Dog Poop Is Not Fertilizer

Not only is dog poop smelly and unsightly, but it’s also an environmental hazard. Whether you have a dog or not, this article is important to you because even your neighbors can come by and poop on your yard and cause that brown spot on your grass that we hate to see.

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Like dog poop, dog urine is equally very bad for your grass and health. Is dog poop bad for your grass? Yes and in this article, we will walk you through the reasons why dog poop is hazardous for your grass.

dog in back yard
First of all, in 1991 the EPA labeled dog poop as an environmental pollutant, classifying it in the same category as pesticides. So, dog poop is not only harmful to your grass but also to you and your family, considering that it can infect waterways, bring about algae blooms that have the poison to infect grass and aquatic life.

Nitrogen in Dog Poop
Dog poop and dog urine both contain concentrated levels of nitrogen which is the reason for those yellow, dark green or burned spots you hate to see on your grass. Dog urine has the most concentration. Also, it can cause noticeably taller grass on affected spots. When deposited in large amounts and for too long, dog poop releases nitrogen and salts in excessive amounts into the soil, damaging grass even more. Over time, mildly damage areas will recover naturally, and spots with taller grass or dark green patches will likely take a few weeks to recover. Severely damaged areas would require that you get a specialist to reseed them or patch using fresh sod. Like overly concentrated fertilizer, dog waste is full of nitrogen, and the amounts vary from dog to dog and breed.

The Health Risks
Experts say one gram of dog poop contains as many as 23 million fecal bacteria. That is crazy, right? Breeding flies that transmit diseases love dog feces, and the poop itself can also be a path to dog-to-human diseases such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Hookworms, and Roundworms). Such a risk is high to children because they may likely not wash their hands each time they play on the grass while touching parasites like coronavirus or eggs of roundworms from dog poop. Dog poop can survive in the soil for years. If ingested, the worms in the eggs can lead to severe pulmonary, neurological and vision problems in the victim. No wonder, many municipalities have serious public park clean up rules that dog owners must follow. Also, make sure that animal waste never gets into your compost.

Solutions To The Problem
Cleaning up dog waste as quickly as possible will prevent the poop from causing that yellowing or burned grass. Regarding urine, make sure that your dog drinks a lot of water to dilute the urine and decrease the high nitrogen concentration.

Secondly, watering your lawn frequently is an effective method of diluting the urine, especially if your dog just urinated.

dog in grass

Also, using an organic, simple and cheap treatment to eliminate parasites from your entire yard is a great idea. Get diatomaceous earth and spread everywhere in your yard though you can still target only the area where the dog poops.

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Categories: lawn basics