Most dogs adore grass. They like urinating and defecating on it, rolling about in it, running on it, digging in it, eating it, playing on it, and doing other activities. They put a significant amount of effort into it. However, not all grasses are created equal when considered a vital component of a dog’s surrounding habitat.
The question is, which type of grass is ideal for dogs? The grass ideal for dogs should withstand not just the business that your dog does on it but also their other behaviors, such as running and digging.
It is a good idea to research which kind of grass is the healthiest for dogs if you are planning to establish a new lawn or are considering moving into a house with a specific type of grass. Your dog may have natural tendencies to make your property look less than respectable, but if you choose grass suited for dogs, it will be easier for you to keep it tidy and attractive.
This article looks at several types of grass popular with dogs, how dogs harm grass, how to stop them from doing so, and how to repair any damage they may have caused.
Table of Contents
How Do Dogs Destroy Grass?
1. Dog Poop:
You may believe it’s OK to be lax about clearing up dog poop in your backyard, but leaving it there is a terrible idea for several reasons, not just because it may destroy your favorite pair of shoes.
Nitrogen is present in your dog’s feces, just as it is in her urine, and this nitrogen can lead to grass damage, known as nitrogen burn if it is allowed sufficient time to decompose into the soil.
More significantly, however, doing so enables the spread of dangerous bacteria to humans, dogs, and other animals, which may result in various health problems for you, your family, and even your dog. Poop also produces the ideal environment for the growth of fungus, which can result in illnesses caused by fungi in lawns.
It is usual for dogs to have to urinate many times each day, especially if they have unrestricted access to the yard. Urea is one of the products formed during the breakdown of protein and is one of the critical components found in dog pee. Dog urine also contains a few other essential components.
Urea is a rich source of nitrogen due to its composition. Nitrogen is an essential element for grass and other plants since it encourages the development of new tissues and contributes to the overall growth of the plant.
But an overabundance of nitrogen can “burn” plants; in the case of your grass, this will cause grass areas to become brown and die. This is because an excessive quantity of nitrogen will induce chlorosis.
To reduce the mess their dog makes, some owners educate their canine companions to urinate and defecate in only one location. Although there is no doubt that this is an excellent tactic, it may take some time and energy to teach your dog the new approach to potty training, and despite your best efforts, certain areas of your grass will still be damaged.
One fantastic technique to address that problem is to fill an area with dog-friendly mulch or a corner of your yard with fake grass and then train your pet to use that spot to eliminate waste.
There are also other tactics you may use to remedy dog pee patches on your lawn, but they demand much effort and may need you to replant grass if they do not work.
Many dogs like digging; they will dig at their beds, they will search at their water bowls, and many dogs appear to select a specific area of your lawn in which they will concentrate most of their time on digging.
Your dog may choose to dig in a spot out of the way if you’re lucky, but they typically appear to choose places at least next to your lawn. This may be a problem if you don’t notice where they are digging.
When holes are dug in the grass, not only does it cause harm to the grass blades and pull up the roots, but it also does quite a deal of damage to the soil beneath the grass.
This type of exposure to the air can cause the soil to dry up, and repeated pawing by your dog may compress the soil, making it more difficult for the grass to recolonize the area where it was previously removed.
The grass blades are flattened and the earth below is compacted when there is a lot of foot movement, whether from people, dogs, or other animals. The grassroots won’t get the required water and nutrients if your soil is compressed.
Whether patrolling the periphery of the yard or traveling back and forth from the back door and their doghouse, dogs tend to run or walk through the same portions of the lawn every day.
This poses a significant problem for the grass in certain areas. After some time has passed, such grass areas can start showing severe wear and tear and may even completely disappear.
Best Types of Grass for Dogs:
Fescue grass is a tough grass that can withstand the wear and tear that comes with having energetic dogs who love to run and tumble on your lawn. A wide selection is available for this plant, which belongs to the Festuca genus.
Do you have a huge dog? Fescue may be the best option. This particular species of grass is highly absorbent and can efficiently deal with the pee of a large dog.
Most types of fescue are pretty simple to maintain; they do not call for a great deal of care or specific nutrients to flourish, and they can grow in shady and dry conditions. Fescue is an excellent alternative for grass since it is both simples to maintain and long-lasting.
Sun Exposure: Shade to sun
USDA Growing Zones: 4-7
Soil Needs: Neutral, well-draining
Climate preference: Cool-season or Transition Zone
2. Perennial Ryegrass:
The ideal conditions for growing perennial ryegrass are coastal areas with consistently moderate temperatures throughout the year. Because it is so resistant to wear and tear and can withstand a lot of foot traffic, it is an excellent choice for active dogs who enjoy playing outside.
This kind of grass is quite particular about the environment in which it grows. However, it can survive in colder temperatures, shade, and more extended periods of drought than other climate conditions.
