Lawn Care

One tired story: dogs and lawns

By October 9, 2017 No Comments

It’s October and people are trying to take advantage of decent temperatures to fix their lawns. And today my orders were to address a patchy lawn. Sure.

As soon as we finished mowing, I first confirmed that I had the correct unit number and then I went in to see it. I identified two classic problems. Shade and dog damage. And both problems are difficult to correct unless drastic action is taken. For example, you could prune the trees to allow for more light penetration; and you could give away your dog (unlikely, I know).



problems: dog damage, compaction and shade.


Strata orders

The owner of this unit sits on strata council and she insisted that we address her lawn. So I did it today with what I was given. Two bags of landscape soil, good quality fast-germinating grass seed and a hard rake.



Basic materials: landscape soil, fast-germinating seed mix and a hard rake.


Of course, on this particular site there are many “damaged” units because the previous maintenance company took some liberties. Now it’s a big project to bring the landscape back up to a decent standard.

Basic fix

Why do dogs burn lawns? Because their urine contains nitrogen and the concentration is too much for the lawn to handle. It’s just like fertilizer burn after heavy applications or say, after and accidental spill. The lawn can’t handle this much nitrogen at one time and burns.

Step 1

You can scarify the lawn with a hard rake to help the seed take hold.

Step 2

Dump out both bags of landscape soil.




Step 3

Use a hard rake to spread out the soil.




Step 4

Over seed with good quality grass seed. We used a fast-germinating seed mix. Clients like to see quick results and this seed mix delivers. We’ve tested it in summer with good results.



Basic fix.


Step 5

It rained briefly which should help with germination; assuming day time temperatures stay the same.


Is this fix a permanent solution? Not likely. The dog will keep on urinating here. I expect to see more burns in the future. Unless, of course, the owners start to hose off the lawn after their dog does his business.

Some of my previously published blogs show clients switching to fake turf and river rock. Those solutions will not work here. Having a beautiful lawn is always a struggle when a dog uses it. Let’s just accept it.


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