Some of the best memories will probably be of your dog running around in the yard, rolling around in the golden sun and grassy stalks for hours. Your heart swells as you watch them play in the grass, their tongues wagging with delight. Unfortunately, your happiness doesn’t last long when you notice the damage being done to your lawn. From dead brown patches to uneven, muddy surfaces, dogs and other active pets can wreak havoc in your backyard. Instead of dealing with the aftermath, but there are ways to prevent this.
Not all grasses are created equal, some possess resilient characteristics that can stand up to rough play and pet excursions. From natural grasses to artificial turf for dogs, there are a few options that can fit your unique pet’s needs. While you may think of natural grasses first, there is artificial turf for dogs that can surpass your expectations. Lasting longer than their natural counterparts and requiring less maintenance, fake grass can stand up to hours of play with ease while looking and feeling like the real thing.
Before you uproot your entire lawn, it’s important to understand the factors of pet behaviors that can cause your grass to wither away. Below, we describe pet habits that can ruin your landscaping, the type of grass that stands up to the challenge and a few backyard ideas for dogs to keep your pet happy and your lawn flourishing. Stop compromising the beauty of your lawn for the sake of your pet. In this grassy world, you can have your cake and eat it too.
How Dogs Destroy Lawns
From frantically running after balls to peeing in the same spots every day, dogs tend to have, well, tendencies. Creatures of habit, dogs will run up and down the same length of the fence and relieve themselves in familiar areas repeatedly. This leads to thinner threads of grasses in some places and brown, infertile spots in others. From excretions to carnal habits, your lawn may be in danger when exposed to the following elements.
Pet urine contains high counts of nitrogen, a colorless and odorless gas that in small amounts is generally safe for grass. Grass growth is dependent on this chemical but too much of it can have reverse effects and cause brownish yellow patches in otherwise green pastures. Pets urinate frequently, and normally in the same spots, making it difficult to grow grass in certain areas. Follow these tips to prevent urine from killing your grass.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Urine from Killing the Grass
With significant training, you can teach your dog to relieve himself in specific areas to limit the number of burn marks on your lawn. Along with training, water down the area each time your pet relieves themselves. You can also turn your dog to be its own watering can, by training them to drink more water. Doing so will naturally dilute their pee, making it less harmful for the grass. It’ll also keep your dog healthy and well hydrated, especially on those long summer days. Placing dog rocks in their water bowl can also prevent future grass damage. These rocks purify their drink, removing tin and aluminum and gives your dog a cleaner, healthier release.
Dog poop is never a good thing to have in your yard. Not only can it destroy a good pair of shoes, but it can also destroy your lawn. With lower levels of nitrogen, dog poop doesn’t have an immediate effect as urine but it’s still important to know how to limit your dog’s excretions and keep your lawn healthy.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Poop from Killing the Grass
Remove it immediately! Luckily, it’s easier to spot a pile of poop and you’ll want to pick up their excretions as soon as possible to minimize any lasting effects. Hose down the area and dilute any residual nitrogen lingering around. Training your pet to release his excretions in designated areas can not only save your grass but limit the number of times you step in an unwanted surprise!
Hyperactive and healthy dogs love to spend time outside, but their overzealous nature can cause your yard to be filled with holes and dirt patches. A natural behavior, dogs instinctively dig into the ground for food, nutrients, or as part of a mating behavior. While it’s not something you can totally prevent a dog from doing, you can minimize the damage to your grass.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Digging from Killing the Grass
Maintaining a healthy lawn can be your first line of defense when it comes to preventing digging damage. With the right fertilizers and mowing schedule, you can heal any uneven areas quickly. Keep spare chew toys laying around for your dog to tear up to his delight, preventing paws and teeth from sinking into the grass. Natural and artificial grass that can stand up to high traffic patterns and rough play can also be helpful when it comes to rigorous digging. We share some of our favorite pet resistant grass below.
Your dog is super active and you want to give them the freedom to run around with abandon. Unfortunately, their repetitive pawprints from running in circles and zigzags cause your grass to look limp and tired. It can also lead to patches when stalks get torn out of the ground from your canine’s rough play. Try these quick tips to keep your dog’s running from ruining your outdoor space.
How to Save Your Grass From All That Running
Designating an area for unadulterated fetch can reduce your worries of an unsightly outdoor space. Block off an area where your pet can run around with ease, and nuzzle in the grass as much as they like. You can also change the running patterns of your pet by replacing open spaces with shrubbery. These visual barriers will prevent your dog from destroying weak areas. Resistant grass can withstand repeated movement is also another solution. You’ll find a few great natural and artificial grass for pets below.
