How to Prevent the Neighbor’s Dog from Pooping in Your Yard

A neighbor dog pooping in your yard

Your neighbor’s dog, Fido, has found a new favorite spot to do his business: your front lawn. This is not ideal for you, your grass, or your shoes. Dealing with this issue can be frustrating and unpleasant. However, you can take steps to prevent the neighbor’s dog from pooping in your yard.

8 Ways to Keep Dogs off Your Grass

Having a neighbor’s dog consistently using your yard as its bathroom can be frustrating and inconvenient. Not only does it create an unsightly mess, but it also poses health risks for you and your family. It is crucial to address this issue promptly to maintain a clean and safe environment for everyone involved.

Here’s what to do when a neighbor’s dog poops in your yard:

1. Speak to Your Neighbor

It is worth having a friendly conversation with your neighbor about the issue. Politely explain the problem and kindly ask them to keep their dog from entering your yard. They may not be aware of their dog’s impact on your lawn, and a simple conversation can go a long way in resolving the issue.

However, it is essential to remember that being neighborly is a two-way street. Many dog owners are fiercely loyal to their pets. Remember, maintaining a respectful and open dialogue is crucial in resolving the issue with your neighbor.

Here are some steps to approach the conversation in a friendly and non-confrontational manner:

  • Arrange a chat: Set a time to talk and avoid catching them off-guard or at a bad time. Without pointing fingers or making threats, express your concern about the dog feces in your yard.
  • Explain your concerns: Start by explaining the health risks associated with dog waste, such as parasites and diseases, to emphasize the importance of proper cleanup. Discuss the issues of odor, disease transmission, and damage to your grass caused by the waste. Address how it affects you and your property.
  • Offer possible solutions: If the dog keeps escaping, assist the owner in repairing the fence. Additionally, suggest designated areas for the dog to relieve itself, and provide poop bags for easy cleanup.
  • Encourage open communication: Seek a mutually beneficial solution that respects both parties. It is best to avoid retaliation tactics, like damaging your neighbor’s yard. As a result, the problem is not resolved, and you may even foster a hostile environment.

If friendly communication fails to resolve the issue, or if you prefer to avoid confrontation, you can try natural and chemical solutions. As a final option, a legal recourse can be pursued.

2. Repel With Smells

A dog repeller plant lavender
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Dogs can be attracted to or repelled by certain smells. Using plants that repel dogs is a smart way to keep your lawn beautiful and Fido away from your yard. When your yard has unpleasant smells for dogs, they are less likely to enter your territory. Here are some home remedies to keep dogs from pooping in your yard:

  • Plant lavender: Dogs dislike the smell of lavender and avoid crossing a row of lavender plants to access a yard.
  • Scatter citrus rinds: Place citrus peels around the perimeter of your lawn. Just like lavender, dogs are not fond of the smell and will stay away from your grass.
  • Make a spray: Use one of the following mixtures and apply it around the perimeter of your yard, focusing on areas where the neighbor’s dog tends to defecate.

    Vinegar: Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. Spray this mixture along the edge of your yard. Dogs dislike the smell of vinegar, similar to lavender and citrus, and avoid those areas.

    Baking soda: Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water. Spray this mixture around the edges of your yard.

    Citronella oil: Mix a few drops of citronella oil with water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to ensure the oil is evenly distributed. Spray the mixture around the perimeter of your yard, specifically targeting areas where the neighbor’s dog tends to defecate. It can help get rid of mosquitoes, too.

3. Activate the Lawn Sprinklers

A water sprinkler spraying water in a lawn
Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures

You can use lawn sprinklers as a safe and humane method to keep dogs from pooping in your yard. Many dogs dislike getting wet, so the presence of sprinklers can discourage them from coming into your yard to poop. Here’s how you can use lawn sprinklers to deter dogs:

Install motion-activated sprinklers: Set up motion-activated sprinklers around the perimeter of your yard, especially in areas where the neighbor’s dog tends to defecate. These sprinkler systems automatically turn on when they detect movement, startling and spraying water at the dog.

Adjust the sprinkler settings: Ensure the sprinklers are adjusted to cover the desired area and have a wide spray range. This will maximize their effectiveness in deterring dogs.

Set the sprinklers on a timer: If you know when the neighbor’s dog usually visits your yard, you can set the sprinklers on a timer to activate during those specific times. This can help prevent the dog from entering your yard on its regular schedule.

Remember, it’s vital to use lawn sprinklers responsibly and avoid spraying water at people or other animals unintentionally or wasting water.

4. Keep Your Yard Clean

Dogs are more likely to be attracted to a yard with leftover food or waste. Ensure your yard is free from food scraps that might attract dogs. Ensure that garbage cans and compost bins are secure. Keep your yard clean and free from any objects that might pique a dog’s interest, like toys or balls.

If you’re dealing with neighborhood dogs without known owners or stray dogs without identification tags, this solution can be effective without taking more drastic measures, like calling local animal control.

5. Create a Barrier

A beautiful in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Physical barriers can keep dogs off lawns without causing harm. One option is to erect a small retaining wall or decorative fence as a deterrent. Installing a tall fence around your front yard may not be appealing or cost-effective for many homeowners.

Another option is to plant dense shrubs or privacy hedges along the perimeter of your yard to create a natural barrier. Additionally, you can install a barrier made of rough landscaping rocks, mulch, or similar material to stop dogs from trespassing.

6. Signs and Security Cameras

Putting up signs asking for dog poo to be cleaned up or indicating no trespassing can deter people from entering your yard with their dog. Many homeowners find that displaying signs is enough to keep neighbors away. However, the effectiveness of this method depends on the neighbor.

