When I brought home my first dog, I remember a friend telling me, “Well, don’t expect to have grass again.” And I quickly realized what she meant as the dog tore up my grass and wore it down. By the end of the first summer, my yard looked like a barren wasteland devoid of plant life…or specifically, grass. As dog owners, we know that our beloved pets can be hard on our lawns but there are ways to keep your grass green, which we will look at in the following tips.
The Science of Keeping Your Grass Green
Before we get into the tips to keep your grass green, let’s take a moment to look at the science behind green grass. This is important in understanding why your grass is browning and what is causing this. By understanding this, you can help prevent some browning and can quickly correct others.
First, grass is healthy because of the nutrients it receives. One of those important nutrients is nitrogen. However, there is a fine line between perfect nitrogen levels and too much nitrogen. When you see brown spots on your yard, this is actually caused by an overload of nitrogen.
In addition, while the pH in a dog’s urine can affect the pH in the soil, it is actually the nitrogen in the urine that is causing the grass to die and become brown.
Second, there are several causes for a yard to die so make sure you rule out those reasons before you start trying the tips below with your dog. Causes for brown spots on your yard are:
- High Traffic on the Grass
- Poor Irrigation and Drainage
- Excessive Heat and Sun Damage
- Lawn Disease such as Fairy Rings and Fusarium
- Overly Acidic Soil
- Too Much Fertilizer
Third, dogs can cause more damage than simple brown spots, digging, wearing paths in the grass or laying in a favorite spot. By understanding your dog’s yard behavior, you can prevent a lot of wear and tear on your lawn with a few simple tricks.