The Secret to a Pristine Lawn for Dog Owners
If your garden is your restful retreat – a place where you look forward to kicking back and relaxing at the end of a stressful day at work – then you might be horrified to find that it’s slowly starting to have the opposite effect.
From energetic zoomies and destructive digging to yellow pee patches and general wear and tear, protecting your garden from a boisterous pup can feel like a losing battle for even the most green-fingered among us.
We would never want to change our beloved pooches, and much of this behaviour is completely natural. But as much as you love your dog, what if you also love your garden? Do you have to choose between the two, or is there another way?
Whilst you might have to accept the slightest decline in standards for your picture-perfect striped lawn, there are steps you can take to keep your backyard looking healthy and well-maintained as a dog owner. Read on for expert advice!
7 Top Tips to Pet-Proof Your Garden
1. Prevent yellow patches from dog urine
If we have one (literal) pet peeve that ruins the overall appearance of a sweeping green lawn… it’s doggy pee patches.
These yellow and brown areas where pet pee has killed your grass can be particularly maddening. After all, opening the back door to let your pooch relieve themselves is the most practical way to let them go to the toilet outside of walks.
The reason that dog urine destroys grass is because it is rich in nitrogen, which is essentially a huge dose of concentrated fertiliser for a tiny patch of lawn. Although this is a completely regular chemical reaction and nothing to be overly concerned about, these burn marks are understandably unsightly and spoil the appearance of your prized lawn and shrubs.
The RHS recommends washing the affected area immediately with water, which will dilute the urine and reduce any damage caused.
Whilst this is certainly good practice, we think we’ve got some even better advice that doesn’t just alleviate the symptoms, but works more effectively to tackle the problem directly at the source.
If you’ve been looking for a 100% natural solution to save your lawn, then we’ve got to tell you about Dog Rocks.
These naturally occurring paramagnetic igneous rocks are native to Australia and have been a miracle cure amongst those in the know for years. However, as soon as we found out about these unassuming yet mighty stones and tried them out for ourselves, we just had to bring them to the masses!
By removing some of the nitrates, ammonia, and other trace elements, Dog Rocks act like a filter to purify your dog’s drinking water, which can in turn prevent urine burn patches on your grass. And, before you panic, rest assured that you aren’t feeding your pup, medicating them, or changing the pH balance of their drinking water or urine.
When you can make the most of Mother Nature’s materials, it makes sense to ditch the harsh lawn treatments. And, if you’re still in any doubt or sceptical that it sounds too good to be true, why not check out the rave reviews? Join millions of happy converts that are reaping the stress-free lawn benefits of Dog Rocks!
2. Clean up after your pooch immediately
It might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how even the most obvious of advice can sometimes get overlooked.
Make sure that when your dog goes for a number two, you pick up after them as quickly as possible. If it’s the depths of winter or a particularly rainy day, it may be tempting to leave it to sort for tomorrow, but try not to fall into bad habits!
You should also keep a close eye on when and where your pooch toilets, otherwise it could be easy to miss and leave in the grass by accident.
Not only is dog poop a health hazard to humans and animals when left in well-trodden areas, but it can attract all sorts of unsavoury and nasty little critters to your garden if not dealt with in a timely manner.
At Dog Rocks, responsible poop clean-up is a topic we’re passionate about, whether at home or out and about. For more information on how to get involved with the big countryside cleanup and #flickapoo campaign this May, then have a read here.
3. Create a designated toilet area
If, in the sunny summer months, you like to picnic and let the kids play outside in the garden, then even with the quickest and most effective of poop disposal, it’s not the nicest thought that you might be sitting in a previous doggy pee or poop patch.
For the ultimate peace of mind (and less lawn disruption!), consider training your pup to go to the toilet in a designated area of the garden. You could install a pee post for male dogs, or alternatively, create a bark or mulched area with pet-safe chippings for more hygienic pooping that keeps your lawn completely free of pet waste.
If you’re a particularly dab hand at DIY and have the space to spare, you could even construct a basic dog run for your pooch to do their business in.
To train the desired behaviour, start the process by leading your dog to the area you’d like them to start going to the toilet. Pair it with a command word whenever they go, and heap them with lots of praise and treats to encourage a repeat performance.
