For dog owners, their pet brings them immense joy, and although there is nothing more important than loving and caring for their dog, sometimes dogs can also cause destruction. Whether a dog enjoys running across grass, has a digging problem, loves to urinate all over your lawn, or is simply extremely active, this can make growing grass difficult. If you’re wondering how to grow grass with dogs that tear your lawn apart, I’ve got you covered in this article.
There are a few steps you can take towards having a healthy lawn once again and making your yard more pet-friendly.
Let’s get started!
How to Grow Grass with Dogs
Sometimes the best dogs are the ones who do the most damage to your yard.
They’re happy, goofy, love to run and dig and play.
It can be easy to just throw up your hands about your happy goofy pup and accept a brown, patchy lawn.
In this guide for how to grow grass with dogs I’ll cover:
- How to prevent lawn damage from dogs
- Best types of grass to grow with dogs
- Rejuvenating your dog-damaged lawn
- Repairing lawn areas damaged by your dog
Preventing Lawn Damage from Dogs
Besides simply growing a new type of grass or completely altering your lawn, you can first put into place preventative measures to change your dog’s habits.
For dogs who enjoy ruining your grass by peeing on it, you can try to train out this behavior. Pick a spot that you feel comfortable letting them use as their restroom, and guide them there.
State your restroom command and praise them immediately after they go (you can even offer them a treat). Continue this as often as possible for at least a week or until they are going there on their own. The urine of well-hydrated dogs is also known to contain less ammonium and do less damage to your lawn, so make sure Spot has a full water bowl 24/7.
Nicole Forsyth, a certified horticulturist and member of our expert panel, adds that “you can also use a hose right after they urinate, and spray the spot to dilute the ammonium in their urine to prevent damage.”
If your dogs enjoy running wildly on your lawn, and in turn, this kills your grass, do not ever simply let them run out the door. Instead, lead them out and to an area that you are ok with them destroying. This might be a spot hidden by trees or a spot not easily seen. You can add a small fence or gate to keep them in one location. Or try adding a sandbox or a kiddie pool with water to encourage them to spend more time in that area.
Many dogs also love to dig as a natural instinct or to bury themselves in the hot weather. You can do the same type of training by leading your dogs to a hole that you have already dug for them. Although this may work for some, this is not a viable option for everyone. In the case that your dogs simply will not stick to one area, other measures may need to be taken.
Types of Grass to Grow
If you have attempted training with no avail, then choosing a sturdy grass type is the way to go. You will want to make sure it is the proper season that is warm enough for the seeds will germinate. Grab some compost, and pick a type of seed that can handle abuse.
The best types of grass that can stand up to heavy pet abuse would generally by the same type that might be used on an athletic field. You will also want to look for a seed with a rapid growth rate. Young seedlings can be damaged by even the slightest contact during germination. Rapid growing seeds will also help it to repair as quickly as possible.
Deep root development is also very important as they can handle damage much better than other types of seed, and might even discourage digging behaviors. My guide to fertilizing new grass can help you with this. Finally, make sure to have grass that grows well in your climate. A stressed lawn will be more susceptible to damage.
Regarding types of seed that can hold up to your pets, depending on where you’re located there are five main types of grass that are known for this purpose:
These are all strong grasses with thick roots and rapid growth rates.
Best Grass Seed for Dog Owners
The Seed I Recommend for Dog Owners
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They tested over 160 grass varieties to create the most urine-resistant grass seed blend. (better them than me!)
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How to Care for Your Damaged Lawn
The best way to care for your damaged lawn is to take care of your pets.
If preventative measures have not worked then you can try spraying the urine spots with water or (my preference) a treatment like Sunday’s Pet Spot Repair. You should also pick up all feces from your lawn. This will dilute the urine and wash any nutrients into the roots. This should be done within minutes after your dog has gone to prevent problems.
There is also the option to use grass saving dog treats and supplements. One supplement my neighbors have had good luck with is GrassGreen -a treat which contains DL-Methionine. This is an amino acid that is actually essential to a dog’s health and will make the urine more acidic.
Some pet owners may have an issue with this as it could lead to complications for their pet. A natural alternative you can try instead is to mix blueberries and cranberries into your pet’s food.
How to Repair Dog Damage to Lawns
There area few steps you can take to repair the damaged areas made to your lawn by dogs.
- Rake the destroyed or patchy areas and remove as much as the dead grass as possible.
- Next, add a layer of ground limestone. You want it to be as fine as possible. In order to help the limestone absorb you can water the area. Then let it sit for at least one week.
- Finally, cover the patches with topsoil, and sprinkle your grass seeds over it to get it ready to germinate. Water the area gently to avoid washing the seeds away, and water daily for a few weeks. You should slowly see your patch shrink and become a part of the rest of your lawn.
The key to growing grass with dogs is accepting that your lawn may never be perfect.
But if you take active steps to repair damaged areas, train your pup to behave they way you hope he or she will, and work steadily to make your yard more pet-friendly, and you’ll have many years of enjoying your lawn alongside your four-legged friend.
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