| home & garden | Simple ways to prevent dog-related lawn damage W Metro Creative hile much of the region continues to deal with winter weather, spring is here and homeowners are thinking about their yards and landscapes. Outdoor spaces are quickly becom- ing one of the most coveted home features. Dogs love spending time outdoors. Dog owners with yards know that dogs benefit greatly from some exercise in the backyard. While that time might be great for dogs, it can take its toll on lawns. Dog urine and feces can adversely affect the look and health of a lush green lawn. Nitrogen is essential to healthy soil, but only at certain levels. When those levels are exceeded, the result can be lawn damage. According to The Spruce Pets, an advisory site that offers practical tips and training advices to pet owners, this is what happens when 82 April - May 2019 Thomasville Scene pets frequently urinate on grass. Urine is naturally high in nitrogen, so when pets urinate on lawns, the grass might turn yellow or brown due to the excess nitrogen content. Nitrogen also is present in lawn fertilizers, further exacerbating the problem for pet owners who fertilize their lawns. In addition to urine damage, dogs can trample frosted grass, contributing to problems that may not become evident until spring, and get into areas like gardens where they wreak additional havoc. Pet owners who want to let their dogs run free in the yard but don’t want damaged grass may be tempted to put their pooches in diapers or confine them to crates when letting them outside. But such an approach isn’t necessary. In fact, some sim- ple strategies can be highly effective at preventing dog-related lawn damage.