How to Repair Pet Damage on Your Lawn

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    Pets are more than animals, they are family, but what do you do when your pet begins destroying the lawn?

    At High Prairie Landscaping, we receive many questions about lawn care and pets, specifically about how to repair damage caused by a pet. Fortunately, as a leader in landscaping here in Kansas City, we have you covered with the inside scoop on how to manage pets on the grass.

    The Issue: Holes in the Yard

    If there is one thing pets love, it is digging holes. Unfortunately, digging holes in your lawn leads to bald patches, brown spots, and plenty of mess. Training your dog not to dig is the best way to prevent these holes from appearing. For some pets, this means extra walks, more outdoor toys, and attention while on the lawn, so your dog learns that digging is not an appropriate outdoor activity.

    Once the damage is done you can regrow your grass by filling in the holes, using a fertilizer mix, and planting new grass seeds. Be sure to water plentifully and keep your dog away from the hole. Many pets love to dig in the same spot, so if a pet goes untrained it could lead to the same problem time and again.

    The Issue: Yellow Lawn

    There is nothing worse than spending your days watering your lawn to perfection only to find that Fido has caused yellow patches to sprout up everywhere. Yellow grass is caused by the salt and nitrogen levels in your pet’s urine. As he or she relieves themselves on the lawn, the urine burns the grass, causing it to yellow.

    Aside from training your pet to piddle on a pee pad, or saving it for walks around the neighborhood, you can help your pet recognize spots on the lawn which are okay to use the washroom on. For example, most homeowners do not want their front lawns damaged, as this is the portion of your grass seen by most of your neighbors.

    Choosing an out of sight area in the back lawn and training your pet to use only the one area will save the rest of your grass in the long run from damage. Alternatively, some pet owners make the effort to turn the sprinkler on immediately following a pet outing. The water washes away the urine, leaving your grass green and fresh.

    If the damage is already done, consider planting some new grass seeds in the area, and raking up any dead grass lying around. As the new green grass grows in, use some of the above suggestions to tame your pooch’s habits.

    The Issue: Running Zones

    Depending on your dog breed, you may notice there are some patches that see more action than others. If your pet has a regular route around the yard it could leave some patches fresh and green while others look a little worse for the wear. Playing with your dog outside and teaching him or her a new route will help deter these signs of heavy lawn traffic.

    If the damage is done, you can add limestone in a fine grind. This works on the area to decrease the acidity of your lawn because limestone is very alkaline. After about 7-days, apply soil and grass seed, then water plentifully. Your well-tread lawn paths should sprout fresh green grass soon enough, and hopefully, by then your dog has learned a new way to run around the yard.

    The Issue: Eating the Plants

    Eating plants is problematic on many levels. Not only is it bad for your lawn and garden when your pet chows down on your favorite plants, it can also be bad for your pet’s health. Monitor which plants your pets are attracted to and try to find ways to deter them from chewing. This may require some additional training, treats for staying away from the plant, and even some form of aversion therapy.

    To keep pets away, we recommend using tin foil. Wrap the foil in and around the plants you are trying to protect while your pet is outside. The look, sound, and feel of the foil should deter your pet from trying to chew. Just be extra careful your pet does not eat the foil, as that is incredibly dangerous to their bowels.

    You can also try spraying the plants with a safe but strong-smelling essential oil mix, which causes your pet to stick up his or her nose and go about their business.

    Contact High Prairie Landscaping for More

    For more information on caring for your lawn after damage caused by a pet, we invite you to contact us. At High Prairie Landscaping, we are always happy to lend a hand showing clients the most optimal ways to maintain your lawn, landscaping and garden.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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