Dog urine and grass...

greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)May 1, 2007

Just to continue a discussion we were having on another thread; does dog urine hold a more negative impact on the turf when the grass is stressed as opposed to healthy? Or does it not matter?

One poster commented that she'd experienced dead areas due to dog urine only when the turf was dormant, but while it's actively growing it actually flourished in those areas.

I'm a new dog owner and I noticed dead areas that appeared after I'd mowed my bentgrass from 3-4" all the way down to 1/2". The turf was significantly stressed but has since recovered. I also haven't noticed any increase in dead areas.

Also, does the gender of the dog make a difference? I realize male dogs usually go on trees and fire hydrants (etc..) where females do the squat. Is that the only thing that makes a difference or does one gender have a significantly more negative impact on the turf than another for any other reason?

All this about dog pee! Gee whiz! (pun intended)

Greenjeans

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kelleynelson

I've read that females tend to cause more turf problems. The composition of the urine is somehow more destructive and because they squat, the urine is concentrated tightly in one spot.

I think it was my post you were referring to. I have a TTTF lawn with some remaining other fine fescues that preceded my TTTF overseeding.

My 7 month old TTTF doesn't seem to be harmed by the pee now and instead just gets a big flush of top growth. Right now nothing at all is growing in the burned spots, which are about 2-3 inches in diameter.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:51AM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

2-3"? That must be nice. What kind of dog? I've got a Husky that (bless her soul) goes in one area of the lawn. I've got some spots that must have received double duty because they're almost 10" across.

Greenjeans

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 11:02AM
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kelleynelson

Wow, that's a crater! We have an 8 month old Airedale puppy.

The bit of aggrivation is well worth the therapy I derive from coming home from work at night and playing frisbee with her and running around until we're both out of breath :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 11:26AM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

I wonder if the type of grass makes a difference. I have a KBG, Rye, Fescue lawn. We sometimes "dog sit" for my son's two female terriers (about 12 lbs each). I haven't seen any brown spots or flushes of growth. Of course, they don't pee large quantities.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:05PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Females usually cause the problem because they empty their bladders all in one squat. Males sprinkle every vertical surface they can find.

I think stressed grass would take it harder. You might just scatter a few handfuls of table sugar in your dog's favorite spot. The sugar will stimulate reproduction of the microbes that do the work on the urine.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:17PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I have a med terrier, and the only times my lawn is affected is winter, and summer. If we have a lot of snow, the dog only goes in one area that he clears. In the summer, if it's dry, I get a bunch of little brown spots. Usually water will fix it. I'm trying the sugar method with mixed results.
In the spring,with lots of rain, the grass seems to grow faster in a bunch of small circles around the yard. I assume this is where he went, and the grass does better in those spots.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:36PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

whip1; if you want to clear up those circles, you need to provide more fertilizer in general. The dog is doing more fertilizing than you are.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:42PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"The dog is doing more fertilizing than you are."

I'll second that.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 5:48PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I already applied CGM, and I will do another feeding in the middle of May. I didnt believe in high "N" fertiliser in the fall, and I have since learned the error of my ways. That might be the problem.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 6:54PM
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