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.
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