It was estimated in April 2011 that there are over 8,300,000 dogs in Britain. There are around 25 million homes, and taking into account the 2 million that do not have a private garden, there is 1 dog for every 2.8 gardens. Our customers frequently tell us about problems that they have with their dogs – the most common one being patches being burnt in their grass by female dogs’ urine.
As a general rule, hardwearing seed mixtures used on lawns, offer much more resilience to dogs in general. They usually contain species like red fescue, and dwarf ryegrass, which are very hardwearing, aggressive and persistent. Avoid using fine grass seed mixtures for dogs. They don’t tolerate as much wear and tear, and aren’t so persistent they will come back if damaged. Even considering a wildflower mixture is another option. Dogs don’t tend to cause as much damage with this sort of mixture – they can’t use the long grass easily.
Dog urine patches
This is a common problem for owners with female dogs in particular. The reason being is that their urine contains very high amounts of Nitrogen. Nitrogen is an element that promotes very fast grass growth, and in effect acts like a fertilizer. However, when used in a high enough quantity (as in dog urine), it can cause the grass to grow too quickly, and die back. The best solution is to water urine down as regularly as possible, so as to dilute the Nitrogen. There are also products available that can be provided as a supplement to a dog’s diet that help neutralise the Nitrogen in their urine.
General wear and tear
This can be more of a problem for lawn and dog owners, as it usually affects large areas of a lawn, where dogs can churn up and damage the grass. Obviously this is more of a problem with larger breeds of dog. The solution is often to use a much more hard wearing grass mixture, that will tolerate heavy wear. It may also be worth increasing the sowing rate to provide a much denser, thicker turf.