Dogs - Knowledgebase Question

Painesville, Oh
Question by elyr
July 1, 2010
How do I prevent my grass turning brown after my dogs urineate on it?


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Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010

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If your lawn is otherwise healthy, small spots will repair themselves as the surrounding grasses spread back into the dead areas. Larger spots, however, are likely to fill with weeds before the surrounding grasses can cover the spot. These need a more aggressive approach to repair. Begin by removing a shovel full or two of the soil from the dead patches and replace it with soil from your garden or another source. Sprinkle some grass seed on the soil and keep the area well watered. For more immediate repair, dig out the dead spots and replace them with sod patches you have removed from a less conspicuous area of the lawn or sod that you have purchased.
Gypsum is often recommended to prevent urine damage. But instead of just sprinkling it over the brown spots, it must be mixed into the soil. You can try adding lime to the soil as you dig out the damaged spots. It may have some long term benefits and certainly won't hurt your lawn. Keep hosing the lawn down after the fact - thorough flushing with water is the most effective means of reducing the damage potential of dog urine.

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