Is Dog Poop Beneficial or Harmful to My Grass?

Both cow manure and dog excrement should be beneficial to your lawn and garden, right? Wrong. This may not be entirely true. Why do “dog droppings injure the grass” then? Let’s find out with

Why dog poop kills grass

Dog poo damages grass because it is high in nitrogen. Dogs need a high-protein diet, and the breakdown of all that protein produces nitrogen as a byproduct. The nitrogen is subsequently excreted by the dog (dog urine has high nitrogen content, too).

What is nitrogen’s relationship to your lawn? To grow lush and strong, grass need some nitrogen in the soil, but there may be too much of a good thing. Too much nitrogen concentrated in a short region causes grass to burn. The same phenomenon occurs when too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer is used.

When dog droppings lie in the soil long enough to decompose, they release a lot of nitrogen. That is why the grass fades and browns.nbsp;

What dog poop damage looks like

Damage caused by dog poop:

  1. Dark green grass that is tall: The feces has just recently started to degrade.
  2. Spots of yellow: As the feces continues to degrade, excess nitrogen is starting to damage your lawn.
  3. Spots of brown: The grass has died. If you wish to see green grass again in certain areas, you will need to reseed them.nbsp;

Don’t be deceived if dog feces first causes your grass to grow quicker. Dog poop damage begins with tall, dark green patches of grass that look to be healthier than the rest of your lawn.nbsp;

That’s because dog poop breaks down slowly, taking up to a year to decompose completely. It first releases just a little amount of nitrogen, which fertilizes the grass. If the dung is allowed to degrade completely, the grass will become yellow and ultimately brown from nitrogen burn.nbsp;

Take note of the dark green specks! Without reseeding, it will be too late to rescue the grass once they turn brown.nbsp;

Why is pet waste different from cow manure?

Consider a dog’s diet against a cow’s diet. Dogs consume a lot of meat, but cows consume just plant materials. Remember that the protein in meat is what causes dog excrement to be too nitrogen-rich for your grass. Cow dung does not have the same issue since cows do not consume meat. Cow dung, in fact, makes an excellent fertilizer since it is low in nitrogen and abundant in nutrients.

It should be noted that cow dung might still include dangerous bacteria such as E. E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Mycobacterium paratuberculosis, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia.

How dog poop causes lawn fungus

In addition to causing nitrogen burn, dog excrement may damage your grass indirectly by promoting the growth of lawn fungus. Many fungal lawn diseases, if allowed to proliferate, may damage your grass.nbsp;

Fungi enjoy wetness, and an abundance of nitrogen in the soil promotes their growth and spread. Dog excrement creates a damp, nitrogen-rich environment in which lawn-damaging fungus flourish.

Health hazards of leaving dog poop in your yard

The implications of leaving dog feces in your yard might be much more serious than a few brown marks on your lawn. Dog excrement has the potential to cause significant sickness in your family and the surrounding community.nbsp;

Dog poop carries diseases and parasites

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs’ excrement may carry the following illnesses and parasites:

  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Tapeworm
  • Echinococcosis
  • Giardia
  • Hookworm
  • Roundworm
  • Salmonella

Many of these illnesses are only transmitted to humans if they consume infectious excrement (yuck). It may sound revolting and difficult to eat your dog’s excrement, but consider the following scenario:

Your yard is littered with dog crap. Microscopic bacteria and parasites make their way into your soil. You walk outdoors to play with your dog or tend to your garden, and you come into contact with the earth. Later, you take a snack without first washing your hands. And presto, the bacterium or parasite has infiltrated your body.nbsp;

To limit the transmission of illness, remove dog excrement from your grass promptly and then wash your hands. If you leave the excrement out, it may easily infect other members of your family (particularly small children who play outside and aren’t very good at washing their hands).nbsp;

Dog poop pollutes water sources

Do you like the smell of dog feces in your lakes, rivers, or even your drinking water? Your neighbors don’t either. But, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if you leave it on your grass, it might wind up there.