Because perennial rye germinates faster than most other kinds of grass, you can expect it to grow shortly after you plant it. Because of this, it is the sort of grass ideal for reseeding dead areas of grass caused by dog urine or digging.
Because it combines well with various grass varieties, you may use it to repair the damage your dog has caused on your lawn, regardless of the grass you have.
Please note that perennial rye does not grow over the ground through rhizomes or stolons; as a result, it is unable to mend any brown areas on its own. You will need to sow new grass seed in areas with no grass.
Climate preference: Cool-season or northern Transition Zone
Sun: partial shade
USDA Growing Zones: 3-7
Soil Needs: Moist,
3. Kentucky Bluegrass:
Are you constantly being chased by your dog, who seems to have boundless energy? This action will not only tire you out, but it will also wear down the grass in your yard. The Kentucky Bluegrass is a hardy, lovely grass that grows throughout the chilly season.
This popular grass that proliferates heals quickly and is thick is up to the task of your dog’s racing paws since it increases. It can flourish in many environments, even those with lower average temperatures.
In addition to its capacity to recover from roughhousing or bathroom breaks taken by your puppy, it also forms a very appealing-looking lawn because of the distinctive blue tint in the grass’s blades.
Climate preference: Cool-season or northern Transition Zone
USDA Growing Zones: 2-6
Soil Needs: Slightly acidic to neutral, rich
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zoysiagrass forms a dense mat as it develops, which helps prevent dogs from digging and protects the soil from harm caused by dog urine. Because of the lush growth, there will be excessive thatch accumulation on the grass, so you will need to dethatch it frequently.
Zoysia is a moderately hardy plant that can endure high foot traffic, extreme heat, drought, and partial shade. Because it travels along the ground via rhizomes and stolons, it can replace dead patches that dogs caused themselves.
What are some of Zoysia’s drawbacks? After it has been planted, it takes a while for the roots to establish themselves and for aboveground growth to begin, meaning reseeding the lawn or waiting for grass plugs to grow in might take some time.
You might choose to lay sod instead if you want to see results right away, but the cost of sod is often higher. In addition, Zoysia has a relatively rigid and thorny texture, which your dog may not like.
USDA Growing Zones: 5-11
Climate preference: Warm-season or Transition Zone
Soil Needs: Slightly acidic to neutral, loamy
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
This grass requires particular growth circumstances to survive, but it might be an excellent choice because it is resistant to the pee your dog produces. It is not tolerant of alkaline soil and requires a more acidic environment than most grasses.
Centipede grass thrives in warm climates but must have an abundant supply of water to live. Because of this, growing this grass in the Southeast of the United States is your best option if you are located in the United States.
With consistent watering, it may thrive. Because of these increased watering requirements, the effect of your dog’s pee on your lawn will be diluted, and it will be less likely to transform into an ugly yellow color.
Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
SDA Growing Zones: 7-10
Soil Needs: Sandy
Because it has deep roots, Bermudagrass can withstand the wear and strain caused by dogs who like to run and play. Additionally, it can withstand periods of drought and may live in saline environments. Because it can withstand high salt levels, it is an excellent option for coastal town lawns.
This particular variety of grass thrives at temperatures that are either extremely high or extremely low, but it CAN NOT be grown in the shadow. Compared to other kinds of grass, it requires more frequent mowing and applying water and fertilizer to remain in good condition.
The fact that Bermuda is capable of quick expansion and growth is one of its most attractive features. Even if your dog manages to destroy a piece of the Bermuda grass lawn, the grass will swiftly grow back in that spot. It may sometimes grow so quickly and fiercely to the point that it becomes a weed by spreading to areas where you do not want it to grow.
How to Protect your Grass?
There are a few things you can do to help maintain your grass looking its best, and this is true regardless of the type of grass that you choose to plant there. The following are some of the most successful strategies to accomplish this goal:
1. You Should Try to Get Your Dog to Drink Some Water:
If you drink more water, your urine will be more watered down, which means less nitrogen will be in it. That’s why encouraging your dog to drink more water is beneficial.
The only practical methods for accomplishing this regularly (as opposed to coaxing a sick dog to drink) are providing the dog with access to clean water at all times, moistening dry dog food or kibble with water, or feeding the dog wet dog food. However, this will only help to reduce the appearance of pee stains if they already exist; it will not erase them.
2. You Should Go On Walks with Your Dog:
If you walk your dog more often, he will urinate less frequently on your lawn, resulting in fewer pee marks on your grass. Additionally, your dog, and maybe you as well, will have pleasure in this activity.
But show some consideration for the property of others and don’t just stand by and watch while your dog urinates all over someone else’s grass! Find appropriate areas for your dog to defecate in, and ensure that the waste is always picked up.
