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Don't Waste Your Money
on 13 June 2011
Short review - Don't waste your money, it doesn't work.
Long review - I'm a vet, and against my better judgment I was persuaded to try these as a solution to the brown, dead patches developing on our lawn. They haven't worked, and if you read the pseudo-scientific bunkum on the manufacturer's website, they were never going to. The simple facts of the matter can be summed up as follows - 1) dogs are carnivores, 2) carnivores eat meat, 3) meat contains protein, 4) digesting protein creates nitrogenous waste, 5) carnivore urine contains high levels of nitrogen, 6) small amounts of nitrogen act as a fertiliser, high levels of nitrogen act as a weedkiller (as far as grass is concerned). It doesn't matter what nonsense the manufacturers spout about rebalancing nutrients or ions in the water (meaningless), or even worse "changing the paramagnetic balance of the water" (total gibberish), you can't deny the biology. In fact, if you read carefully, they actually acknowledge this by suggesting that if your results aren't great, avoid feeding a red-meat based diet...
What I will say in defence of Dog Rocks is that they are probably harmless. Some other products, whose manufacturers have even less of a grasp of biology, try to manipulate the pH of the dog's urine (in the mistaken belief that "acid" causes the brown patches), which may have harmful effects such as causing the development of kidney stones. Avoid these treatments at all costs, seriously. I don't think Dog Rocks will do this, because I don't think Dog Rocks will do anything at all.
Where these things SEEM to have worked for people, it is either because they have wet lawns where the nitrogenous urine gets diluted quickly, or they have extremely well rooted grass that can cope with the excess nitrogen, or their dogs are on a low-protein diet / drinking a lot of water / or for other reasons not producing nitrogen-rich urine. It is nothing to do with these INERT rocks that do NOTHING.
The ONLY truly effective solution to brown patches on your lawn is to pour a bucket of water on the exact spot that your dog has just had a wee, as soon as they have done it. If that's not practical, then your next best solution is to save the money you would be spending on Dog Rocks every two months, and buy 2 rolls of turf. Cut out the dead patches on your lawn, and replace them with new turf. Repeat every two months. Job done.