Remember that dog excrement may take up to a year to decompose in the soil. That implies it will spend the whole year on top of the earth. Rain or water from watering your grass flushes pieces of excrement into storm drains at that period. It then contaminates natural sources of water.nbsp

How to prevent lawn damage from dog waste

Even though it’s a little disgusting, preventing lawn damage from dog poop is incredibly simple. All you have to do is pick up your dog’s poop as soon as possible.nbsp;

Here are some pointers on how to deal with dog poop in your lawn:

  • Immediately scoop dog poop. after your dog has used the restroom (even in your own backyard). If not immediately, at least once a week, clean up all dog poop in your yard.
  • Never mow the lawn if there is dog poop on it. Any bacteria or parasites in the poop will be spread throughout your yard by your lawn mower.nbsp;
  • As soon as possible, pick up all of the dog poop from the winter. We understand that picking up dog poop in freezing temperatures is difficult. However, if you let your lawn accumulate poop over the winter, be prepared for a major spring cleaning as soon as the snow melts.
  • Wash your hands frequently. immediately after cleaning up dog poop, even if you did not directly touch the poop (which hopefully you did not).nbsp;

Because you can’t just pick up dog pee, preventing lawn damage from it is a little more difficult. The following are the methods we discuss in detail in our guide How to Prevent Dog Pee Damage on Your Grass:

  • Water the areas where your dog has peed. as quickly as possible If you can’t do it right away, do it within a few hours.nbsp;
  • Teach your dog to pee in a specific location. Instead of being on the grass, cover it with mulch or gravel.nbsp;
  • Increase the mowing height. of your lawn mower and allow your grass to grow a little taller than usual to hide any damage and make your grass more hardy.nbsp;
  • Fill your dog’s water with “Dog Rocks.” Dog Rocks are a product that is intended to reduce the nitrogen content of your dog’s waste. They are made with natural ingredients and are completely safe for your dog.nbsp;
  • Replace your dog’s food with fresh dog food. to reduce nitrogen in waste under the supervision of a veterinarian
  • Change the grass on your lawn to a more urine-resistant variety. Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass are some examples.

FAQ about dog poop in the lawn

1. What breaks down dog poop in the yard?

First and foremost, we must state that manually picking up (or “scooping”) poop from your yard is the best method. There are no negative side effects and you get immediate results.nbsp;

However, if you are unable or unwilling to pick up your dog’s poop for whatever reason, you can dissolve it with:
— Vinegar
— Lime used in agriculture
— Dissolving products based on enzymes, such as Dooley the Dog

Warning: Each of these methods has drawbacks. Vinegar will only partially dissolve the poop and may cause damage to your lawn. Agricultural lime is hazardous to your dog’s health and can harm the grass. Doggie Dooley is effective, but it requires an entire system to be installed, similar to a septic system.nbsp;

2. How do I remove dog poop from my lawn without scooping?

Do you dislike the thought of scooping poop by hand? Try out an automatic scooper, also known as a “poop vacuum,” which works similarly to a handheld vacuum but suctions up poop. Then you simply detach and discard the disposable collection bag.nbsp;

NEVER EVER attempt to remove dog poop with water. You may save your lawn by diluting the nitrogen, but you will spread harmful bacteria throughout your yard, and the polluted water will most likely end up in a storm drain.nbsp;

3. Is it necessary for you to pick up dog poop in a field, forest, or other natural setting?

Yes, even if you’re walking through a forest, field, or other natural setting with no one around, you should always pick up your dog’s poop.nbsp;

Even poop in the middle of the woods can pollute a water source. Furthermore, the bacteria and parasites may infect wildlife. Do you want to be the cause of a disease outbreak among the local squirrels?

Scoop your poop

Dog feces are undoubtedly unpleasant. You don’t want to get into contact with it since it stinks and is sticky. But you’ll have to swallow your pride and start scooping if you want a healthy grass!

Do your yard have dead spots caused by improper pooper scooper use or dog urine? Here’s a solution to the issue.

The next time you’re debating skipping the scoop, think of all the health problems that leaving your dog’s waste outside could bring about. Then cover your nose and behave like a responsible dog owner.

Related Articles

Back to top button