Dog lovers everywhere have long been faced with a tough choice: a perfect lawn or a happy pooch.
It’s fair to say that even the best-behaved dog is bad news for your garden. And the first victim is that healthy green lawn. When they’re not digging holes, they’re eating the grass. When the weather’s dry, they are wearing away patches. When the rain starts to fall, they’re playing in the mud and then spreading it all over the house. And then there’s what they leave behind. Dog poo is the least of your worries. At least you can see the offending waste and safely bag and bin it. But dog pee is a far more serious problem. All too often, the first you know of it is a burnt yellow patch appearing on your lush green lawn. And by that time, it’s too late.
The problem with dog urine goes deeper than just unattractive discolouration.
It’s actually a pretty potent acid and can do some serious damage to your grass. If concentrated patches are allowed to sink in to your topsoil, it can leave a toxic patch that, at best, needs under-tilling and, at worst, needs replacing with fresh soil. If you catch the area in good time, you can simply hose down the grass and the microbes in the soil will do the rest. In small doses, the salts contained within the urine are actually a mild fertilizer.
If you are experiencing pet pee problems, your local vet can recommend special sprays that can attract your dog to a specific part of your lawn. This can help encourage them to do their business in a particular, manageable part of the garden, ensuring you don’t get any nasty surprises. If your dog is young, you may also experience good results with training. You can limit their access to the lawn when it’s wet and muddy, but you may be faced with one sad-looking hound.
Pet-proof grass solutions
When it comes to choosing a variety of grass, you may be disappointed to hear that there are no 100% pet-proof options available. Although hardier types like perennial ryegrass will put up a decent fight, you are guaranteed to spend your weekends battling with mud and other less pleasant substances. And then there’s the annual re-sewing and cultivation of fresh grass to replace what your dog has dug up or destroyed. Fortunately, a more cost-effective, hassle-free alternative is available.
An artificial lawn is the best solution to creating a dog-friendly garden. It’s hardwearing, easy to clean and makes muddy paw prints a thing of the past. What’s more, it cuts out all the time and hassle of maintaining a natural lawn and looks just like the real thing.
The best news is that artificial grass is unaffected by dog urine. That means no more burnt patches, and with an internal draining system, it’s easy to hose down and dries very quickly. That means no waterlogged turf in the winter or dusty dry patches in the summer. If you have particularly large or energetic dogs, don’t worry, your artificial lawn is installed securely using sand infill and heavy-duty fixings are also available. And although dogs have very rarely been known to eat artificial grass, it will give you peace of mind to know that it’s made of non-toxic ingredients.
So if you’re sick and tired of the mess that comes with a real lawn, an artificial lawn is the choice for you. And your four legged friend.