GREENSBORO, NC -- Every summer, there's an unspoken competition, when neighbors vie for the best-looking lawn on the block. But it's hard to compete when you have a dog...and your lawn is dotted with ugly, discolored spots marking all the places your pooch went potty.
That's why this time of year, lawn services warn about 'female dog spot disease.' It's a theory that girl dogs cause lawn spots worse than male dogs because of a higher pH in their urine.
Is 'female dog spot disease' real? Or, should girl dogs stop getting blamed for ruining lawns?
To verify this story, we went to a credible source -- Greensboro veterinarian, Dr. Janinne Oliver from Benessere Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Oliver says it's true urine pH is what causes yard spots. It's not true that only female dog urine causes them. She explained the reason behind the misconception.
"Because when female dogs urinate, they urinate a larger amount in one spot, so you see it more with female but it's because of the volume of urine they put down in the yard. Male dogs are more likely to sprinkle in a lot of places, marking their territory that way," Dr. Oliver says.
There are medicines on the market to adjust a dog's urine pH, but Dr. Oliver says not to use them, as they can cause bladder stones or an infection. Instead, she recommends a pet-safe lawn spray. Better yet, she suggests training your dog to potty in one specific spot.
"Positive consistent reinforcement -- teaching your dog, whether you use a clicker or treat, taking them to the area where you want them to potty. Then, as soon as they go, telling them how great they are and (giving him/her) a treat."
We can verify both female and male dog urine can cause the same damage to lawns. We can also verify there are safe ways to treat your lawn or train your dog to keep everyone happy.