6 Best Natural Types of Grass for Dogs
Landscaping is a lot of work, but if you’re already remodeling your lawn and want grass that will stand up to your canine’s chops and chaos, there are solutions. No matter the climate you live in or the dog breed you own, these green options can fit your needs.
1. Kentucky Bluegrass
Able to grow in various climates, Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the most popular hardy grasses on the market. Firm and able to recover quickly from a long day of play, this dog grass has a rapid growth rate and requires little time to heal. Forming a thick luscious turf, it’s excellent for most homes and pets.
2. Perennial Ryegrass
If you live in cooler climates, the Perennial Ryegrass is an excellent choice for those warm summer nights and even looks great during cool winters. With its ability to sprout quickly and develop a strong root system, this grass remains sturdy in most conditions. Because it can handle variable seasons, it flourishes in light shade and really thrives in the unobstructed sun. Keep in mind that this grass enjoys a lot of care like watering and fertilizing to keep its luscious appearance.
With the range of fescue grasses on the market, there’s a type for everyone. Able to grow with minimal sun and sturdy enough to stand up to your dog’s shenanigans, Fescue is a great resistant grass for your backyard. With high moisture absorbing qualities, this grass is considered one of the best grass for dogs, especially for larger breeds that urinate frequently and in larger amounts.
Just like the name suggests, Bermuda grass is more of a tropical warm weather grass, thriving in hotter climates. While it can tolerate high amounts of sun, it also doesn't require much watering. If you're looking for a minimal maintenance natural grass that can tolerate rough play, Bermuda may be the best choice. Resistant to stress, its deep roots anchor it well against sports and pet play. Able to regenerate quickly and heal against any grass abuse, this grass remains a popular choice amongst homeowners.
Looking for a drought tolerant grass that's also sturdy enough to stand up to your pet's play? Zoysia may be the answer. While it may take a few years for the grass to solidify its deep roots, its durability is worth the wait. Perfect for warmer climates, Zoysia can withstand high heat and infrequent watering. With its dense bedding and soft feel, this dog grass will make your pet happier than ever before.
Similar to Zoysia, Centipede grass is extremely tolerant to heat and doesn’t take much effort to upkeep. With a moderate tolerance for shade and shallow roots, this grass grows quickly in varying degrees of sun. Unfortunately, it’s not the type of grass that can thrive everywhere. Sensitive to alkaline soil and unable to grow properly in imperfect weather conditions, Centipede grass usually flourishes best in the Southwest states of the United States.
Is Artificial Grass for Dogs Right for You?
Natural grasses are great but have their downsides. For one, you'll have to replace it often depending on how aggressive your dog plays in the yard. It also requires regular maintenance which can eat into the time spent playing with your pet. Fertilizers harm your animal as well as the earth, making it an unfriendly guest in your backyard. Pet care is already expensive, and doubling your expenses with lawn upkeep materials can make you think twice about natural grass options. If you're looking to remodel your lawn so that it's pet resistant, it may be worth looking at artificial grass for pets. From saving time, money and the earth, some of the best artificial grass for dogs look and feel like the real thing with a host of added benefits.
MegaPet Pro Artificial Grass for Dogs & Pets
One of the best artificial grasses for dogs, MegaPet Pro has your dog’s needs in mind. With a super strong backing allowing for tougher turf, this grass is perfect for a dog grass pad or pet run. Able to sustain moderate traffic patterns, and virtually resistant to your pet’s most aggressive moves, these grass blades are curved, allowing for easier airflow and prevents your dog from overheating during playtime. With the ability to drain up to 23 gallons of liquid per hour, you won’t have to worry about a slippery spill stopping the fun. Enjoy playtime with your dog knowing that this resilient artificial grass is backed by a fifteen-year warranty and a lush life warranty of 25 years. You and your pet will be enjoying playtime long after the sun sets.
MegaPet Platinum Artificial Grass for Dogs & Pets
For those larger dog breeds that urinate frequently, the MegaPet Platinum grass is one of the best choices for your large dog. With its ability to drain up to 92 gallons of liquid per square yard per hour, this pet grass will remain dry and play-ready even after frequent pet poop or urine. Cleanup is a breeze, allowing you to spend more time playing in the sun with your four-legged friend. Withstanding repeated heavy impact like trampling paws and sniffing noses, this dog potty grass bounces back quickly even after continuous zig-zagged running. An excellent choice for indoor and outdoor landscaping, the MegaPet Platinum synthetic grass for dogs performs gracefully under variable weather conditions and activities. Available in field green and olive green, you’ll be able to keep your lawn and pet looking and feeling healthy for longer.
