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Dealing with doggy disease

Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:10 AM
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Interesting insight as to what it is in dog urine that kills the lawn and how best to deal with it.

Do you ever have customers who ask you about such topics?

Dealing with doggy disease - "Dog injury," as it's officially called, is the patch of dead grass that results when the family canine urinates. Dogs can also be deadly to a young tree or shrub if a male repeatedly urinates on it to mark territory.

Dogs can become a real problem over the winter when a pet, like my hates-the-cold pooch, tends to go on the patch of lawn closest to the door, leaving a fairly large dead patch in spring that takes months to recover.

The good news is dog injury can be prevented. According to a publication from the Lawn Care Institute, damage is caused by nitrogen in the animal's urine, not by salts like most folks believe.

Nitrogen, of course, is the component of fertilizer that makes grass grow tall and green. If a dog spreads it around a few drops at a time, it's actually fertilizing on a small scale. If the dog pees enough to cause puddles, however, it amounts to overfertilizing and burns the turf.

That's why the myth exists that female dogs' urine is more potent ** they usually squat in one place, while males are out sending territorial messages by spreading it around.

One strategy is to choose a lawn grass that resists dog injury. The institute's publication cites tests on various grasses by Colorado veterinarian, Dr. A.W. Allard. Allard concluded fescues and rye grasses were most resistant. Unfortunately, Kentucky bluegrass, the overwhelming choice for Western lawns, was one of the most sensitive, which is why dog injury is a common sight in Wyoming.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:30 AM
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I had an article on The Lawn Blog about a year ago, about this same topic. I had a lot of clients asking what they can do about it. The best solution is to dilute the urine with water. Now I don't know if you are one to follow your K-9 with your garden hose...but it makes for a better turf.
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:58 AM
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There is really nothing that you can do about it.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:18 PM
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As an LCO...I agree there is not much we can do about it. I just think educating our clients is best for this situation.
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