Bend, Oregon-Dog Town USA
Crowned, "Dog Town USA," in 2012 by a variety of publications, Bend does not disappoint the dog lover, and I'm sure you agree, if you've spent anytime here at all, that it is worthy of the title. Of course, man and best friend frequent Drake Park and the river trail, but dogs of every kind also accompany their owners when they meet a friend (two legged in nature) for a beer and a bite, or even on the nose of a paddle board. In short, dogs are as ubiquitous in our town as the Subaru's in which they ride.
However, like all friends, not every quality of our four legged companions, is appreciated. Like the friend who crosses the line while joking, or the friend who never runs out of stories that are just a little better than yours, or he/she who posts every meal they've enjoyed on a given day to their favorite social media outlet (#annoying), so too our dogs sometimes do things we suffer through because they're worth it, a la a snoring partner.
Given our love of dogs and of the outdoors, perhaps the most inconvenient reality is the damage dogs do to our lawns. But, to the down trodden I say, "a new season is upon us." I speak of Spring, of course. And, even though Spring's showers still have the look of Winter on them and are of the flake variety, now could be a good time to start training that new pup or even that old dog a new trick.
While a leopard may not be able to change its spots, your lawn may just with handful of products and practices that could finally get rid of those brown spots with the bright green perimeters.
Dog urine, unlike the fungi that are commonly mistaken to be the result of dog pee, leaves a brownish-yellow patch in your lawn surrounded by bright green. The problem is the nitrogen rich waste contained in the urine. While some nitrogen is an essential part of healthy turf and helpful in making it green, too much causes it to burn the grass. Understanding this helps to identify some practices that can help reduce damage.
1. The higher the concentration of nitrogen in your dog's urine the greater the damage it will cause in your lawn. To combat this, encourage your dog to drink more water to dilute it. To this end you might add salt to your dogs diet (check with your veterinarian) or use another product.
2. Change your dog's diet. Greater protein will increase the amount of nitrogen in the urine and thus increase the burn in your lawn. A less protein rich diet may be the ticket (again check with your veterinarian).
3. Water after your dog pees. If your dog is on a consistent schedule, consider changing the time on your irrigation clock to a time just after the dog pees, or use a hose to water the specific area to dilute the urine.
4. Train your dog to pee somewhere other than the well-manicured lawn. Some products exist to facilitate this, which I will discuss now.
Drs. Foster and Smith LAWN GUARD TM
is a dietary supplement that will aid in minimizing
the damage your dog's urine has to your lawn.
To help train your dog to pee somewhere other
than your lawn, consider using a product like the the
Pheromone treated Pee Post™.