Browse   Newsletters   Contests   Ask   Share   Account   About

Is dog poop bad for grass?

Question:

Is dog poop bad for grass?

Hardiness Zone: 8b

Ranjiv from Dublin

Answer:

Ranjiv, Yes. Not only is it smelly and unsightly, but it poses certain health risks. In small amounts, dog (and cat) feces will produce a fertilizer effect on the lawn that results in dark green patches and areas of noticeably taller grass. In large amounts or when left on the lawn for too long, dog feces will release excessive amounts of nitrogen and salts into the soil as it breaks down, which results in brown patches or "burn" marks on the lawn. Over time, areas suffering only mild damage will recover on their own. Dark green patches and areas of tall grass are likely to remain for a few weeks. In areas of sever damage, however, the grass may need to be completely reseeded or patched with fresh sod. Animal waste is full of nitrogen. Think of animal urine like a concentrated liquid fertilizer and feces as a slow release fertilizer. Like any fertilizer, both will burn your lawn when used in excess.

Even more important are the health risks. Dog feces attracts breeding flies, which transmit disease. Feces can also be a vector for transmitting certain diseases between dogs and people (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Roundworms and Hookworms). This is especially true of children, which are much less likely to wash their hands after playing in the yard. The eggs of roundworms, for example, are passed in the feces of dogs and can survive in the soil for many years-regardless of disinfectants or weather extremes. If the eggs are accidentally ingested, the worms can cause serious neurological, pulmonary and vision problems in the body. This is why many municipalities require owners to clean up after their dogs in public parks and why you should never add animal waste to your compost.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

Recent Answers

By Deondreai07/26/2010

No because it helps it soil the grass.

By Dean (Guest Post)07/29/2006

Yes it is.Go to Google and type in dog stools and lawns.

By carla bledsoe (Guest Post)07/28/2006

too much of anything is bad for your grass. you don't say how big your yard is. or your dog! manure can be hot until it breaks down. it can cause brown spots in the grass if there is too much all at once. do you water your lawn? if you do the manure and urine should break down fast enough that it won't do harm.

By Vic (Guest Post)07/28/2006

It will make it greener. The urine is what hurts it. But you can buy neutralizers for the urine. I have 3 dogs so I just designate the back yard as theirs & I don't worry about it. I made the decision that them being able to do what they want, within reason, was more important than grass. We do take care of it but I don't worry about it being perfect. They also have a few holes under the deck where it's cool for them to lie in when they're outside.

Answer This Question

Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.