The lovable dog may be man’s best friend, but when he wreaks havoc on your lawn, you may reconsider whether he is friend or foe. If you are battling with your dog to stay off the lawn or to learn to do his business elsewhere, you already know that dog urine and feces can damage your lawn and ruin your children’s play area.
But that’s not all. Dogs are notorious for digging holes and they often don’t care whether they are up digging your prized petunias or making holes in the lawn. Fortunately, with a little training you can cure you dog of his bad habits and restore your lawn to its usual luster.
One of the main reasons dog’s dig holes is because they have pent up energy that needs to be released. If your dog is not getting enough play and exercise time, he may naturally resort to another enjoyable activity — digging holes. That means you have two options:
- Ensure that your dog gets enough exercise to expend his excess energy. Depending on the type of dog you have, this may mean a long walk to the park, running with your dog, swimming with your dog or a good game of fetch.
- Give your dog a place to dig. Allowing your dog to dig in an area of the yard may satisfy his need to dig. Some dogs enjoy digging more than others and will continue to dig even if you give them plenty of exercise. By designating an area where it is okay to dig, your dog can do what he enjoys without destroying your lawn.
Some also dig holes and lay in the cool earth to cool off in the heat of summer. If you notice your dog digging holes and laying in them, make sure he has a cool place to relax out of the direct sunlight and has plenty of fresh water to drink.
Training your dog to urinate and defecate in a specific area when he is young is ideal, as dogs tend to return to the same location when it is potty time. Many dog owners train their dogs to go to the edge of the property to do their business. If you missed the opportunity to train your dog as a puppy, you can retrain him with a leash and patience.
- Lead your dog to the desired area and wait with him until he does his business. If your dog is accustomed to going out on his own, he may find this a little peculiar and be reluctant to go with you nearby. Be patient and wait until he goes before you let him off the leash.
- If your dog is reluctant to use the new area, wait until you know he needs to go before leading him to the area. Do not play with him or let him run free unless he uses the area.
Taking Care of Accidents
If your dog has developed a habit of using the lawn as his personal potty, expect some accidents as your train him to use a new area. Clean up after him promptly to avoid the resulting damage to the lawn.
If your lawn is already damaged from feces and urine, or lacks grass where you dog has dug holes, it is time to repair those bald spots on the lawn. If you have further questions or need expert advice on how to best care for your lawn or landscaping, contact us today.