Benefits of Artificial Grass for Pets
Fake grass for pets can be an excellent choice for your lawn if you’re shopping for long-lasting grass bed that can keep up with your pets’ playtime habits. Providing an area that’s always ready for your pet to stretch its legs is possible with maintenance-free, healthy-looking artificial grass. It requires little upkeep and absolutely no fertilizer which means there will never be grass downtime for your pet. Weather resistant and designed with moisture-wicking properties, MegaGrass fake grass can provide the green pastures your dog dreams of and the lawn you always wanted for your home.
How to Install Artificial Grass for Dogs
With the proper base and drainage system, installing artificial grass for your pet can be hassle-free, rewarding you with a beautiful lawn that will last for decades. The key to the installation is understanding the natural landscape of your region and working with it. There are three foundational steps required to properly install artificial grass for dogs. First, you’ll need to prepare the area where you intend to lay the grass. This includes weed and topsoil removal. Double check if you have an adequate drainage system in place prior to laying down the grass. This will ensure that the grass is absorbent and able to withstand your pet’s daily excretions. Next, a base needs to be installed. The base can vary depending on the environment of your yard. Wet the base for compaction and unfurl the lawn over it so that it can relax into its natural shape. Finally, you’ll install the lawn by stretching, not dragging it over the base. This prevents any uneven slumps that can arise during installation. For a more detailed overview, check out our step-by-step installation guide to help you at any stage in the process.
How to Clean Artificial Grass for Dogs
Say goodbye to fertilizers, mowing schedules and sprinklers. With little to no maintenance required, you can enjoy green luscious grass year round with artificial dog grass. Still, there can be times where you want to spruce up the greenery. Exposed to outside elements, leaves, dirt, and other particles can get tangled up in the grass bed. To clean this as well as puppy waste, a quick soapy rinse with mild detergent and water will be all you need to return the grass back to its perfect state. You can also rake the grass blades to keep them standing after a long day of puppy play.
Backyard Ideas For Dogs
Now that you’ve decided on the best artificial grass for dogs, how do you plan on laying it out? There are so many ways to design your yard for you and your dog’s enjoyment. Instead of scouring the internet for inspiration, we’ve got a few dog run ideas that will fit your lifestyle as well as your pet’s needs. First, you’ll want to take a look at how much space you have available to dedicate to your dog run. For compact areas, a small but loaded dog run will provide all of the essentials, including a dog house, space to run around, and a short fence to keep their play restricted to one area. If space isn’t an issue, a wide and unrestricted dog playpen can provide boundless fun for your furry friend. Scenic dog runs are not only pleasing to the eye but calming for the soul. Add a few flowers and possibly a rope swing so that you can bask in the sun while your pet sniffs and runs around to their heart's content. Interested in more options? Our dog run ideas blog post will have just what you need to get your landscaping creative juices flowing.
Burning Questions and Answers:
Why do dogs eat grass?
Similar to cows, dogs like to graze. This behavior is completely natural and is common even amongst wild dogs. There are a few theories as to why dogs consume grass, and it could be because they’re bored, lack nutrition from their daily meals, or simply because they enjoy it! Vomiting can occur if your dog consumes too much grass, due to the chemicals on the lawn.
Why do dogs roll in grass?
For the most part, dogs like to roll in the grass to relieve themselves of itchy spots. Grass has a mildly abrasive texture and can act as a scratching pad for those inconvenient areas. Rolling in the grass is also very relaxing for your pet and from the look on their faces, you can tell it’s an activity they enjoy very much.
Is grass good for dogs?
Grass provides a naturally soft yet durable ground for your pet to run around and play in. It gives your pet the traction they need to leap and run safely, without hurting their precious paws. Natural grass becomes unsafe for your dog when it’s treated regularly, exposing your animal to harmful chemicals that they could later ingest. This is why MegaGrass artificial grass is an excellent option for a safer, healthier lawn.
How to grow grass with dogs?
While it can be difficult to raise your pet and grow your grass at the same time, there are ways to do both successfully. Choose grass that is highly resistant to traffic, whether they’re natural or artificial. Set up fencing to wall off a specific area for your dog to play in. Walk your dog around the neighborhood more, so that they can stretch their legs and not feel tempted to tear up the backyard later. Maintain a healthy lawn with proper fertilizer and watering schedules. You can also substitute your natural grass for artificial turf, saving you time, energy, and money.
How to keep dogs off your lawn
Sometimes you’ll find that your neighbor's dog or feral animals wind up on your beautiful lawn. It can be time-consuming to keep your own pet’s behavior under control, so the addition of foreign animals on your grass can frustrating. To prevent their entry you can try spraying baking soda and vinegar around the border of the grass. Be careful not to use too much, as the repellents can ruin your plants’ health. Another border control could be spiky shrubbery, which immediately stops foreign dogs in their tracks. Want to be notified when a dog trespasses? Motion activated sprinklers can alert you of any movement on your yard when there shouldn’t be any.