Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Brown Patches on the lawn?

When you have dogs, that sense of pride that many people have for their lawns, disappears, particularly when ugly brown patches appear on your well tended lawn.

Nitrogen waste products are the result of protein breakdown through normal bodily processes, therefore the nitrogen in the urine causes the lawn spots. We all know that Nitrogen is a great fertilizer but not in these doses that is why the outside of the brown spot is quite lush. So what's the answer? Many years ago when visiting Crufts at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, we bought a brown bag with a few rocks inside which were guaranteed to stop the acid marks.

(Dog rocks are mineralised rock which when placed in a dog’s water bowl change the Nitrogen levels of a dog’s urine, thus preventing stained grass. The key element is Zeolite, which neutralizes Nitrogen levels without altering the pH level of the water). They didn't work at all, so it was back to the brown patches. We all know that urine is made up of uric acid, the clue is in the word - acid, so whilst some gardens do have a more acid pH level than others, the uric acid content in urine would be higher and hence cause the grass burn.

What's the Solution?

There are a few things to do to reduce or eliminate the problem. One is simply following your hound outside before the 'event' and then pouring a watering can full of clean water over the affected area, thus diluting the acid and lessening the burned brown effect. This will allow the excess nitrogen to leech or dilute through the lawn and reduce the concentration in one area. It is recommended to treat the areas up to 9 hours after urination and to apply at least three times the amount of water to urine to the area. This could be a tedious operation to faithfully follow day in and day out. 

Another more effective way is to add Apple Cider Vinegar to the drinking water. Start with a teaspoonful, increasing by small amounts over days and weeks, building up to a tablespoonful in the water bowl, to allow your hound to become familiar with the taste gradually. This will negate the Nitrogen imbalance and should solve the problem. The Apple Cider Vinegar can be also be added with the food.

Important Note!

If you decide to try this method, do buy a quality Apple Cider vinegar, not the cheap processed versions in the super market. Here in the UK Aspall are the best, and is the one I buy for personal use for salad dressings etc.


Important Note 2!

Remember, that if you try the vinegar method, you are also adding a very healthy product to your dog's diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar has countless health giving properties, including help for arthritis and many others, for humans, AND dogs. I will be writing a separate article on this subject in the next day or so.