If you love your pets as much as you love your lawn, you're probably wondering how you can create a harmonious relationship between the two. Your lawn is a great place for your dog to play, but they probably dig, roll and 'go potty' on your lawn too. Over time, the quality of your lawn can really start to suffer but don't worry, there are things you can do to maintain a healthy lawn and a happy pup.
It's great having dogs - they're great company, they're always happy to see you, and if you can keep them still for long enough to take a photo, they're great for getting a few extra likes on Instagram.
But it can be difficult to keep your lawn in peak condition when you share your home with one or more canine friends. We discussed in a previous blog post the problems that pet urine can cause in the garden - today, we're going to look at how to protect your lawn from a dog who won't stop digging!
Why does my dog keep digging up the lawn?
Your dog may be digging holes for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Animal instinct. Dogs sometimes dig holes in order to hide bones, toys and other items in the ground and keep other animals from taking them. Digging can also be part of a nesting instinct.
- Stress / anxiety. Excessive digging may be a sign that your pooch is frustrated or anxious. Have a think and try to identify the source of their stress (e.g. loud noises, being left alone for long periods).
- Heat. If the weather is too warm for your dog's liking, they may dig to expose cool soil and create a spot that's shaded from the sun.
- Boredom. It may just be that your dog is bored and trying to make their own entertainment!
Here's a hint: look at where your dog is digging, and this may give you some clues as to why they're digging. Does your pet repeatedly dig up the same spot? Do they tend to dig at the perimeter of your garden (as if trying to escape), or do you find holes all over your lawn in seemingly random places?
Tips to stop your dog from digging in the garden
If you're tired of finding holes in your lawn and you want to put an stop to your dog's digging habit, there are several different approaches that you can try. Here are some suggestions:
- Supervise your dog while they're in the garden. If you're used to letting your dog loose in the garden while you do something else, it may be time to start keeping a closer eye on them. Go out in the garden with your pet, and if they start trying to dig, stop them with a firm 'no'.
- Give your dog somewhere else to dig. If you have a sandpit or an empty patch of soil on your property, encourage your dog to dig there instead of ruining your immaculate lawn. Why not bury your dog's toys and let Fido unearth them?
- Take your dog somewhere else to exercise. Running around on the lawn shouldn't be your pet's only source of exercise. Visit your local park or take a daily walk around the block - this will give your lawn a bit of a break and hopefully make your dog less inclined to mess it up!
- Make sure you're spending plenty of time with your dog. If you're not making enough time for your friend, this may be contributing to their compulsion to dig. Don't neglect your dog - be sure to show them lots of affection and spend plenty of time playing with them.
- Distract your dog with chew toys and other playthings. A good chew toy or a raw bone can keep a dog occupied for a surprisingly long time. If you're giving your dog plenty to do in their leisure time, this will give them fewer opportunities to start digging again.
If your dog has left your lawn looking less than its best, Lawn & Weed Expert can help. Get in touch with Lawn & Weed Expert to arrange your FREE lawn care survey.
Request a lawn survey >>
Photo from Pixabay
For animal lovers, pets aren't just an interesting addition to the home, they can often become a cherished part of the family. As such, taking care of your pet can be just as important as looking after a loved one.
If you're a pet owner, it's important to know the dos and don'ts of animal care. From a gardening perspective, this includes knowing which plants are safe for pets and what ones pose a danger.
Luckily, our team and Lawn & Weed Expert are here to help. We've created a handy list to help you differentiate between the cat's meow and the dog's b...uh, the dog's bark, in our blog on plants that are safe for pets.
We all love our pets, but they can make it difficult to keep the garden lawn in tip-top condition. If you have a dog or a cat, you may well be familiar with the unsightly patches of brown grass that sometimes ensue when your pet urinates on the lawn.
What you may not know is why pet urine damages lawns.
Why does this happen?
Your pet's urine contains a lot of nitrogen, and too much nitrogen turns grass brown. The same thing happens if you use too much fertiliser on your lawn - the grass becomes 'burned' or 'scorched' due to the excess nitrogen.
The brown patches created by pet urine are very often surrounded by a so-called 'halo' of healthy-looking dark green grass. This is because there's a weaker concentration of nitrogen (and salts) at the outer perimeter of the urine patch, and somewhat ironically, this lower-level nitrogen boost actually improves the health of the surrounding grass. It's like a roaring fire: you don't want to be slap bang in the middle of it, but sitting nearby can be quite favourable!
Is it just urine from female animals that causes this problem?
It's been observed that female dogs (bitches) leave brown patches more frequently than their male counterparts, but this isn't anything to do with the chemical makeup of female dog urine. The reason why bitches are more likely to damage your lawn is actually very simple: female dogs tend to squat and urinate on a patch of grass, while male dogs - broadly speaking - prefer to cock a leg and use their urine to 'mark' a tree, bollard or similar object.
If you have a male dog that squats on your garden lawn to urinate, this is just as likely to cause damage as if he were female.
How can I keep my pet from damaging my lawn?
When trying to keep your garden free of unsightly brown patches, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Encourage your pets to relieve themselves somewhere other than the lawn, or - failing that - consider using a product like Dog Rocks to make their urine less harmful to your grass. Irrigating your lawn after your dog or cat urinates will also help by watering down the nitrogen and encouraging your grass to grow stronger.
If your lawn is already blighted by brown patches, the problem may not be irreversible. Contact Lawn & Weed Expert today to arrange a FREE lawn survey - we'll visit your property, assess the extent of the damage, and recommend the best course of action.
Book Your FREE Lawn Survey > Other Causes of Brown Patches >
Photo courtesy of Pixabay