Nothing puts a smile on your face quite like seeing your dog roll around and have fun in the grass. Dogs love any time they can get on the grass as it brings them back to their roots and past time living outside. However, the enjoyment that can be brought by watching your dog in the grass can be quickly taken away once you see the aftermath.
While dogs love getting in the grass, they can have a serious impact on the overall health and condition your grass is in. To make sure your dog is happy and your grass is ready to deal with what your dog throws at it, we have found some of the best grass options for dogs that can keep your yard looking great and your dog happy.
Grass is Great for Dogs
Over the years, dogs have been raised and trained to become more inside pets than wild animals that must hunt for survival. Despite the new environment for dogs, you can’t get rid of their old roots where they lived in areas with wild grass.
Every dog loves grass as it is their natural habitat where they can feel free and like themselves. Dogs use the grass for their bathroom duties as well as for playing and digging. Most dogs even eat grass, as it is a great source of fiber for them. Grass gives your dogs a place to feel like a real dog as they have space to run around and play without any limits. Grass gives your dogs a place to use the bathroom and feel free all in one package.
Dogs Can Also Bring Unique Challenges to Keeping a Healthy Lawn
As much as dogs love to spend time on the lawn, they can also cause a great deal of damage to it if you are not careful. Dogs are animals and therefore have no recollection of why a lawn needs to be maintained for the grass to stay healthy and grow strong.
Dogs use lawns as their outdoor homes and are not afraid to get them messy. The most common reason that dogs can make lawns look bad is because they use them as a bathroom and as a way to release energy. Dogs are big fans of running and digging that cause your yard to get muddy and look really out of shape to outsiders. As we will see later, your dogs can have a serious impact on the overall health of your grass.
Check out our post on how to fix a muddy dog yard.
The Right Grass Means a Great Lawn and a Happy Dog
Just because most homes have lawns that are ruined by their dogs doesn’t mean that has to be your fate. You can certainly train your dog to have better grass manners, but that still doesn’t fix the root of the problem: the grass.
Even though all grass is mostly just long and green, there are different species of grass that offer unique attributes to different homeowners. From grass better suited to warmer climates to artificial turf that is increasing in popularity, grass comes in all shapes and sizes for your home to try out. Let’s look at some of the best grass types for dogs that you can consider starting to grow in your own yard to make your lawn look great and allow your dog to live their life happily.
The Best Grass Types For Dogs
Unlike many other grasses, Kentucky Bluegrass is able to adapt to a variety of shade conditions. In general, this grass has limited shade tolerance and can grow fine in areas with a bit of shade.
The water requirements for KBG can vary greatly depending on seed brand. In general, all KBG seeds will need a healthy amount of water on a regular basis to ensure their roots grow long and strong.
Standard variants of this grass are not going to be very drought tolerant as they have shorter roots that cannot hold much water. Certain modified variants have longer roots if drought protection is what you want.
KBG is very well suited for cold tolerance as it is used extensively in the North where weather can get very cold.
Keep your KBG around 2-2.5 inches normally and around 3-4 inches when warmer.
When it comes to textbook grass, Kentucky Bluegrass is about as basic as it gets. This very basic yet capable grass can be found all throughout the north as it has great durability in colder months. If you like dense and lush looking lawns, Kentucky Bluegrass could be for you.
Dog owners will love this grass for its general durability that is ready for your dog to run around through. This cool and warm season grass is versatile enough for northern climates and holds up well to the average activities a dog enjoys.
This grass type is going to need full sun coverage to grow and thrive. The tropical nature of this grass means that it is used to and needs lots of sun.
While this grass was designed to stand up to the heat very well, it still needs regular watering to make sure it doesn’t fry up too much in the heat.
Being a grass designed for hot and humid climates, Bermudagrass is going to be very good when it comes to drought tolerance.
Due to its warmer tolerances, this grass has a poor cold tolerance and is not designed for colder conditions.
Should be kept short and often requires frequent mowing as it grows very fast.
When it comes to warm weather and humid climates, Bermudagrass is the grass that many choose for their lawns. The rapid growth of this grass is great for keeping your lawn always looking fresh and its ability to withstand droughts and heat means it can hold up on the hottest of days.
