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Running dog on green grass and ball (Irish soft coated wheaten terrier)

Lawn Care Tips for Dog Owners

Natural grass is best surface for those with pets because it gives them with a place to play, eat and do their business and provides them with a sanctuary outside of the home. But if you’ve just put in a brand new lawn, it’s possible you’re a little freaked out about your dog damaging it.

At Wild Horse Turf, we grow a variety of hardy turf varieties that are better suited for those with pets, and while it might seem at odds to have both a happy pooch and a fantastic lawn, it’s not impossible.

For starters, if you generally have a well-kept lawn that you regularly mow and often fertilise, then it will usually self-repair quickly. However, you can also undertake a few simple tasks to ensure both your grass and your pet are in great shape!

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Lawn Care Tips for Dog Owners

1. Remind your pet who is boss

If you don’t want your pet to dig up your new lawn or to do its business where there is a lot of human foot traffic, then maybe consider training them not to. While not always the easiest option, it’s probably best way to protect your investment and ensure your lawn’s integrity.

You could search the internet for ways to train dogs in order to alter their behaviour. This way you should be able to use incentives to get your dog to do its business in a certain spot, ideally not on your highly visible front lawn. You could also use this technique to discourage the digging up of your turf.

Tip: Be mindful of potentially harmful chemicals in lawn fertilisers and treatments and opt for pet-friendly ones.

2. Make a special spot for your dog

Your lawn will keep your pet warm in winter and cooler in summer, but also consider designating a certain area that is theirs. Look for a spot that’s shaded, for summer, and set up a bowl of water, some toys and consider keeping it away from hazards such as sharp tools and equipment.

Yes it does sound simple in theory and it might take awhile for your pet to adjust to their new area, but eventually they’ll feel a sense of ownership. This might mean you only have one area of ‘mess’ to clean up and hopefully other parts of your lawn will remain in fabulous health.

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3. Don’t delay cleaning up their business

If your dog does use your lawn as a bathroom then the trick to making sure it doesn’t overly damage it is to clean up the mess immediately. Hosing the affected patches of grass neutralises and dilutes nitrogen levels affecting the grass; reducing the chances of lawn burn or browning.

Male dogs urinate to stamp their territory in many places whereas female dogs tend to squat in one convenient location; bigger dogs will also make a bigger mark than smaller ones. So if you can confine this behaviour to a certain area or somewhere outside your yard, it will definitely be better for the long-term health of your lawn.

Hint: Keep in mind that dead spots don’t necessarily indicate a concentration of dog wee. It could be something else such as a lawn disease or grass grub, so call us on 5496 9790 if you’re not sure. 

4. Keep up with repairs and fix wear and tear

Your lawn will always need maintenance from wear and tear, whether it’s from backyard cricket or your dog digging it up! The good news is that you can easily repair holes by filling them in with a blend of sand and/or compost. Use equal parts and spread in the holes, making sure grass roots are able to make their way through the mix.

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5. A little extra tender loving care

Pets needs more love from time-to-time, and so will the lawn that they live on and around. As such, avoid soil compaction by aerating your lawn with a garden fork. Push it about 8-11cm into the turf and rock it back and forth and then repeat every 25-30cm apart. Also keep your lawn free of leaves and fertilise in spring.

If you’ve got an area to turf that is home to one or some dogs, then get in touch with us and we’ll discuss the best grass variety for your individual situation. Shoot us an email here or call 5496 9790.

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