Your lawn needs nitrogen to be healthy. Dog waste is rich in nitrogen. Yes, both your dog's pee and poop is very rich in something ... nitrogen. Which your lawn needs. Well done, pooches! And thank you for the generous gifts of nitrogen-filled poop that you daily bestow upon the lawn! Because it must be good for the lawn, then, right? Right?? Not so fast!
The observant dog owner may notice that dog waste actually produces dead or burn spots all over the lawn. That is because dog waste is just a little TOO rich in nitrogen. All plants need this building block in order to thrive but according to GreenerGreenGrass Organic Lawn Care Blog "too much nitrogen can cause a 'burning' effect, killing the grass." So no, Sir Jowlfrey Farquat, you are doing no one any great favor. Sorry.
Dog urine does the most damage to lawns because it is often "bestowed" in a very concentrated area (especially by dogs who squat.) And because of it's liquid form, it dissolves and does its damage very quickly. Luckily, dog poop is a little less harmful because it takes longer to break down and deposit its nitrogen into your lawn. But on the other hand, it starves the grass below it of both air and sunlight until it is removed.
Dr. Steve Thompson, DVM, wrote an in depth article about dog-caused lawn burn for Canine Practice. His focus, though, is on urine as he notes: "Since stools are usually solid, owners have the option of frequent manual removal. With more time for the nitrogen waste to dissolve into the lawn, stools that are frequently removed damage lawns less than urine." We have witnessed this throughout our years as dog poo cleanup service. Spots that are browned and dried underneath a pile of poop one week look significantly healthier and recovered the next. They just needed a breather!
So all you need to do to increase lawn protection against dog-caused nitrogen burns is to go pick up your dog's poop on a regular basis. In addition to answering emails, cooking dinners, managing family schedules, taking the car for an oil change, planning that wedding, tending the garden ... etc...