3. The Grass Might Need More Water:
The severity of your issue will determine whether or not watering your lawn consistently can assist dilute the accumulation of salts caused by pee left on the grass. This strategy will reduce the number of urine stains, even if you hose down the area immediately after your dog urinates on it.
4. Reducing the Amount of Damage Caused by Playing and Running:
The time an active dog spends on a lawn directly correlates to the damage done to the grass. Instead of concentrating on the wear and tear in certain areas, it is best to attempt to spread it out evenly over the grass. This will help reduce the amount of damage done.
If you have a dog that likes to go back and forth along a fence, you should block its path with plants or other physical barriers. It would be best if you didn’t keep things on the lawn in the same spot for an extended period.
It is necessary to relocate lawn furniture and horticultural equipment to prevent dogs from developing traffic patterns around them.
Another strategy is to exclude the dog from a section of the grass by enclosing it with gates, fencing, or other barriers. Instead of allowing the wear and tear to be distributed relatively throughout your lawn, you maintain one section clean while designating another section as your dog’s play area.
This is helpful if you want at least some portion of your lawn to be lush and attractive for entertaining guests or participating in other activities.
It would be best if you made every effort to prevent your dog from playing on damp grass. When the grass and soil are moist, they are much easier to rip apart.
It is also beneficial to cut the grass to a higher height. If you raise the size of the mower blade to between two and three inches, the grass will be better able to withstand the strain created by your dog’s activity. As an added benefit, the taller grass will make it easier to conceal tiny urine stains.
5. Remove the Waste Left Behind by Your Dog:
To begin, you should make it a habit to frequently patrol and clean your yard. If pet waste is allowed to accumulate, it may lead to various hazardous health issues for your dog and your family.
Aside from this, maintaining a clean yard and frequently removing and disposing of dog waste will benefit your lawn’s overall health.
Poop from dogs, much like urine, contains much nitrogen. This might lead to the same kinds of issues that frequent urination causes.
6. Digging Holes in Lawn:
Most of a dog’s digging will occur around fences, garden and plant areas, or previously exposed dirt. Since digging in the grass is more complex than digging in bare soil, sites with bare soil make it simpler to experience the delight of exploring.
To get away, a dog may dig along the perimeter of a fence. If you see your dog digging in a patch of grass, it’s probably because it’s responding to a particular odor in the area.
Supervision is the most effective method for preventing damage to the grass. It will be less probable for your dog to get into mischief if you keep a close check on them and don’t leave them alone for extended periods. As with youngsters, being bored frequently results in inappropriate actions.
Cover the hole your dog has dug in the grass with a physical item, such as a lawn chair if you notice that he has begun to explore the grass. If you start doing this as soon as possible, there is a better chance that you will be able to stop the behavior before it ever starts.
Once it has been exposed to dirt, the dog perceives it as an equally simple chance for digging as the bare earth around the shrubs, etc. Once it has been opened up toil, the dog views it as a similarly easy opportunity for exploring.
7. On Wet Grass, Dogs Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Play:
Because wet grass is more susceptible to harm from high-impact activities than a dry lawn, you should try to prevent your dog from running around in the backyard after it has rained or been watered.
In addition, allowing your dog to play on damp grass almost ensures that there will be a massive mess in your house if you allow him to come back inside, and it is quite probable that you will need to get the paw washer out.
8. After You have Sprayed Your Yard with Chemicals, You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Out into the Yard:
If your dog rolls about in some organic fertilizer or consumes it, it might lead to significant health difficulties; however, a small amount of accidental contact with organic fertilizer is usually not expected to create compelling health issues.
You should follow all of the recommendations on the label and keep your dog off the grass for the amount of time indicated. Pesticides and herbicides probably provide an even more acute threat than other chemicals.
Be essential to educate yourself on safe weed killers for dogs and other pets since specific treatments are friendlier to canines than others.
What Characteristics are Essential in a Dog-Friendly Kind of Grass?
A Quick Pace of Expansion:
The first condition for a variety of grass to be considered dog-friendly is that it must regrow fast. If you do this, even if your dog chews through a section of grass, it will regrow quite rapidly, and you won’t have to stare at those unsightly brown patches for very long.
The best grasses are those that can propagate themselves by sending out rhizomes or stolons, which allow them to grow laterally along the ground and fill in empty spaces without requiring the planting of fresh seeds.
Deep Root System:
The grass is more drought-resistant when its roots are deep and dense. The grass is more resistant to being harmed if it has a root system that is both deep and thick. Even if your dog has a habit of defecating or rolling about in the exact location daily, grass with deep roots has a better chance of surviving.
Plus, robust roots deter digging. It isn’t easy to pull the grass up, and the seeds are in the way of your dog’s ability to access the soil.
To begin on the incorrect foot, be sure that the type of grass you choose is appropriate for the climate in your area. Your dog makes the situation much worse, and it is already difficult for grass to survive in an improper environment.
