When it comes to keeping your lawn in pristine condition, neighborhood dogs can pose a unique challenge. Dogs are known for digging holes and using the bathroom in lawns, both of which can result in damage to otherwise healthy grass. I put together this guide to help anyone that might be experiencing issues with the dogs in their lawn.
Here are 7 solutions that can successfully keep dogs off of your lawn:
1. Build a Fence to Keep Dogs Out of Your Lawn
The first and most obvious solution for keeping dogs out of your lawn is to have a fence installed. However, this might not be the right solution for everyone depending upon your situation. Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a fence to keep dogs away:
Pros of Dog Fences
If you’re looking for a dependable solution for keeping dogs away, a fence is probably your best solution. When installed properly, a good fence will keep out not only dogs but also a plethora of other types of critters that might try to make a home in your lush green grass.
In addition to keeping dogs and other creatures away, fences can also increase the value of your home. Especially if your home is near a busy road that generates a lot of noise.
In terms of general safety for your home, certain types of fences can go a long way in deterring burglars from breaking into your home.
Cons of Dog Fences
While fences might be the perfect solution for some, there are some significant drawbacks that might make it worth your while to pursue another option for keeping dogs out of your lawn.
The most significant drawback of fences is their hefty price tag. The average fence installation typically costs around $2,500, although you can potentially lower costs by installing the fence yourself if you’re up for the challenge.
Another issue with fences is that depending upon the local regulations in your area, you may or may not be able to install one on your property.
Fences, like everything, require maintenance in order to stay in good condition. This can result in more expenses even beyond the initial investment of having a fence installed.
2. Install Motion Sensing Lawn Sprinklers to Repel Dogs
If a fence doesn’t seem like the right choice, another option you can consider is installing motion-sensing lawn sprinklers that are made to repel dogs and other animals from spending time on your lawn. While they don’t work 100% of the time, they can go a long way in keeping your lawn safe.
Pros of Motion Sensing Lawn Sprinklers
One of the best benefits of motion sensing lawn sprinklers is that they can be very effective at driving away animals without doing any actual harm to them.
Many of the options can reach distances up to 40 feet away and also produce a noise that’s meant to startle critters away.
Inexpensive Compared to Other Solutions
Motion sensing lawn sprinklers typically range from $30 to $100 dollars, making them a MUCH cheaper option than installing fences all around your lawn.
In addition to keeping animals out of your lawn, the majority of motion-sensing lawn sprinklers also have settings for automatically watering your lawn so that you can take care of two problems at once.
Cons of Motion Sensing Lawn Sprinklers
Animals Might Get Used to Them
It’s possible that some animals will quickly adjust to lawn sprinklers if they frequently visit your area. If this is the case, they can potentially resume causing damage to your lawn which means you will need to invest in another solution to the issue.
They Require Trial and Error
Another issue with motion-sensing lawn sprinklers is that they require a certain amount of trial and error before you can have confidence that they’ll do their job correctly.
Thankfully, most sprinklers come with instructions for positioning them in the most effective areas. Before deciding upon where you place them, it’s necessary to review the damaged areas to determine the type of animal causing the damage and which direction they are most likely coming from.
Once you have this information, you should be able to make a good decision about where to place a sprinkler.
Slow Reaction Times
Depending on the model of sprinkler you select, the sprinkler may or may not have a fast enough reaction time to successfully ward away neighborhood dogs or other animals.
Because of this, we recommend reading plenty of reviews on the model you’re considering prior to making a purchasing decision.
3. Communicate With Your Neighbors About Their Dogs
Sometimes the most effective approach to keeping dogs off your lawn is to simply speak with your neighbors. Although, like the other options on this list, this option has both favorable and potentially negative implications.
I should also mention, this approach only works if you know who owns the dogs that are visiting your lawn.
Pros of Communicating With Neighbors
It Doesn’t Cost Anything
Of all the solutions on this list, this one is by far the least expensive! It only takes a few minutes to go and speak with a neighbor, but it could be all it takes to rectify the situation.
If you’re familiar with your neighbors and know that they are kind and friendly people, then having a quick discussion with them won’t be much of an issue as long as you approach the subject with tact.
The Results Are Immediate
The great thing about speaking directly with the owner of the dogs causing the issues is that you should hopefully see an immediate result whereas other solutions can take some trial and error before they are truly effective.
Cons of Communicating With Neighbors
Potentially Damaging Relationships
No two neighbors are the same. You might be able to speak with one neighbor about their dog and they calmly agree to help correct the issue, other neighbors could become angry and disdainful, thus harming your relationship with them.
If you do plan on speaking with a neighbor, establishing a friendly report with them beforehand can help keep the relationship in good condition. If you sound accusatory as you discuss the issue, they are far more likely to have a negative reaction.
Developing a Bad Reputation
Unfortunately, movies and TV shows have propagated the stereotype of the “angry neighbor.” Causing a lot of fuss in your neighborhood about issues that others might consider trivial can result in being painted in this role for the rest of your relationship with them.
4. Call Animal Control Services About Stray Dogs in Your Area
If there are a multitude of stray dogs in your area, it’s always a good idea to call animal control services. Feral dogs can carry diseases that can easily be transmitted to other animals in the area, so having them relocated to a safe location is the best solution for everyone.
If it’s uncertain whether or not the dogs in your neighborhood are feral or not, it’s a good idea to ask around with people in your neighborhood to find out before making the call to animal control services.
5. Utilize Repellents to Keep Dogs Off Your Lawn
There are a number of dog repellents on the market that can be used to dissuade dogs from coming on your lawn.
There are both spray and sprinkle variants of dog repellents available, however, it’s good to keep in mind that these options can quickly be washed away when it rains, leaving your lawn unprotected.
In order to maintain the effectiveness of repellents, you’ll need to reapply them fairly frequently. Some of the powdered options claim to provide protection for as long as 30 days, weather permitting.
Dog repellents that cause harm to the dogs should always be avoided.
6. Change Your Fertilizer to Something Less Appealing for Dogs
Some fertilizers contain ingredients that naturally attract dogs, thus resulting in destroyed flower beds. Some dogs can even go so far as to ingest fertilizers if they seem tasty enough, which can place them in severe danger.
In order to keep your yard safe, you can try changing out your fertilizer to a completely plant-based fertilizer. These fertilizers lack many of the common ingredients that attract dogs, which will help keep everyone happy and safe.
7. Check the Laws in Your Area Concerning Dogs
Many cities have strict regulations concerning dogs being off of their leashes, and owners not cleaning up after them. If a dog is consistently using the bathroom in your lawn and no other options seem to work, you can check the local laws in your area to see if it’s within your rights to pursue legal action.
If it is, in fact, illegal, you might consider installing a video camera in your lawn so that you have evidence that can be shown to the authorities. However, this is hopefully the last resort.