Mandi from Erie
As long as you have a dog running or tethered in your yard, you are probably going to have some burn spots. One thing that I would strongly advise against is giving your dog any of the commercial "additives" to change the pH of the urine. These have been known to cause serious damage to the kidneys. It's the salt in a dog's urine that causes the grass to burn (not its acidic nature), and these so-called additives can seriously affect your dog's health down the road. The best remedy for avoiding burn spots is to flush the area thoroughly with water every time your dog urinates. The water will act to dilute the salts to a safe level for grass.
For repairing dead spots, remove the dead grass and loosen up the spot with a small shovel or spade. Add some compost and fresh soil and reseed the area.
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It is very common for dog's urine to cause this problem. We have found that preventing it from happening is the best remedy. We buy a product called "Green-UM." You can find these on different Dog supply web sites or catalogs. (Do a Google search) There are other similar products.
They are an all natural supplement/vitamin. They are pills you give the dog or crumble on their food. Our dog takes them with no problem. They protect against "Lawn Burn."
To get rid of the existing burned out areas you can crush and sprinkle these pills on the area. I would rinse the spots really well with your garden hose first and loosen up the dead grass with a rake. Once the acid is diffused you could put on grass seed.
We get the same thing; and our dog is perfectly healthy! What we do is keep a bottle of water by the door, and when we take her out to go, immediately water the spot to dilute the urine.
Not an "easy" solution; but the alternatives were not ones we like. There is a remedy you can buy that is supposed to help it; but our vet advised against it, because altering the pH of the urine is asking for bladder/kidney problems.
Another alternative would be to try to train your dog to go only in one spot....would be work to begin with, but would be worth it.
I don't like the brown spots, either; but love the dog; so the trade-off is worth it.
When I go to pick up the doo-doo, I pick the brown grass too. Sometimes it comes up easy if it doesn't leave it. It will leave a dirt area but the grass will grow back. I used to buy the grass seeds, fillers and such and found it was more trouble then removing the brown dead grass. If you remove the dead grass area it will grow back. If you leave it and add seeds, fillers, sprays you're still not removing the problem. It's dead grass. So just pull it up and it will grow back with usual watering.
I tried the tomatoes. Hoax for my bulldog!
This happened to our beautiful yard too! Brown or yellow spots. The problem was our dog had high acid content in his body due to a pancreas problem. Have the dog checked.. we waited too long. The brown spots are gone, so is our pet :(
I saw on Shell Busby home improvment show, that if you take the gypsum from the dry wall piece and rub it to powder and sprinkle over the spots. It neutralizes the urine and the grass will turn green again.
I have a dog and have tried this, but winter came too fast for me to see the results. so rest assured I will be trying this again now that spring is here!
Maybe adding a little tomato juice to their food would do the trick. Used this with much success years ago when we had a lawn.
Have you ever considered synthetic grass? Our company's products (www.newgrass.com) have been used in numerous situations to resolve the issues you are suggesting. Here is a link to some articles http://www.newgrass.com/wordpress/category/pet-concerns/
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