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Daily Fix: Remove Grass Burns

Filed Under: Outdoors

remove dog lawn burn spotsJaime Derringer

Uh-oh, your once lush, green lawn has gone to the dogs. Literally.

Usually, as creatures of habit, pets tend to choose the same spots in which to relieve themselves, causing a problem for your lawn: round yellow or brown spots, usually called burns. These spots are caused by high nitrogen content and concentration in pet waste.

The bad news is that lawn burns cannot be fixed overnight without cutting them out and replacing that section of lawn. But the good news is that in just one day, you can make a big difference in repairing your lawn and preventing future burns from occurring.

Replace the Dead Grass

First, purchase some soil and soil activator from a local nursery or home improvement store with a garden center. Soil activator helps aerate the soil and activate the lawn's nutrients, stimulating better growth. (Like hair conditioner, but for your lawn.) You can also order soil activator online if you are looking specifically for a green or organic brand. Also, be sure that you have some grass seed on hand. You will also need a trowel or shovel (for larger areas) and a rake or handheld claw tool.

1. Remove the dead clumps of grass with a trowel or shovel and loosen up the soil with a claw tool. Spread the soil activator into the affected area and rake thoroughly.

2. Apply soil to the bare area and sprinkle some grass seed. Rake the area gently.

3. Flush the area with water, and then water frequently over the next few days. But be careful not to over-water (if the water starts to pool without being absorbed, you're likely over-watering). Also, try to prevent your pet from urinating in that area.

4. While you wait for the new grass to sprout, consider also adding a product like Dog Spot Eliminator or Dog Urine Grass Protector. Both of these products are eco-friendly and will help cut down on the spotting.

Other tips:

- If your dog tends to urinate in one specific area, water that area down to dilute and distribute the urine right after he's done his business.

- Avoid using a nitrogen-based fertilizer.

- Check your pet's diet for any type of food that might be exacerbating the problem and discuss it with your veterinarian.

- Create a small, gravel or wood chip area for your pet and train it to use that space.

  • carole del monte

    This is the reason we have asked our neighbors not to walk their dogs on our property. We don't own a dog, although we enjoy "friendship" with the animals we know. I think that dogs need a large piece of property to exercise on to begin with, otherwise people should let their dogs relieve themselves in their own yards before walking them in public. This spares us the sight & smell (even if people pick up the solids, the odor is "reconstituted" with the next rain).

  • ryan

    give me a break! my dog has every right to waste on your grass just like the birds and other animals, i'm gettin tired of being politically correct

  • sandran712

    I too personally hate when people let their dogs s-h-i-t- in my yard.I do not own a pet.I am allergic to the smell of it..And i am on allergy medicine for it.But, why can't these dog owners let their own dogs s-h-i-t- in their own yards.I had one dog kill a rose bush by p-i-s-s-i-n-g on it.Why should i suffer because of someone else's ignorance.I slipped and fell not. in it but,away from a pile of dog p-o-o-p that landed me to get 3 months of chiropractic care. falling on my back.There is an ordinance.for anyone complaining to call city hall.With a complete address of where the dog resides.They do hand out letters.

  • Bea

    You can also give your dog pills that help neutralize the urine. They are sold at pet supply stores. I use "Grass Saver" Makes a big difference. I also don't feel bad if while walking him he does go on the neighbors grass : )

  • Fred

    Oh I see "Rob". So we are to contend with the disgusting droppings of the neighbors dogs and cats and be content with that because YOU said so? I DON'T THINK SO! It is a health hazard to have the dried urine and bits of feces that I don't completely pick up to be flung in the air for me and my family to breath. I suppose you are one of those IDIOTIC neighbors that feel you own all property around you to walk your pets on and shirk your responisibilty as a pet owner. You are VERY low in those assumptions and a detriment to neighborhood health. Besides, people walk their pets on others lawns because they are too LAZY to pick the crap up themselves!

  • larnakeane

    Another idiotic topic for idiots to bicker back and forth over.

  • florence van steenbergen

    Does cat urine and feces have same effect

  • Bob


  • florence van steenbergen

    postscript - that's my neighbor's cat - I don't have any animals

  • Nate

    Just cut my grass today and noticed two large grass burns and two piles of dog mess on MY lawn., not the neighbors who own the damn dogs. Yes that pisses me off and a maybe I should just piss on their lawns, since they are so inconsiderate!!!!!!

  • DJ

    Have yu talked to those living next door or do they feel the same way about you? It an't gonna change if you don't say something to them instead of complaining on this blog.

  • Bob

    We have a small dog, and we give it bottle water to drink, and we do not have a problem with brown spots. Try It.

  • tom kelly

    Fine. I can train the dogs do I get my boyfriend to stop peeing outside?

  • mary123

    I have 3 dogs and always TRY to get them to go before we leave the yard, sometimes it works and sometimes not. I absolutely understand that my neighbors do not want my pets relieving themselves in their yards. I always pick up after my dogs and try to keep them off others lawns. It's just polite.

  • Fred

    Well then Mary you must be the exception to the rule as our neighbor feeds stray cats and then knows they must be coming to our place to relieve themselves as he calls them over the fence from ouir yard. They do their business where I try to work on a boat that I'm rebuilding and cars that I change oil on etc. Anyone that would dispute our disgust has a problem with accepting other people's rights. I personally thank you for being a conscientious person.

  • Dale

    The advice to avoid a nitrogen based fertilizer is not accurate. Any good lawn fertilizer is nitrogen based... as lawns require nitrogen to remain green. Dog urination problems are a seperate issue from good lawn care practices.

    Custom Lawn Service
    Rockford, IL

  • paul

    I had a problem with my neighbors letting there dog use my yard.Even if I was standing there watching.I herd that if you {mark it yourself} they will cwit using it.It works,I went out late at night and used their spot and they didnt use it again.

  • debra reece simons

    As the owner of 2 large dogs, I find it absurd that anyone thinks it is acceptable to allow their dogs to use their neighbors yard and grassways as a waste area or rest stop .. My own dogs use the wooded area of our yard, not our grass.
    Sorry,It is not responsible to allow my dogs to use anyone's yard as a bathroom break just as it is not responsible for your dog to use my area. I have much of my yard fenced in but have on occasion seen where a neighbor has allowed their dog to use my mailbox area and I was mad enough to bag it up and put it in their mailbox- but I did not.. If they do it again, I will let them know to come pick up their dog's mess .. not so much fun to step in dog poop when retrieving my mail at the bottom of my driveway in my grass...

  • Wild Bearit

    Reminds me of that chinese mystery novel: "Spots on the Garage Door" by Who Flung Poo.
    Go Nbr1 or Nbr2 on Neighbors Lawn or Driveway, but question is, during day or night?
    Best is wait for neighbor to host bridge party, THEN do it... or hire homeless to do it for $20 or $100.
    Maybe 5 homeless at same time... have them chase their dog or cat too. LOL

  • me

    What is a good cure for a person that as required by law carries a bag to retrieve their dogs pooh while out for a walk but doesn't. ? Our neighbor walks away and if confronted claims the pooh you are referring to is not from his pet, and shows you the bag saying if it was his dogs he was ready to pick it up.

  • 21 Comments / 2 Pages

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