Keeping Your Lawn and Your Pet Happy and Healthy This Winter

Keeping Your Lawn and Your Pet Happy and Healthy This Winter

At Mirage Landscaping of Calgary, we are experts on commercial or residential snow and ice removal. We are also pet lovers. Our furry friends suffer through the winter alongside of us, but while they keep us company, they also can also cause a lot of damage to lawns and gardens over the winter. It’s best to limit your pet’s exposure to your favourite plants and shrubs at the same time as you limit their exposure to the cold throughout winter. Even commercial properties take a hit from pet owners not properly picking up after their dog, or allowing them to roam freely on their property.

Shorten Outdoor Trips During Winter

Before you let your pet out to do their business (when you don’t have time for a proper walk), take note of the temperature. The general rule is that if you wouldn’t be comfortable outside for a few minutes in say a sweatshirt, neither is your dog going to be, no matter the thickness of its coat.

As for cats, genetically they can handle some cold, but none are great at it. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, it will develop a thicker winter coat during the cold months, but as they are generally smaller and lighter than most dogs, they will also tend to chill faster than you suspect. To a house cat, even a few inches of snow accumulation is “deep” and exhausting. 

In bitter cold, both cats and dogs genuinely know that they don’t want to be out there any longer than is necessary. This instinct compels them to relieve themselves as close as possible to the house as is acceptable to the humans, and where such business can be done with a minimum of personal discomfort. Both species will tend to want to go somewhere out of the wind, if possible, with dogs, particularly males, wanting somewhere they can mark, and cats, somewhere they can dig.

Your Poor Lawn and Beds

Urine is a bad additive to dormant grass and slumbering perennial bulbs or seed in your flower beds. The component of urine that harms plants is called urea, which is also a major fertilizer ingredient because it adds nitrogen to the soil. When an animal repeatedly deposits its urine on a patch of your lawn or a flower bed it is nitrogen burning that spot of ground. If left undiluted, come the thaw, you’re going to find “burnt” patches of grass or sections of your bed where things only wither and die. Grass, though dormant, is not dead, and will absorb excess environmental nitrogen that will show itself to be a problem come spring.

If you face this situation come spring, Mirage Landscaping of Calgary can repair your lawn either through over-seeding the areas or removing them and placing sod.

The Solution to Pollution is Dilution

Doesn’t the snow dilute the urine before it burns the lawn? Though some of the local melt water is absorbed into the water table and could serve to dilute the urine, we actually lose a lot of our groundcover to the atmosphere when our dry Chinook winds come to visit. The urine will actually become highly concentrated, especially that of cats, as it has been repeatedly deposited due to location preference.

Dilution Strategies

For dogs, the best strategy is training. If you can train your dog to do its business where you want it to, you can have it vary its potty site and dilute the damage by preventing its concentration, or you can pick a spot that won’t be harmed, like a patch of the patio.

Cats are more difficult to manage, put you can use their own instincts to aid your efforts to protect your lawn or beds. You could provide an outdoor litter box, preferably a covered one that eliminates the wind variable from where the cat may otherwise choose to go. Best of all, an outdoor litter box might be used by neighbouring or stray cats and mitigate the damage they may cause as well.

Mirage Landscaping for Snow Removal in Calgary

Stay inside, cozy and warm, and leave your Calgary snow removal needs to the professionals at Mirage Landscaping.

Our residential snow removal services include driveway snow clearing, sidewalk snow clearing and ice management. We will keep your home safe throughout the winter season and respond promptly to your immediate snow removal needs. Contact us for a free quote.


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