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 just found a new favorite place to do his business: your front lawn. That’s not good for you, your grass, or your shoes. So, how can you prevent your neighbor’s dog from pooping in your yard?

The first step may be the hardest: telling your neighbor that Fido needs to do their business on their dog owner’s front lawn. It’s not right for your front yard to be Fido’s number one place to go number two. 

But remember, being neighborly is a two-way street. Many pet owners are fiercely loyal to their pets. If amicable communication fails to get the job done, try these natural and chemical solutions. If (when) all else has failed, we have a last resort of a legal (legal beagle?) kind that may work.

6 Ways to Keep Dogs off Your Grass

Many natural and chemical deterrents exist to keep your neighbor’s dog from defecating on your front lawn. Quite a few of these deterrents might already be in your kitchen. Others can be easily obtained by visiting Amazon or your favorite garden center. You also can make your yard less inviting by setting your lawn sprinklers to spray them away or removing balls or other interesting items that might attract Fido.

1. Speak to Your Neighbor

What’s the best way to start this conversation? Strive for a peaceful interaction and do your homework. Look up any local ordinances pertaining to unleashed dogs and any homeowner association (HOA) rules. 

Armed with knowledge, knock on your neighbor’s door and mention that you have a problem with their dog being unattended and defecating on your grass. If they say their dog is escaping their fenced-in area, help Fido’s dog owner brainstorm a solution to keep their pet off your property.

2. Repel With Smells

A dog repeller plant lavender
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Dogs are attracted to and repelled by certain smells. Keeping your lawn beautiful with plants that repel dogs is a clever way to keep Fido from your yard.

  • Plant lavender. Dogs detest the smell of lavender and will not cross a row of lavender plants to access a yard.
  • Scatter citrus rinds around the perimeter of your lawn. As with lavender, dogs don’t like the smell and will avoid your grass.
  • Mix together white and apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 1 cup of white vinegar to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. Spray this mixture around the edge of your yard. As with lavender and citrus, dogs dislike the smell of vinegar and will travel to another location.
  • Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water. Spray this mixture around the edges of your yard.

3. Turn on the Lawn Sprinklers

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

Spray away the pooping pooch. Determine the time of day the neighbor’s dog is most likely to visit. Program your lawn sprinklers to water your grass about an hour before the visit. Most dogs dislike stepping on wet grass and will seek another location.

4. Put Away Toys

Maintain a clean yard without any exciting objects that a dog might be interested in exploring. If you’re having issues with neighborhood dogs with unknown owners or stray dogs without dog tags, this solution could work without resorting to more drastic measures, like having to call animal control.

5. Create a Barrier

A beautiful in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pxhere

Plant an aesthetically appealing hedge. The hedge should leave little room for dogs to maneuver into your yard. You can also add fencing or shrubbery to keep uninvited guests from visiting your yard. Flowering shrubs such as azaleas are beautiful deterrents that keep dogs from visiting your yard. Ultrasonic motion detectors and security cameras are other solutions in this category.

6. Chemical Deterrents

When natural methods aren’t spot-on at deterring your neighbor’s dog, take a trip to your garden center or hardware store, or order any one of these chemical methods to keep dogs off your grass:

  • Go Away Rabbit and Dog Repellent
  • Halt Dog Repellent
  • Liquid Fence
  • Use a plant-based fertilizer rather than a bone/blood/meal fertilizer

Busting Myths About Ways to Keep Dogs off Your Grass

Sometimes advice on the internet isn’t always accurate. As a precaution, here are some bad pieces of advice not to fall for. We’ve seen this lousy advice offered up repeatedly as ways to keep Fido off your lawn. We’re reiterating what we know to ensure you don’t try any of this advice at home:

  • Scatter coffee grounds. Coffee is toxic to dogs and affects them similarly to chocolate.
  • Sprinkle red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Dogs have sensitive noses. Spicy substances like red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper can make a dog seriously ill.
  • Install electric fencing. Not only is electric fencing expensive, but the end goal should be to keep dog poop out of your front yard, not to stop their heart.
  • Spread mothballs around your yard. Don’t spread mothballs around your front yard! Mothballs are dangerous and contain toxic chemicals.

If the problem persists, or your neighbor is aggressive, take the next step: mail a certified letter (keeping a copy) asking the neighbor to stop letting their dog poop in your yard.

The final legal resort is contacting Animal Control and reporting that an unleashed dog was wandering through your neighborhood.

Not only can the dog using your lawn as a bathroom affect your yard, but there is also potential for harm to children from a dog bite and car accidents caused by drivers swerving to avoid hitting the dog. Dog poop also contains bacteria, high nitrogen levels, and parasites, including ticks. Tick bites can cause diseases such as Salmonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tulemeria.

FAQ About Dogs Pooping on Your Lawn

Why is my yard attractive as a bathroom stop for Fido?

Unfamiliar scents attract animals to your lawn. The smell of other animals, your pets, and even birds can entice dogs to explore and poop in your yard.

Why is it essential to remove dog feces from your yard?

Poopy paws happen when a dog walks through poop. The poop can enter from your front yard into your house. Any bacteria or disease contained within the poop will enter your home. Plus, you’ll have to clean up the poop on your floor and carpet.
Poo that is not removed can cause structural damage to driveways, fences, landscaping, and brickwork.
Poop is highly flammable, especially once it has dried. In areas with a high risk of spontaneous fires, poop left unattended could cause a hazardous situation.

When to Call a Lawn Care Pro

What should you do after your neighbor’s dog does a number on your lawn? Once your neighbor’s pet is off of your yard, let a lawn care professional get your grass green and healthy again.

Main Image Credit: Pexels

Anne Stacks

Anne Stacks

Anne Stacks has a master's degree in business from the University of South Florida. She spent over 20 years teaching business classes at Cross Creek High School in Augusta, Georgia. She has written book reviews and special interest articles for various newspapers, edited many novels and too many doctoral theses to count. She and her husband, David, have been married over 35 years and have a writing and editing business together. (The family that edits together stays together, you know.)