One option is to install security system cameras and signs to deter offenses like leaving dog waste in your yard. The cameras can discourage this behavior and help identify the person responsible. The footage can also help file complaints with animal control or your homeowner’s association (HOA).

7. Setup a Bag Dispenser

Consider setting up a plastic bag dispenser in your yard to encourage your neighbors to pick up after their pets and keep the neighborhood clean. Alternatively, you can talk to local authorities or your neighborhood watch to designate areas for dispensers.

To set up a pet waste plastic bag dispenser in your yard, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase a small plastic bag dispenser designed for pet waste. These dispensers can typically be found at pet supply stores or online.
  2. Choose a suitable location in your yard near the road or a commonly used area. Ensure that it is easily visible and accessible.
  3. Install the dispenser securely to a post, fence, or wall using screws or other appropriate mounting hardware.
  4. Fill the dispenser with biodegradable pet waste bags. These bags are designed to be environmentally friendly and will break down over time.
  5. Keep the dispenser stocked with bags so neighbors can quickly grab one when needed.

8. Chemical Deterrents

If you want to know what to put on grass so dogs won’t poop on your lawn, consider using chemical methods to deter dogs from your grass. When applied to surfaces or sprayed in desired areas, these scents or tastes create a negative association for dogs, reducing pooping in your yard.

These options are available at your local garden center, hardware store, or through online ordering:

Busting Myths About Ways to Keep Dogs off Your Grass

The advice found on the internet isn’t always accurate. To ensure your safety, we are reminding you not to attempt any of these methods at home:

  • Coffee grounds: Coffee is toxic to dogs and affects them like chocolate.
  • Hot peppers: Dogs have sensitive noses, and spicy substances like chili powder or cayenne peppers can cause serious illness in dogs.
  • Electric fencing: Electric fencing is not only expensive, but it also raises safety concerns for other people and animals. Additionally, local regulations or laws may restrict its use.
  • Ammonia or mothballs. While these items can effectively deter dogs with their irritating smell, they can be harmful if ingested and cause damage to their throats and stomachs. Don’t spread mothballs around your front yard! Mothballs are dangerous and contain toxic chemicals.
girl cleaning dog poop from lawn
Photo Credit: Africa Images / Canva Pro / License

If the problem persists or your neighbor is aggressive, take the next step: Mail a certified letter (keeping a copy) asking your neighbors to stop allowing their dog to defecate in your yard. Municode has an online library to look up laws in your area, and depending on the local ordinance, it may be possible for your neighbor to be fined.

If the problem persists and other measures have been ineffective, you can report the issue to Animal Control.

Dangers of Dog Waste

Overall, removing dog feces from your yard is essential for maintaining a clean and healthy environment, preventing the spread of diseases, and preserving the beauty of your lawn. It is a responsible practice that benefits you and your family, the community, and the environment as a whole.

Dog feces should be promptly removed from your yard for several reasons:

  • Hygiene and Health: Dog feces can contain harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can pose health risks, not only to humans but also to other animals. These pathogens can contaminate the soil, water sources, and air, potentially causing diseases and infections.
  • Environmental Impact: Dog waste can contribute to water pollution. When it rains, the rainwater can carry the bacteria and other contaminants from the feces into storm drains and our waterways. This can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and the overall environment.
  • Lawn Damage: Dog waste can cause damage to your lawn. The high nitrogen content in dog urine can burn and discolor the grass, leaving unsightly brown spots. The waste can also introduce excess nutrients to the soil, disrupting the natural balance and potentially harming the health of your plants.
  • Preventing Spread of Parasites: Dog feces can contain parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and giardia. These parasites can survive in the environment for long periods and pose a risk to other animals, including pets and wildlife.

FAQ About Dogs Pooping on Your Lawn

Why is My Yard Attractive as a Bathroom for Fido?

There are several reasons why dogs may use your lawn as a restroom. One factor is the presence of unfamiliar scents, such as the smell of other animals like squirrels, rabbits, birds, or even your pets. Dogs are also attracted to areas where they have previously eliminated waste.

Why is it Essential to Remove Dog Feces From My Lawn?

  • When your own dog walks through poop, it can result in “poopy paws.” Meaning the poop can be tracked from your front yard into your home. As a result, any bacteria or disease in the feces can enter your house, requiring you to clean up the mess from your floor and carpet.
  • If dog feces is not promptly removed, it can cause structural damage to driveways, fences, landscaping, and brickwork.
  • It is important to note that poop is highly flammable, especially once it has dried. In areas with a high risk of spontaneous fires, leaving poop unattended could lead to a hazardous situation.

What is the Best Way to Remove Dog Poop?

To effectively remove dog poop from your yard, follow these steps:

  1. Wear disposable gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Use a pooper scooper or a plastic bag to pick up the poop.
  3. Carefully place the poop in a dog waste bag.
  4. Tie the bag securely and dispose of it in a proper trash bin.

When to Call a Lawn Care Pro

What should you do after your neighbor’s dog does a number on your lawn? It is recommended to consult a lawn care professional. They can assess the damage and develop a plan to restore your lawn. Services may include reseeding, fertilizing, and aerating, all of which are essential for promoting healthy grass.

Main Image Credit: Pexels


Raven Wisdom

Raven Wisdom is a screenwriter from West Texas and a proud mom of two in an autism family. Self-described as "half-feral but mostly harmless," Raven loves houseplants, a good laugh, and furry friends.