Landscape planning with your dog in mind can be a balancing act. You want a beautiful lawn that will also tolerate your pooch’s bathroom breaks and activity. So, a sturdy, hardy and durable grass is desirable. Six species fit the bill here: Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Zoysia, Bermuda and Centipede.
Table of Contents
- What qualities make good grass for dogs?
- What are the most popular grasses for dogs?
- Are there any alternatives to natural grass?
- In what ways do dogs ruin lawns?
- How do you protect grass from your dog?
What qualities make good grass for dogs?
Not every grass is going to be ideal since your dog will put a lot of stress on the lawn. Although there are several potential varieties, consider some of the following:
- Deep Roots: The deeper the roots affix to the soil, the more durable it will be against your dog and its activities.
- Quick Growth: The faster the grass can grow, the quicker your lawn can heal itself from your dog’s daily modes. Blemishes, bald spots and discoloration will be visible longer with slow-growing grasses.
- Climate: Different grasses thrive in various ways depending on the climate. It should be compatible with weather conditions and how much shade/sunlight the lawn gets throughout the day. This also includes rainfall and other watering requirements.
What are the most popular grasses for dogs?
The list below details the six most popular grasses recommended for dogs:
- Fescue: A hardy grass perfect for active and large dogs is Fescue. There are many varieties and it only requires neutral, well-draining soil. It’s very absorbent, easy to tend, not fussy and tolerant to shade or drought. It grows well in USDA hardiness zones between 4 and 7.
- Kentucky Bluegrass: For the never-ending canine athlete, Kentucky Bluegrass is best. It’s durable, beautiful and makes a perfect cool-season grass. It grows fast, heals quick and is very thick. It needs full sun or partial shade with rich soil that’s slightly acidic to neutral. Grow in hardiness zones ranging between 2 and 6.
- Perennial Ryegrass: A hardy and tolerant grass that works well against the activities of large dogs or multiple dogs is Perennial Ryegrass. It does need more water and fertilizer more than other types. Put this in full sun to partial shade with soil that’s rich, moist and slightly acidic to neutral. It grows best in zones between 3 and 7.
- Zoysia: Dense and luxurious, Zoysia is great for tons of puppy traffic. It’s better for warmer climates and is drought-resistant. Once established, it creates a soft, thick carpet but does take a few years to take hold. Grow in zones between 5 and 11, ensuring it gets full sun to partial shade with loamy soil that’s slightly acidic to neutral.
- Bermuda: Rambunctious pooches will benefit from Bermuda grass. It has a very deep root system, making it sturdy and durable. Bermuda is best suited to warmer climates and doesn’t need lots of water. It must have full sun with rich soil that’s slightly acidic to neutral. Cultivate in zones between 7 and 10.
- Centipede: Of all the grasses appropriate for dogs, Centipede is the most finicky. It must have sandy, acidic and well-draining soil. Although great in hot weather, it must have plenty of water. But, this water requirement is what helps dilute urine and makes it durable against dog activities. Grow in zones 7 to 10.
Are there any alternatives to natural grass?
There is one alternative to natural grass, that’s artificial grass, like Astroturf. It doesn’t require maintenance and your dog won’t ruin it in any way.
In what ways do dogs ruin lawns?
There are a myriad of ways that dogs can destroy grass, even with the most ideal of species. These include, but are not limited to:
- Urine ; Defecation
- Running, Playing ; Tumbling
- Digging ; Burying
How do you protect grass from your dog?
Understand, you will not be able to fool-proof your lawn from your dog. If your dog is on the grass, it will sustain a certain amount of damage. However, you can minimize this with some preventative measures.
How do you minimize urine and defecation?
Designate a section of the lawn for your dog to go to the bathroom. Also, put down pea gravel or wood mulch so the dog understands the differentiation. For this to be effective, though, you’ll have to train your dog. At first, take your dog on a leash to that area until you notice the dog going there on its own.
Taking your dog out for walks, runs and other activities will go a long way in preserving your lawn from damage. But, please be mindful of other people’s lawns and find a suitable place for your dog to go to the bathroom. Always clean up doggie doo right away, whether on your own lawn or in public areas.
Is there a way to diminish urine spots?
You can encourage your dog to drink more water so that the urine will dilute when the dog does go on your lawn. Always make fresh water available and feed your dog wet food. But, this will not eliminate damage, only minimize it.
Another way to dilute urine is by watering your lawn often. This will mitigate the accumulation of salts on the grass. But, once again, this only diminishes urine spots, it doesn’t prevent them.
How do you reduce damage from playing, running and tumbling?
If your dog tears up your grass from its rambunctiousness, you can try strategic placement of plants to create a barrier. Remove obstacles around which the dog establishes traffic patterns too. Also, section off an area with gating or fencing designated for the dog.
Another thing you can do is to mow your grass about two to three inches from the ground so it can better withstand your dog. This will also help hide urine spots.
How do you prevent digging holes in the lawn?
Most dogs dig along fences because the exposed soil is desirable for such an activity. Put plants or objects in the way to deter digging. Also, make sure your dog has enough toys and mental activities to keep it engaged and happy.