Three myths and a truth
Summer is well and truly here, and it is a scorcher! The grass is suffering from a severe lack of rain but also from the dog! Where your dog pees, brown patches develop, which is often called lawn burn or lawn scald. Why does this happen, and what can you do about it?
There are several myths about this:
Myth one: Only bitches cause lawn burn because their urine is different to that of male dogs. Completely untrue. The only reason why it often seems that bitches cause brown spots but males don't is that female dogs squat to pee, so there is a large amount of pee on a small area of lawn. Males tend to spread their pee over a wide area (applies to humans too, apparently!) so there is less volume of urine on any particular patch of lawn.
Myth two: It happens because a dog's urine is too acidic. Nope, not true either. The brown spots aren't acid burns. Grass likes an acidic pH to grow in – anything between 5.5 and 7. The pH of an average dog's urine is between 5.5 and 7. So no problem there.
Myth three: It happens because a dog's urine is too alkaline. Now it is true that if a dog's urine were very alkaline it could harm grass growth, but it a rare finding, and not a common cause of brown lawn burn.
There are substances that you can add to a dog's drinking water that are alleged to stop brown patches on the lawn. One recommendation is the use Gypsum salts: not only do these not work, but Gypsum (Calcium sulphate) can cause eye, skin, oral, and respiratory irritation in dogs.
One particular home remedy, tomato juice or tomato ketchup, likely has its primary benefit through both increased salt and water intake. While salt will make the dog drink more and dilute the urine, increased salt intake can cause problems for dogs with existing kidney or heart conditions. Pure tomato flakes help neutralise nitrogen, but tomato juice and ketchup won't help.
Cider vinegar has been promoted as another 'cure' for lawn scald. This may alter the urine pH slightly, but urine pH is not the cause of lawn burns.
Lawn burns are caused by the high nitrogen content in dog urine. Dog pee has a high nitrogen content because dogs are carnivorous, eat lots of protein, and the breakdown products of protein digestion passed out in the urine are high in nitrogen. When passed on a small area of lawn it acts like a massive overdose of fertiliser and 'burns' the grass.
The effect will be more noticeable if the urine is strongly concentrated, or if the urine is very alkaline, but it is the nitrogen content only that actually causes the effect.
First, encourage your dog to drink plenty of water. This will ensure the urine produced is not too concentrated. Secondly, find a product that will bind with and neutralise the nitrogen in the urine
There is one product that will do both – WOOF&BREW's Ha-Pee Lawns Herbal Tea and Tonic. Most dogs love to drink either the tea or the tonic (or both), so they will be naturally well hydrated, and the herbs in the blend do really bind and neutralise the nitrogen and help stop lawn burns, as well as promoting a healthy urinary tract in general.
And here's an extra grass growing tip: If you're a lazy gardener who doesn't like getting the lawnmower out, sprinkle your lawn with whisky – it'll come up half cut!
Find out about the rest of our health tonic range, including Anxiety tonic. All tonics come with a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied!
Sarah Coates (WOOF&BREW), Sarah Pattern & Kerry Wilson (Doggie Fashions)
July is Independent Retailer Month which is an annual event that highlights the important role of smaller, local, independent retailers. At WOOF&BREW we are very lucky to have a fantastic selection of independent stockists ranging from family owned businesses to larger scale pet and garden stores. We love working with our stockists and here is an example of one such stockist. Introducing ‘Doggie Fashions Ltd’, a wonderful dog friendly business located in the stunning ‘Trentham Estate’ in Stoke-on-Trent.
Tell us about your pet shop
Doggie Fashions Ltd is a unique, independent business selling everything & anything a dog could ever need or wish for! It's an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, tail-wagging store, open 7 days a week.
From our own recipe of handmade ‘doggie bakery treats & doggie ice cream’ right through to a ‘Self Service Dog Wash’ it’s the pawfect place for dogs.
Over the years it has definitely become a well-known ‘Destination Store’ located within a beautiful shopping village at the popular, very dog friendly tourist attraction ‘The Trentham Estate’ in Stoke-on-Trent.
We (Sarah Patten & Kerry Wilson) started the business back in 2002 creating a shop totally dedicated to selling thousands of products ‘just for dogs’.
Originally Doggie Fashions sold from a small shop, on-line & our mail order brochure. However, after relocating to The Trentham Estate we made the decision to purely concentrate on selling from the new retail unit, the decision was a success and we’ve never looked back.
What can dog lovers expect from shopping at Doggie Fashions?
Customers that visit Doggie Fashions can expect a huge range of products to choose from, a friendly, happy atmosphere & a shop where dogs are welcomed.
Customer service is paramount so free fittings are given whenever needed along with general advice. All our staff are very helpful indeed & have excellent product knowledge.
We take photos & videos daily of dogs that visit us & then show them off on Doggie Fashions social media pages, which always goes down well & helps to promote our brand.
With each customer we make every effort to ensure they & their dogs always leave happy.
What do you enjoy about running Doggie Fashions?
We get to meet so many beautiful dogs and get plenty cuddles!
The location of our shop is stunning and every day we feel lucky to be there.
The pet trade is very friendly so visiting trade shows is always something we look forward to when sourcing new product lines.
What do you like about WOOF&BREW and do you have a favourite product?
They are a lovely team at WOOF&BREW, a pleasure to deal with.
Their products are quite different to the norm, have great packaging & are a real talking point with customers.
Our favourite product is the Bottom Sniffer Beer although very closely followed by the Pawsecco.
What do your customers say about WOOF&BREW?
The products always cause a real stir in our shop when customers see the range . . . . in a good way. They love the clever names of the products and the way the packaging imitates the real thing. You can guarantee to hear laughter from the area of the shop where these products are!
For more information please visit their website at
Or find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/doggiefashionstrentham
Do get in touch if you are one of our Independent Stockists and would like to feature on our blog! Email us at email@example.com
If you would like to become a stockist then do also get in touch, we would love to hear from you!