Can a lush lawn and dog co-exist?

  • By Angie Hicks
  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:31pm
  • Life

If you want a dog and a lush lawn, you’re not out of luck.

Dog urine can damage grass, but highly rated experts in lawn care, landscaping and dog training tell our team that there are several ways your pet and your property can coexist:

Change your habits: The cheapest and easiest way to reduce doggie damage is to hose down and dilute urine right after the dog relieves itself. Then, commit to re-seeding damaged areas of grass as needed.

Change your yard: A top dog trainer says his grass is better able to withstand the effects of multiple dogs when he maintains a 4-inch height and applies organic fertilizer.

Another option, if your dog uses a specific area of the yard, is to cover the grass with pea gravel or artificial turf.

Artificial grass costs about $1.50 to $5 a square foot. Pick a higher density option with a nonporous backing. Choose polypropylene or polyethylene over nylon because poly products won’t absorb moisture and will drain better. Using crushed granite as a base material under the turf will also help with drainage. For infill, use silica sand or another product that won’t absorb odor.

Change your dog: Many dogs can be trained to urinate and defecate in a designated spot. It may take four to six weeks of effort. Flag off a sizeable portion of lawn to create a large target zone to start. Leash your pet and take it to that area every time it has to go. Always clean up after the dog. Over time, as the pet responds, gradually shrink the flagged-off area to your preferred size. Eventually, you won’t need the flags; the dog will know the boundaries.

Get the scoop before hiring: If solid waste in the yard is your concern, consider outsourcing cleanup duty. Besides garnering positive online recommendations, a reliable “pooper scooper” business should be able to provide you with a cost estimate, often based on the size of your yard, the size of your dog(s) and frequency of service.

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for consumer reviews on home repair and health care.

©2014, www.angieslist.com

More in Life

Julia Turner and her father, Ed, toast as they try out a flight of beer and cider at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. when it opened last year. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Now is the perfect time to design the garden of your dreams

Find inspiration in gardening magazines, on the internet, in your neighborhood and at nurseries.

‘Star Wars’ video game faces charges that it promotes gambling

By Gene Park / The Washington Post Imagine buying a new chess… Continue reading

Around Thanksgiving, gardeners give thanks for the garden

What are they most thankful for? The pleasure they receive from spending time in their yards.

Great Plant Pick: Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’

What: An exceptional selection of the eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis “Degroot’s Spire”… Continue reading

Teen idol David Cassidy remains in Florida hospital

The former pop star is dealing with multiple organ failure.

The pros’ snow: Lake Tahoe a big draw for skiers of all stripes

North Lake Tahoe is home to one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in North America.

How birds stay alive in winter and what you can do to help

When the weather turns chilly, columnist Sharon Wootton’s thoughts turn to birds coping with cold.

Treating tween twins as individuals

Adapted from a recent online discussion. Hi Carolyn: We have 11-year-old identical… Continue reading

Most Read