes it easier for your lawn to repair itself, so it can stand up against more wear and tear than other types of grass.
- Fast growth rate. Fast-growing lawns will recover quickly from any damage caused by your pup, which means they won’t show everyday wear and tear for long.
- Climate-friendly. The best way to grow a thriving lawn is to make sure it’s suitable for your climate. When choosing your turf, always pay attention to how much sun exposure your lawn receives throughout the day. This will prevent your lawn from getting overheated and becoming more susceptible to damage.
#5. Treat patchy dog urine stains on grass with fresh soil and grass seed
Most patchy areas on your lawn can be fixed by watering the area regularly. This removes most of the dog urine from the spot, allowing the soil to recover. If your lawn doesn’t recover with regular watering, you’ll need to remove the dead grass and replant it with fresh grass seeds.
- Rake your lawn. Remove the dead grass from your lawn by raking the area.
- Optional — Add limestone. For particularly damaged spots, add a layer of extra-fine ground limestone to the area. Then, water the limestone to help it sink in and absorb into your soil. We recommend letting the limestone sit for a few days before moving on to the next steps. However, this step usually isn’t required to repair dog-damaged lawns unless your new grass seeds are struggling to grow.
- Cover in topsoil and add grass seeds. Add a layer of high-quality topsoil to the patches and cover the soil with grass seeds.
- Water daily for a few weeks. To let the seeds take root, water the area each day for the next few weeks. Avoid stepping on the area to prevent further damage.
We recommend keeping your dog away from the area once it starts growing, as the new grass will be more vulnerable to urine and faeces while it grows.
Keep your lawn healthy with our range of high-quality turf supplies
Whether you’re starting fresh with new turf or looking to bring your dying lawn back to life, we’ve got you covered.
At Oz Landscape Supplies, we pride ourselves on providing long-lasting, durable and beautiful turf perfect for a range of Newcastle sites, homes and renovation projects. Plus, our team can give you expert advice to keep your new turf looking fresh all year round.