The snow has melted and we are finally starting to see green poking through on our lawns. Spring is finally here! But, if you are a dog owner, you may be seeing brown spots like this and wondering what to do.
You’re not alone. Dog urine is the leading cause of dead spots in lawn due to the high amounts of soluble salts and nitrogen in the urine. Now that the snow has melted and the grass is starting to turn green, the brown spots are even more noticeable. This is especially true if your dog has a favorite spot in the lawn.
If the brown spot is relatively small – the size of your fist for example – leave it alone. The surrounding turf will fill in thee spots. Rinse them with water to remove any salts and let the lawn take care of it.
You may need to do some repair work in your dog’s favorite spot where the brown spots are larger, or clustered together. Spring is the best time to do this. Start by gently raking the dead grass and removing the top layer of the soil. Water the area for a few days to reduce the soluble salts in the area and then overseed the area, making sure to keep it watered over the next several days.
Using a fertilizer with nitrogen will help green up your lawn, particularly brown spots damaged by dog urine. Don’t fertilize where you have seeded until grass is mature.
While you are repairing the area, discourage your dog from using the spot. In fact, it is ideal to train your dog to use an area with gravel or mulch, or an area with longer grass that isn’t mowed. When that is not possible, thoroughly rinsing the area with water after your dog urinates will reduce the amounts of salts and nitrogen that reach the soil, reducing the damage to the lawn.
We are all looking forward to enjoying the outdoors – including our dogs. These few simple steps should help you all enjoy a green, healthy lawn this season!