Pets and Your Lawn

Council has received a number of complaints from owners concerning pet poop and would like to remind pet owners that our bylaw states: 

Owners, tenants, occupants and visitors shall be fully responsible for their pet’s behavior, cleanup and repair of damage caused by the pet within the common property … and pets shall be under the control of their owners at all times”

“An owner, tenant, occupant or visitor must ensure that all dogs are leashed or otherwise secured when on the common property or on land that is a common asset.


Council would also like to take this opportunity to remind owners that the bylaw also states that owners are only allowed ONE dog or ONE cat.

The following is an excerpt from the notice which was attached to the May minutes:

Dog urine causes dead patches and lawn burn due to the high levels of nitrogen that is released into the lawn through the urine.  Nitrogen is actually a lawn-growth stimulant that encourages lawn growth when properly applied as a fertilizer. The problem presented with dog urine is that since most dogs urinate in one spot, then will introduce large amounts of liquid nitrogen (urine) to that spot thereby causing a burning reaction and even a dead-spot in the lawn. Often times, the effected spot will show vigorous grass growth around the spot due to the nitrogen levels that stimulate growth around the edges. Since larger dogs usually produce larger amounts of urine, there is a direct correlation between the size of your dog and the changes of developing lawn burn and dead spots in your lawn through urination.

Solving the Problem

  1. Saturate the urinated areas (spots) with water. The best way to help prevent urine burns and dead spots is to saturate the spots with water. This will allow the excess nitrogen to leach or dilute through the lawn and reducing the concentration in one area. It is usually best to treat the areas up to 9 hours after urination and to apply at least three-time the amount of water to urine to the area.
  2. Repair or replace the effected spot.  Dead spots can either be over-seeded or totally replaced with new seed or sod. If you have a warm-season grass, it will generally repair itself over time through the spreading of stilons and rhizomes over the effected area.
  3. Replant with a more urine-resistant grass. The most urine-resistant grasses tend to be Perennial Ryegrasses and Fescues. The worst urine-resistant grasses tend to be Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda. If you have a number of dogs and/or confine them to small areas of the yard, then you may want to consider re-planting with one of the more urine-resistant grasses.
  4. Train your dog to urinate in certain areas. If you have the time and location of your yard to designate as a "urinating spot", you can simply use an alterative ground covering on that spot such as mulch. To help your dog utilize this spot, you can try moving his/her feces and/or poor their urine over the spot until they learn to associate the smell with the spot.