Learn about the climatic zone you live in and pick a type of grass that does well in that environment. You should also pay attention to the sun exposure, soil conditions, and care requirements of a particular variety of grass so that you may pick the type of grass that will work best in your yard and with your lifestyle.
How to Fix the Damage Done to Your Grass by Your Dog?
One urban legend asserts that stains caused by dog pee may be removed by “neutralizing” the acid in the urine with chemicals like as gypsum or baking soda. This is only one example of this fallacy. This will not work, and it could worsen the situation since sodium bicarbonate contains salt, which can cause the grass to become more damaged.
Because it might be challenging to ascertain whether or not the grass in a brown urine mark has perished entirely, the following are the most effective methods for repairing it:
- To assist in diluting the salts that have been collected, increase both the quantity and frequency of the watering. If the turf is still alive, this can help it recover, and it will typically start growing from the border, where there is still healthy grass.
- If the turf is already dead, increasing the amount of water applied will not assist; however, the area can be re-sodded or re-seeded once the soil has been churned and fertilized. Be careful to pick one of the suggested grass types for dog lawns if you reseed the area.
Is Artificial Grass for Dogs Right for You?
There’s no denying that artificial grass has many benefits. It’s easy to maintain, looks great, and doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides. But what about when you have pets? Is artificial grass safe for dogs?
The short answer is yes, artificial grass is perfectly safe for dogs (and other pets). It can be an excellent option for pet owners. Here’s why:
1. Artificial Grass is Easy to Clean:
Let’s face it; dogs can be messy. But with artificial grass, you don’t have to worry about muddy paw prints tracking through your house. All you need to do is hose down the grass; any mess will be gone in no time.
2. Artificial Grass is Durable:
Dogs can be tough on lawns. They dig, play, and even tear up natural grass with their nails. But artificial grass is built to withstand all of that wear and tear. It won’t show signs of damage, no matter how much your dog plays on it.
3. Artificial Grass is Comfortable for your Dog:
Dogs love to run and play, but they can get hot and tired quickly on natural grass. Artificial grass stays cool, even in the hottest weather, so your dog can play to his heart’s content. Plus, the soft surface is gentle on your dog’s paws.
4. Artificial Grass is Good for the Environment:
Artificial grass is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option. It doesn’t require watering, so it’s much more drought-resistant than natural grass. And it doesn’t need any chemicals or fertilizers, so it’s better for the environment overall.
5. Artificial Grass is Low-Maintenance:
When you have artificial grass, you don’t have to worry about mowing, watering, or fertilizing. All you need to do is occasionally brush the grass to keep it looking its best. That’s it!
So, if you’re considering artificial grass for your home, don’t forget to consider your pets. Artificial grass can be an excellent option for dog owners.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the most durable grass for dogs?
A few different types of grass are known for being durable and resistant to wear and tear, making them ideal for dogs. Fescue, ryegrass, and bluegrass are all excellent choices for areas that will see a lot of foot traffic from your furry friend. Bermuda grass is also famous for dog parks and other public spaces where dogs are welcome. All of these varieties of grass are tough and can withstand heavy use without showing signs of wear.
How to clean fake grass for dogs?
The best way to clean fake grass for dogs is to use a mixture of water and vinegar. Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz the solution onto the grass. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a brush or broom. Rinse the area with clean water and allow it to dry completely. You may need to repeat this process if the grass is extremely dirty.
Is Bermuda grass good for dogs?
Yes, bermudagrass is generally considered the good grass for dogs. It is challenging and resilient, so it can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It also has a deep root system that helps it to withstand heavy foot traffic. Bermuda grass is also relatively low-maintenance, which makes it a good choice for busy dog owners.
Is grass safe for dogs?
There’s much debate on whether or not the grass is safe for dogs, with some claiming that it’s beautiful and others saying that it can be dangerous. The truth is, there needs to be a clear answer – it depends on the individual dog. Some dogs have no problems eating grass, while others may vomit or experience other digestive issues. If your dog enjoys eating grass and doesn’t seem to have any adverse reaction to it, then there’s probably no need to worry. However, if your dog does experience vomiting or other digestive distress after eating grass, it’s best to avoid letting them do so in the future.
Is zoysia grass good for dogs?
Zoysia grass is a type of turfgrass common in warm climates. It is known for its ability to tolerate heat and drought. Zoysia grass is also a popular choice for lawns because it has a low-growth habit and requires less mowing than other types of turfgrass.
It is easy to overlook the condition of your grass when thinking about obtaining a dog, but making sure that it is suitable for canines may significantly affect the amount of time and effort you need to put into maintaining your lawn. And even if you don’t have access to the appropriate grass species, taking the time to properly care for your property and supervise how your dog interacts with it may go a long way toward creating an aesthetically pleasant and appealing outdoor space.