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Archive for the ‘Fetch Pet News’ Category

Pollution in stormwater is #1 urban water quality problem

According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, stormwater from runoff is a major threat to the state’s urban waters. It carries a toxic stew of pollution downstream into the state’s lakes, rivers, and marine waters. Dog waste is a large component of what is essentially raw sewage than can affect public health and water quality. When it rains, dog waste gets washed down the storm drain and into the nearest stream or lake. The organisms in dog waste then harm water quality. Children or pets that drink or play in the water can become sick; wildlife and fish are also affected.

A King county study found that nearly all fecal coliform bacteria in Juanita Creek was of animal origin, with dog waste as a major source. Pet waste also adds nitrogen and phosphorus to the water encouraging rapid growth of algae and aquatic weeds.  Watch the State Department of Ecology public service announcement.

What causes those dead urine spots on the grass?

There are lots of “theories” circulating regarding the cause of the unsightly
yellow “burnt” spots on the lawn, and if you have a dog and grass, you’ve probably
experienced them. The problems are more common among households with multiple or
large female dogs, but is not limited to them. The cause of the dead grass is actually from
a concentration of nitrogen found in pet urine. Because dogs are carnivores, they eat a
high level of protein in their diets; the protein gets broken down and excreted as nitrogen.
Female dogs don’t necessarily have a larger concentration of nitrogen in their urine –
they squat when using the bathroom and tend to deposit their urine in one place. With
male dogs it tends to be spread out over more area.

Certain things can cause a greater propensity for your yard to accumulate “burnt” spots”:

  • – Female dogs, as mentioned, tend to deposit urine in a more concentrated area
  • – Large dogs leave behind a greater quantity of urine
  • – Yards that are fertilized regularly
  • – Grasses that are more sensitive to nitrogen, such as bluegrass or Bermuda grass
  • – Lawns stressed from drought or disease
  • – Yards which have been recently sodded or seeded

Some remedies to alleviate the problem include:

  • – Ensuring that your dog drinks lots of water (in effect, diluting the urine)
  • – Keeping the yard watered, especially areas that are used frequently for urination
  • – Using less fertilizer on your yard
  • – Planting more nitrogen resistant species of grass

Doody First also offers an organic spray product which we can apply over “burnt” areas
of your lawn. This spray neutralizes the nitrogen in the pet urine, and together with
regular watering , will allow grass to grow back over a couple of weeks.