For many homeowners, their lawn is their pride and joy and to have visiting dogs urinate on it and leave brown patches is disappointing. The dog's urine contains high nitrogen content that "burns" the grass, and a female dog's urine is particularly damaging because it is delivered close to the ground and in a more concentrated area. Use a variety of methods to repel visiting dogs. Many are household products that are harmless to dogs and grass, and a combination of them will help to save your lawn.
Deodorise the Lawn
Dogs, especially male dogs, typically "mark" where other dogs have previously been by urinating on the same spot, so one of the criteria for a urine-free lawn is to remove or mask the existing smells. Deodorise the entire area by sprinkling it with powdered lime. This will not harm your grass but will help to reduce the smells the dog finds so interesting.
Homemade Dog Repellents
Sprinkle small quantities of cayenne pepper or chilli powder in the spots the dog uses regularly. When the dog smells the spot before urinating, the spices will irritate its nose and drive it off. Leave cotton balls soaked in lemon juice, vinegar, ammonia or essential oils such as eucalyptus or citronella in strategic spots. All of these will mask the smell, and the dog will find them unattractive. Spread bitter-smelling, used coffee grounds around the lawn. Reapply all of these measures regularly, particularly after rain has fallen, because this will wash away or dilute the products.
Plants that Repel Dogs
Surround your lawn with plants that repel dogs, such as lemon grass or anything else with a citrus scent. Calendula "Pot Marigold" and Allium sativum "Stinking Rose" flowers with their pungent smell are unpopular with dogs, and Plectranthus caninus "Coleus Canina," which is also known as "dog-be-gone," is commonly planted in gardens to prevent dogs from trampling the flowers.
Various commercial sprays are available that are described as "liquid fences," and which use natural plant oils such as citronella to mask previous odours. The products are safe to use on plants and are harmless to animals. The effect will last for approximately a week, after which you will have to reapply the product.
If you can afford to spend money on protecting your grass, install a water sprinkler system with motion detectors. As soon as the dog arrives on your lawn and begins sniffing around, the sprinklers will switch on and spray it. However, you will need to remember to turn the system off before you walk out onto the lawn, or you will also get sprayed.
Installing a physical fence is the ideal solution for guaranteed results. However, this is a costly exercise and depends on the laws regarding fences in your region, as well as whether you want to enclose your entire property.
If a dog still manages to urinate on your lawn in spite of all your efforts, flush it immediately with quantities of water. This will dilute the nitrogen in the urine and prevent it from burning the grass.
- Doug Green's Beginner Gardening: Lawn Dog Damage
- Life and Lawns: Preventing Dog Urine Spots in Your Lawn and Turf
- Home Remedy Haven: Home Remedies to Deter Dogs
- Fresh Patents: Coffee and its derivatives as an animal repellent composition and its use in a molluscicide bait description/claims
- National Gardening Association: "Plant Repels Cats and Dogs"; C. Nardozzi;
- Liquid Fence: Are Dogs and Cats Tearing Through Your Flower Beds, Trash, and Leaving an Awful Mess?