Not all dogs are Grass Assassins, but I am definitely one of them. When I don’t pay attention to where I pee, after a few weeks we end up with a patch of grass the size of a dining room table that is dead.
That doesn’t really bother me, but the boss didn’t seem to be too happy about it. She yelled at me about it, but I didn’t have any idea what she was talking about… I thought I just wasn’t supposed to pee inside the house, right?
There are quite a few options available for how to handle lawn repair from dog damage.
We thought we had the answer when she built a rock pit/sandbox. Of course, this only gives me a place to pee where I won’t kill the grass. If you’re looking for options on how to handle your dog’s poop check here.
It worked ok when the weather was nice, but in the middle of winter it became a problem because the snow and ice made it too slippery.
The task was made a little easier when she figured out that using a weed eater made it much easier to dig up the dead grass, but it still looked like a bit of a pain.
But still, every winter I stopped using it until the spring, which means we had more dead grass to deal with. That meant every spring she had to retrain me to pee on the rocks and had to go through the arduous process of digging up the dead grass and growing new grass.
The Answer – Build A Rock Pit And Use Dog Friendly Ice Melt
- Dig up the sod in an area at least 3’ x 5’.
- Put in a border (this will be useful to help keep the rocks in the pit. You can find these at any Home & Garden store. The height of the border will depend on how you want to handle mowing. Our border is shorter than the grass so that the people who mow the grass don’t have to trim around it.
- You should also dig up another couple inches of dirt inside the border so the pit is deeper. If you don’t do this, the rocks will spill out into the grass when the dog squats close to the edge.
- Add a light spray of grass killer if you want to make sure that no weeds come through.
- Add a layer of rocks. Regular River Rock is the best because of the smooth edges. The size of the rocks depend on the size of your dog. If the rocks are too big, it’s harder for the dogs paws/toes to stay steady when they squat. We originally used rocks the size of a golf ball for me. We recently changed to the large pea size and I like those a lot better because they don’t make my toes have to work so hard to stand on them.
- Train the dog. This is the easy part because we’re sooooo smart.
- It’s usually pretty easy to tell when a dog has to pee. For most people it will be easiest to start first thing in the morning and when you come home from work.
- Take the dog directly to the pit. Hold their collar/leash so that they are in the middle of the pit. Make them stay until they pee. Like everything else… give them a treat.
It may take them a few minutes the first few times. Since it’s a new surface to them, they will likely think they’re NOT supposed to pee there. Follow the regular training guidelines when house training a dog (take her outside to the pit, say “potty” or whatever word you use, make her stay there until she pees, then give praise…)
Other Things To Know
If you live where there is a winter season you may need to watch for ice. During/after a storm the dog will not want to squat/balance on the ice covered rocks and will start peeing in the snow… especially since the grass is covered up now. If you spread pet-friendly de-icer it will keep the area ice free and usable all winter.
Make sure it is pet-friendly!!! Most of the regular stuff can be dangerous for us.
You may need to occasionally spray the pit with kennel spray (link) if it begins to smell. There are a lot of options for urine odor remover.
Make sure you get the kind that does NOT say “stops repeat behavior”. This is a difference between the spray that is designed to clean and stop the animal from peeing there again and the kind you want that just cleans it.
Another option is to give your dog pills that are sold to stop their urine from killing the grass.
We’ve never been a big fan of stuff like that because:
- The boss is lazy and would have to remember to give the pills every day
- We don’t like the idea of giving us medicine just because the boss doesn’t want to deal with something
Another product we tried was the spray that basically paints the dead grass green until it regrows new grass. As you would expect, I found that it’s a funny color of green and it stands out, and it would take the entire season for new grass to replace the dead grass.
I don’t know why, but for some reason when I pee on the concrete patio, it smells. It sometimes happens when there are thunderstorms. Use the kennel spray from above and it goes away.
You can check out the other options for handling lawn repair here.
We’ve shown you quite a few options here. Which ones do you think are the most successful?