Your dog will love this grass as it grows fast enough to not mind your dog’s bathroom usage. If you have the time to maintain the grass and live in an area with plenty of sun, Bermudagrass is a great lawn option for the warmer climates.
Ryegrass is a grass that likes to get as much sun as it can, but it has a good chance of living well if there is some lighter shade in its life.
Being a perennial grass, Ryegrass needs more water than most other variants to thrive. This grass also conserves more water so it can stay healthier in dryer times of the year.
Similar to the Kentucky Bluegrass, ryegrass has shorter roots that are not great when it comes to drought tolerance. However, newer variants are getting modified to have better drought tolerance.
This grass sits in the middle of the other two as it has decent but not great cold tolerance.
Mow at around 1.5-2.5 inches regularly to allow the grass to maintain its healthy volume.
For the lawn owner who wants durability above all else, Ryegrass may be what you are looking for. This diverse grass type is used for fields and livestock areas as it can be grown rather quickly and is able to take quite a beating.
For a cool-season grass, your dog will be able to do whatever they like without putting too much damage on this grass. If you don’t want a high maintenance lawn, Ryegrass could be for you.
When real grass is just too much work and you want something more modern, artificial turf has made strides in recent years to become a viable option for dog owners. These lawns will save you substantial time and money as they require less maintenance and care than a living lawn.
You can find wide varieties of turf for different needs ranging from patches to keep in the home to entire lawn solutions that will keep your lawn always looking great. Modern turn is made using eco-friendly materials and can be easily cleaned after your dog does their business. Your dog won’t be able to tell the difference when going to the bathroom, but you certainly will when you don’t have to put down new grass every year.
Consider a Professional
With so many great options for getting your yard looking great and giving your dog a place to enjoy, it can seem difficult to find a grass that is the right fit for you.
If you are new to lawncare and are unsure of how to best grow and deal with new grass, a professional may be the right person to call when you need some guidance.
Fill out the form below and a local lawn professional will be in touch.
How Your Dog Causes Damage To Your Lawn
If you can understand why your dog is damaging your lawn, you can learn what to look for and try to prevent it. Dogs can get into trouble with a lawn and cause damage in a wide variety of ways. Let’s look at the most common ways that dogs can damage your lawn.
Every living animal needs to urinate, and dogs just so happen to do that on your lawn. Many dogs will need to use the bathroom several times a day which is what makes them urinating a reason that most lawns of dog owners have lots of urine damage.
Dog urine is especially damaging because it contains higher than average levels of nitrogen. Grass relies on nitrogen to grow and thrive but getting too much of it from urine is what causes it to become brown and die. Grass in the several areas where your dog urinates will likely be very dark and appear to be dead.
Pooping on Lawn
Just as your dogs need to urinate every now and then, they also need to poop after eating. Dog poop can smell bad and does have higher levels of nitrogen, but its long time to decompose means that your grass won’t be as damaged immediately.
The most common reason people dislike dealing with dog poop is because it can quickly turn your own yard into a minefield. One wrong step and your shoes will need a thorough cleaning and the smell will be hard to get rid of. Watching where your dog is popping is a good idea to know where you should go and pick it up from.
Digging in Lawn
As we mentioned earlier, dogs still have a level of primal instinct in their DNA that makes them eager to explore and search for food. This can be very obvious when you see your dog digging up large patches of your lawn with seemingly no reason.
Dogs often have lots of energy and find that digging up your lawn is a great way to get rid of that energy. This digging can kill and ruin larger portions of your lawn especially if you have larger and more hyper dogs. This is something you have to watch them doing as you can see where they like to dig.
Running on Grass
Once again, dogs are animals that have lots of energy that can become easily explosive once they get outside. Many dogs will get onto their lawn and immediately start running around in circles for no apparent reason. This burst of energy can have some damaging effects on your lawn.
Dogs don’t realize their running patterns or weight can have damaging impacts on your lawn. You can often even see exactly where they were running around as there will be torn up grass and patches. The damage is not immediate, but the running over time can rip up and kill larger portions of your lawn.
Walking in the Same Spots
One of the last major ways you can see your dog ruining your lawn is by simply walking in the same areas. This may seem like a rather hard to notice or fix issue but watching where your dog walks on the lawn can reveal that they really only ever walk in one area of the grass.
