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Summer Lawn Care for Dog Lovers

by Jeffrey Anderson, All About Lawns Columnist

It's the time of year when you can stroll through your neighborhood and tell which homes belong to dog owners. They're easy to pick out, but not because of the dogs in the yards, or the barking you might hear. You can tell by the spots scattered through the front and back yards.

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Summer Lawn Care: How to Deal with Dog Spots

Summer lawn care for dog owners is an ongoing yearly battle that the dogs usually win. Dog urine discolors grass from the high concentration of nitrogen. It is no different than using too much of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer on your lawn in various spots. The nitrogen burns the grass where the urine is deposited, and bright green appears around the edges where the nitrogen isn't as concentrated and actually works as fertilizer. An article reprinted by Texas A & M University discusses the specifics of the chemicals involved and possible solutions.

The best solution is to create a specific area of your yard as a pet-friendly rest stop. Use pea gravel or another material on the ground that is not affected by nitrogen, and place objects in the area that make it interesting for your dog to visit. Walk your dog to that area for a few weeks when you go outside.

Colorado State University offers some suggestions for the yard spots you already have:

  • Remove brown spots and replace with new seed or sod
  • Use a fertilizer with nitrogen around the bright green areas to make your lawn greener
  • If you see your dog urinating, use a water hose right away to dilute the urine

A dog can be a best friend, and with these summer lawn care tips, you may not have to sacrifice your lawn for your best friend's companionship.

About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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