Dog Gone Dog Spots

A blue heeler dog runs on a bluegrass lawn in Denver, Co. The high concentrations of nitrogen present in the ammonia component of your dog’s urine damages your lawn and create dog spots.

No more of those pesky dog spots! Are you a proud owner of a furry friend? Then, you may be noticing some brown spots forming in your lawn where your dog likes to relieve itself.

This phenomenon is caused by the acidic nature of urine, which contains high concentrations of nitrogen present in the ammonia component of your pup’s potty. Female dogs cause more damage because they squat to do their business in one concentrated area. This nitrogen can be good for your lawn when diluted. You may notice around the brown spot there is a green ring. The nitrogen in the dog’s urine causes this dark, green ring of accelerated growth. A dramatic contrast of color between the lawn and the dog spot is a visual indicator of the need to fertilize the lawn.

Not to worry. There is a quick fix to solve this vexing issue! After Fido has gone to the bathroom, water that portion of the lawn for a few minutes or dump a bucket of water on the area. This causes the nitrogen to dilute and has a positive effect on your lawn.  Another trick is to fertilize often. Use less fertilizer, but increase the frequency that you fertilize to once every 4-6 weeks. Fertilizing keeps your yard healthy and allows the injured grass to bounce back quicker, giving your lawn that lovely green color! When you start implementing these lawn care strategies, you will quickly see a difference in the lawn.

If your lawn is already plagued with these dog spots, cut out the brown area and patch with new sod. Re-sodding the brown areas is the quickest way to fix this issue. You can also take a 4-6 inch knife and slice into the brown spot multiple times, targeting the areas close to the green section. By cutting into the ground you will be breaking up the root system, specifically the rhizomes from which new plants grow. This allows the healthy rhizomes to reproduce and create new, green grass where Fido browns it.

Now that you know what to do, go tackle those blasted dog spots!

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