Over time and with enough positive reinforcement, they will come to understand the verbal cue. And, eventually, they will just instinctively get into the habit of using their preferred toileting spot with no encouragement whatsoever. Success!
4. Reseed with a tougher grass variety
Grass is grass, right?
Well, yes, but in reality there’s a little bit more to it. You may be surprised that although all grass basically looks the same, there are many different varieties to choose from. Some types of grass will inherently have properties that make them more suited to doggy ownership than others.
It might be a little bit more of a faff up front, but for a long-term solution to toughen up your lawn and make it more resistant to doggy wear and tear, consider choosing a hardier grass seed.
You’ll want to first check your soil type and the aspect of your garden (depending on which way it faces, it will get different amounts of sunlight). Different types of grass will require specific conditions for optimum growth.
For lush grass that is more resistant to general doggy shenanigans, have a look at varieties like fescue, Bermuda, and perennial ryegrass.
5. Repair signs of wear and tear
Whether your cute canine likes to tread the same worn-out path to her favourite pee spot, or they’re having a mad dash chasing their tail in endless circles, it can all be a bit much for your poor lawn.
If you accept that a small amount of wear and tear here and there is inevitable, then you can incorporate some Spring and Autumn lawn care into your yearly gardening schedule. Repairing worn areas doesn’t have to be difficult, cost the earth, or even take that long with a little prior planning and a touch of TLC.
Aerate any affected areas before spot-repairing these patches with a hardy grass seed. Or, for a quick fix, consider cutting to size some ready-grown sections of turf. You’ll just want to keep any nosey tail-waggers away from this area whilst the new grass gets established.
6. Reserve a hidden corner for digging
There’s nothing worse than taking your eye off your pooch for one minute, then returning to find them in the middle of a full-scale archaeological dig… at the expense of your once-perfect lawn!
In the moment, it may feel like the most instinctive reaction in the world to scald your menace of a pup. However, it’s worth remembering that digging is a completely natural behaviour for dogs and is not something they do to be deliberately ‘naughty’ or ‘destructive’. Unfortunately, they just can’t understand why we’re not proud of them for their excavating prowess.
Rather than training this out of your dog or disciplining them when they dig, the kinder option is to try and reserve a secluded spot for them where they can dig to their heart’s content. If you ringfence a small area that you don’t mind being a bit of an eyesore, it will save the rest of your lawn from harm. Try behind a shed, bush, or tree at the end of your garden for minimum visual impact.
It’s also worth remembering that digging can be a sign of boredom. Read on for our last tip, which should keep unwanted behaviours like digging to a minimum!
7. Give your pup plenty of exercise
There’s nothing wrong with an excitable and slightly daft pooch. In fact, this is a lot of what we love about them!
However, if your dog is causing havoc digging up your newly planted shrubs or getting into all sorts of mischief that they shouldn’t be, then this may be a sign that they aren’t getting their physical and intellectual needs met.
Depending on the breed of your dog, they will have different daily requirements when it comes to exercise. The nation’s favourite family breeds like labradors and golden retrievers, for example, need at least an hour of high-quality exercise every single day. When you honestly review your daily schedule, can you say that your pup getting a good, tiring workout?
Many dogs were also bred as working dogs, so don’t forget that mental stimulation is just as important, too! Just like an unruly child who’s been sat in front of the telly for too long, it’s no wonder your pup is running amock in the garden if they aren’t given plenty of mental challenges.
Try teaching your dog some straightforward commands and tricks with some tasty treats to hand. You may be surprised to find that not only do they enjoy mental training and love to please, but just a few sessions here and there can tire them out far quicker than hours of fetch!
A well-behaved and snoozy pup is going to cause far less bother, so don’t skimp on the quality time you can give to your dog.
A Happy Pup Doesn’t Have to Equal An Unhappy Lawn
If you share your life with a furry four-legged friend, then you likely made your peace with never owning a truly clean home a long time ago.
Yep, you’ve said your goodbyes to your minimal weekly cleaning schedule. From wiping up muddy paw prints to vacuuming neverending malting hairs (seriously, where does it keep coming from?!), being a pet parent is a full-time job.
But what about when it comes to your luscious lawn?
Well, we hope that this article has given you some handy tips and tricks to keep your garden the envy of the street. To take the first step towards reinstating your pristine lawn, don’t forget to check out our easy-to-follow instructions and place your order of Dog Rocks today!