Dog-damaged lawns need creative landscape solutions

Pets are people too, even if they have twice as many legs and (usually) more body hair than the other members of the family. Having our pets outdoors with us can add to our enjoyment and it can help to keep them fit and healthy.
Today, I'll share some ideas about incorporating "pet friendly" features into your landscape. But what about the, uh, less pleasant aspect of what happens when dogs and lawns get together?
Let's clean up some of those issues first!
When it comes to solid waste, it is essential to clean up promptly after your dog with a pooper-scooper and a plastic bag. This is an obvious precaution if your dogs share your yard with your kids, but even if your landscape is a "kid-free zone" you'll want to avoid kneeling or stepping in Fido's droppings and dealing with the flies they attract. We keep a supply of recycled plastic grocery bags on hand that work just as well as the pet store bags.
Dog urine is less easy to deal with. If your dog is urinating on the lawn, it seems that you can either resign yourself to the brown spots or immediately flush the area each time with a garden hose.
There are products available that can be fed to dogs in order to neutralize the acid in his or her urine. However, I'm aware of concerns that altering a dog's pH level can lead to serious health issues, and it's not a treatment I'd recommend.
I'm more comfortable with treating the grass rather than the dog. There are a number of products on the market that are designed to treat brown spots caused by canine urine. Products with names such as Bring Back Green and G-Whiz are available online or at pet and garden stores.
But if you can live without acres of lawn, consider an alternative that could have several advantages. Replace a reasonably-sized area of lawn with gravel and you'll find that most dogs actually prefer to do their business there rather than on grass. In addition to reducing or eliminating the brown spots on your lawn, you'll find that solid waste is much easier to pick up from gravel than from grass.
Your best bet is to use inch gravel to prevent it being tracked into the house, as can happen with finer gravel. Lay down the gravel to a thickness of about 2" to 3" and pack it down firmly with a heavy tamper that you can buy or rent from larger hardware stores. There are a number of ornamental gravels available if you'd prefer something other than plain old grey. Edging the gravel area with bricks or pavers will prevent the gravel from spreading over to your lawn.
When it comes to dog houses, it used to be that your choice was limited to one design that looked like something Snoopy would sleep on. Not any more! Now you can find a variety of structures that are not only comfortable for your pet but are also pleasing to look at. Instead of being something of a visual blight that you were resigned to (rather like the garbage can) many of these new structures blend in pleasantly with your landscape design or create an architectural statement of their own.
I've seen doggy log cabins, dog houses with covered porches, dog chalets and dog bungalows... even mini-mansions for pampered pooches. Cheryl and I bought one (not the mansion, however) and if Snoopy could see it, he'd definitely want to sleep IN it rather than ON it!
You can research some of these new breeds of dog houses online, but if you'd like some shopping information, send me a note at snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and I'll try to help.
With a comfortable, attractive dog house and a clean, mess-free lawn, your landscape can be a source of enjoyment for you and for your dogs.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
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See reply below after the dashed line...
and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
----------------------------------------------------- Poppycock. I have a rocky area, a no green area (native soil) made by the dogs, weed area, and, a lawn area that's all fenced in around the house. The dogs go wherever for their wet business.
For their not so wet business, they prefer the lawn. They prefer St. Augustine vs. Bermda. My children are grown and gone. I just look where I'm going. The lawnmower and intermittent scarab beetles do the rest of the job.
My dogs sleep on the big comfortable front porch. They have a cinder block dog house. Concrete filled fissures. Built on a slab. Insulated all sides and top. The roof is a flat steel roof. They use it for a sentry point on the roof. Built in the side of hill. I'm going there if there's warning of nukes coming.
No thanks, I don't buy from puppy farms.
Believe me, the dogs don't care what the lawn looks like. They do like to roll and lay on the lawn after I mow it. Appearance, nope. Dave
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wrote:

psssssst...Dave. Earl probably ain't listenin'.
Smells kinda spammish to me.
Charlie
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Pets are people too, even if they have twice as many legs and (usually) more body hair than the other members of the family. Having our pets outdoors with us can add to our enjoyment and it can help to keep them fit and healthy.
Today, I'll share some ideas about incorporating "pet friendly" features into your landscape. But what about the, uh, less pleasant aspect of what happens when dogs and lawns get together?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
What if a neighbor took a crap on your lawn every day? What would you do? Incorporate slob-friendly features into your landscape? No. Of course not. You'd call the police. Why would you want to make concessions for an animal that serves no purpose other than to make a mess and piss off your neighbors?
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On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 00:39:49 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Ahhhhhh.........one of your (our) favorite topics. Should be a movie in here somewhere.
"Joe vs. The Dog."
Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Maybe youse would like to attend the pre-release screening in exotic Albany NY. :-)
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On Thu, 19 Jul 2007 01:03:43 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Depends.
Can I put my truck seat on your porch and prop my feet on my cooler for the show? If I gotta behave and act all citified.... fuggedaboudit.
Charlie
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

don't worry joe, our closest neighbor is at least a mile away, directly across the road is nothing but woods........
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You named your dog after a company that makes ugly watches? :-)
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

he is my husband's dog. had him before we ever got together (my dog was mattie, but she died a few months ago).
he was given the name timex because when he was a puppy, they watched him get hit by a truck, and roll up and down the truck tires. you know the old phrase about the watches, right?
*took a lick'n and kept on tickin'*
so that's how he got the name
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I love timex as their old commercial was wonderful if you wanted or hoped to watch less TV in your life . Seems all it was many images that changed rapidly. Boring images of watches but it changed. The faster the change the more attraction. This is called a technical event. Junk shows with no content have many. Note a commercial vs. a concert. Perhaps a Doctor Who would have far less sort of like real life. Pretend you are walking in the woods and a branch snaps us hunters look we can't help it. You can count the seconds between scene change and it is an eye opener as various shows differ a lot. If I were king I rate shows by technical events.
Bill now back to the muppets!
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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