Does having pets mean settling for a lousy lawn?

24th Aug 2017

We all love our pets, and in the summer we love to enjoy our garden. But many owners have written off their lawns as a result of having pets in the family. But should that need to be the case?

Ian Stephens, one of Lawn Masters lawn care professionals in Nottingham with over 30 years of turf management experience, offers this advice.

“Besides wear and tear caused by dogs running and playing, dog urine is largely responsible for the lawn damage I see at homes with pets. It is worse when they have a bitch as they squat, depositing their urine in one spot underneath them. Their urine contains highly concentrated Nitrogen which causes grass to scorch and die.

Products are available to help combat scorching, although their effectiveness varies.

If your dog urinates on the lawn, the best thing you can do to minimise damage is to empty a bucket of water in the area as quickly as possible to dilute the urine and wash it through the soil. Be particularly vigilant during hot weather when the grass is dry and already under stress.

Lawn Dog Urine

To aid repair, keep a tub of mixed compost and seed somewhere dry, ready to lightly spread over any scorched areas and keep the area moist. If possible, train your dog to go to the toilet in a particular area in the garden to prevent damage across the entire lawn. To deter cats or foxes from digging up your lawn or using it as a toilet, try spraying a mix of essential oils through a perfume atomiser as they really don’t like the smell.

A strong, healthy lawn is better able to withstand pet damage. When mowing, don’t cut your grass too short; 2.5–4 centimetres is ideal for a domestic lawn. Regular, professionally-applied lawn care treatments help keep it in good condition all year round.”

Perfect for outside play! If you have tortoises and other small animals, why not leave an area of your lawn unmown for them to play on?

Take the outdoors in? Fill a tray with compost, firm it down, sprinkle grass seed over it and then sprinkle compost over the seed and keep it well-watered. This can be taken indoors so small animals have real grass to eat, sleep and play on.

Be careful with pets and DIY products! Read the warnings on the packaging of shop-bought DIY weed and feed products. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals should be kept off treated grass for at least two weeks.

Let’s talk! Lawn Master ensures lawns are in the best condition for the whole family. All of our treatments are safe for pets. Find your local lawn care expert and arrange your free lawn analysis.

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Ian is a qualified turf professional with over 30 years of experience. Before joining Lawn Master, Ian worked as Head Greenkeeper at numerous golf courses. Ian is based in Retford and offers lawn care services in Nottingham and Lincoln.

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