Just as humans can carve a trail through the woods by walking dogs can do the same thing to your lawn. Next time your dog goes to the bathroom, see if they follow the same path that they have been walking on for years.
Tips To Minimize Damage By Pets To Your Lawn
With so many ways to damage the lawn, it may seem hopeless to even try and fix your lawn. Luckily there are ways to combat almost everything your dog does so your lawn can look its best as your dog feels its best.
Keep Them Hydrated
Bear with us on this tip as it may seem counterintuitive at first. Keeping your dog hydrated with clean and healthy water will make their urine less harmful for the grass. This means that when they are more hydrated, their urine will cause less damage to your lawn.
As a bonus, your dog having more access to clean water will keep them healthier and cooled down when the weather gets warmer. A dog that is well hydrated is healthier and better for your grass at the same time.
If your dog is relatively young and you want to prevent nearly all of these issues, training them is one of the best ways to encourage proper behavior. You can train your dog to do things like only use the bathroom in certain areas and can even train them to not dig or run around in the lawn.
Training your dog to behave on the lawn and to use the bathroom in designated spots prevents you from having to chase after them to hunt down their bowel movements and ensure that the urine damage can be localized to one area.
Many people neglect to clean up after their dogs use the bathroom as they feel they don’t need to since it is their own lawn. While nobody can make you clean up your dog’s poop on your lawn, doing so will be very beneficial to the overall health of your lawn.
Knowing where your dog is pooping is easy to tell and you can get a bag and get rid of it in no time at all. If you follow the other steps by training your dog to only poop in certain areas, this task becomes that much easier to take care of.
Keep the Lawn Healthy
The last piece of advice we have to offer relates not to your dog, but to your lawn. Many people think the only way to make sure that their lawn is preserved when their dog uses it is to change the dog’s habits. However, you can see healthier grass with ease if you make sure to care for the grass itself.
You can keep your lawn healthy by making sure that you are doing things like watering it regularly and getting it cut when it gets too long.
Regular lawn maintenance and care are just a few ways that you can help your grass stand up to the abuse that an excited puppy can throw at it.
Need a good mower? Check out our guide on the best cordless lawn mower.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Seeing your dog eating grass may be alarming at first, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate an immediate problem. Many dogs tend to eat grass as it can aid their digestive tracts and provide them with essential nutrients. Some dogs even just do it for fun.
However, a dog that is eating large and more frequent amounts of grass is something that should not be ignored. Eating lots of grass can be a warning sign that your dog has a digestive issue like worms and should be taken to the vet just to be safe.
How can I see if my lawn has been damaged by my dog?
Many dog owners rarely get to see the damage caused by their dogs unless they follow them around the yard. Dogs can find certain areas and wreak devastation upon them if they go to the bathroom or like to dig in certain areas. When you know what to look for, the damage becomes obvious.
The best way to see if your dog has damaged your lawn is to look for areas that show damage like stains or dead grass. These can be clear signs that your dog uses these areas for the bathroom or for digging. You can also sometimes see a trail in the grass if your dog likes to run around or walk in the same area.
Can dead grass be brought back to life?
Once grass has completely been killed, it cannot be brought back to life. However, not all of the grass that appears dead in your lawn is actually dead. You can often see grass that is weak come back to life if you are able to give it the right nutrients and water as long as your dog can keep away from it.
Growing grass back from its dead state is something that requires time, patience, and lots of care. You will need to make sure you are doing everything you can to nurture the grass back to life. Once it seems to be growing strong, mow it so that it can continue to grow back and thrive. Going forward, try to keep your dog away from this patch so it can fully recover.
Check out our guide on how to revive dead grass.
The Wrap Up
The way your dog loves to run around and play on the lawn is something you never want to take away from them. This does mean that you do have to be ready to deal with the likely damage that will come upon your lawn. Thankfully, there are ways to combat the energetic spirit of a dog.
As we looked at grass options and what to look for from your dogs, we hope that you have learned some interesting facts about lawn damage and dogs. When you know how to deal with the behavior and natural tendencies of your dog, you and your lawn can rest easy knowing you took the right steps.