Dog urine on grass


What type of grass is most resistant to dog urine?

What type of grass is most resistant to dog urine? If you’re a dog owner and planning to invest in artificial grass then it’s crucial that you choose the right type. If you opt for a cheaper, latex based grass the initial cost outlay will be lower but you’ll be left with nasty smells and a potentially toxic lawn. This is because when dogs wee on latex grass, over time the ammonia in urine transforms into toxic ammonia pockets. They become ingrained into the base of the lawn and are extremely difficult to remove.

Over time, the ammonia pockets become toxic and can be dangerous for children and pets. The gases and chemicals that are also let out into the air can seriously damage the environment. Therefore, when browsing through different artificial grass options, it is important that you are fully aware of what the grass contains and how pet friendly it is.

K9 Proflow Polyurethane backed grass

K9 Proflow Polyurethane backed grass has been scientifically designed to resist dog urine thanks to its materials and innovative design. Unlike latex turf, Proflow Polyurethane backed grass enhances drainage and prevents toxic ammonia pockets from building up.

Te polymers that are used to make this grass are extremely resistant and durable. Unlike latex, Polyurethane doesn’t degrade over time which prevents any risk of ammonia building up over time. Your pets can therefore enjoy the grass as they wish without any work of nasty odours building up.

K9 Zeolite infill and enzyme cleaners

With Polyurethane backed grass, it won’t need to be cleaned as often to keep any odours at bay. For example, if you have K9 Proflow Polyurethane backed grass in a 20 sqm garden with one dog, we recommend cleaning it once per month. However, if you have a cheaper, latex based grass, you’d need to clean it every time the dog uses it to prevent toxic ammonia pockets from building up. For best results, we always recommend that Proflow is used in conjunction with the K9 Zeolite infill and enzyme cleaners.

K9 Turf Enzyme Cleaner

4 Phase installation system

To enhance the turf’s resistance to pet waste, we also recommend using a 4 phase installation system. This will provide your turf with excellent drainage and ensure that it is built to last.

Our unique installation process incorporates four stages. Firstly, the team level out the area and ensure the surface is in optimum condition. They remove any debris or rocks which could cause issues once the grass is installed. A layer of crushed rock and grano is then spread across the surface which provides the ideal foundations for the grass. It also helps to enhance drainage.

2”x2” Plastic battens

The team then cement 2”x2” plastic battens around the edges of the garden which reinforce the turf and hold it in place once installed. This also prevents the edges from coming away over time.

Enhances drainage by up to 400%

Once the foundations have been laid, the team then install the grass backing which consists of four layers. This enhances drainage by up to 400% and boosts the longevity of the grass. Once everything is installed, Zeolite Infill is spread across the grass which acts as an added barrier against pet waste sinking into the turf.

By using this system, we can help ensure that your grass remains resistant to pet urine and prevent the buildup of bacteria and nasty smells.

More frequently asked questions

Best Grass for Dogs

A happy healthy dog and a lush green backyard lawn; they’re just part of the typical Australian lifestyle.

The problem is that dogs and grass don’t always go together.

In fact, dogs can do more damage to your lawn than multiple vet visits can do to your wallet.

So what are the best turf varieties for dog lovers?

What grass varieties will stay green in spite of the usual round of dog rough and tumble and urine burns?

Dog Traffic

Dogs are born to run but their high energy play can damage your lawn. You need to choose varieties that will stand up to constant wear and tear.

But it’s not just a question of choosing the toughest grass.

Take a good look at your lawn; is it exposed to full sun or does it get lots of winter shade?

Is it prone to drought or frost?

Will grass with deep roots and wear tolerance be better than grass that has fast re-growth?

  • Kikuyu is definitely one of the toughest grasses for surviving dog wear and tear but it likes good sun exposure and doesn’t grow so well in the shade.
  • Sapphire has good wear tolerance even in the shade and both Sapphire and Palmetto display rapid re-growth. These grasses can repair damage quickly.
  • Sir Walter grows even more quickly and also has excellent wear resistance yet requires less mowing than kikuyu in summer.
  • Zoysia is very tolerant to high traffic but if it is damaged its slow growth may hinder recovery. It’s probably best for medium wear and tear situations in warmer climates.
  • Couch is another tough grass with rapid re-growth for repairing damaged areas.

Dog Runs

If your dog run is in the shade or part shade then Sapphire, Palmetto or even Matilda would be good choices.

Sir Walter is also a good option as it grows quickly thanks to its rapid re-growth. Zoysia is very tough too but it doesn’t handle frost so well.

The reality is no grass can sustain constant wear for ever without being damaged.

High Traffic Areas

If you place your dog in a grassed run for lengthy periods then there are a couple of things you can do to help even the odds for your grass.

Make sure you give the dog a good run before putting him/her in the run.

If your dog has had some good exercise he/she will be more inclined to rest rather than pace up and down the run wearing out the grass.

Try moving the run from time to time to give the lawn a chance to recover.

Dog Urine & Urine Burns

Urine burns or spots; those ugly patches of brown dead grass that occur where dogs have urinated on the lawn.

If the levels of nitrogen excreted in dog urine are sufficiently concentrated the urine will burn the grass.

In general terms…

small dogs = small problem

big dogs = big problem

This is simply because of the quantities of urine being released.

Female dogs frequently cause most of the problems…

…that’s because they will squat in one place and release all their urine whereas male dogs tend to release smaller quantities in different places to mark their territory.

Elevated levels of nitrogen in dog urine are a result of a high protein diet.

Dogs are carnivores and need lots of protein but there are some ways to reduce the nitrogen concentration safely.

Make sure your dogs are getting sufficient exercise.

Exercise will burn more protein and release less nitrogen in the process.

In fact, many owners feed their inactive dogs far more protein than they really need.

Choose good quality sources of protein for your dog.

Many cheap brands of dog food contain poor quality proteins that dogs cannot process efficiently.

Making sure your dog is drinking enough water too will help reduce the concentration of nitrogen in the urine.

Talk to your vet about giving your dog a really balanced healthy diet.

A good diet will help reduce the problem.

It always helps too if you water the patch where the dog has just urinated. This will usually dilute the urine enough to avoid any problems.

Grass to Eat

Dogs are carnivores so their occasional habit of chewing grass can seem strange.

We don’t know exactly why they do it but it is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.

A very limited study did conclude that dogs appear to have no preference between Kikuyu and couch but the reality is your dog is most unlikely to eat enough grass to do serious damage to your lawn.

In terms of your dog’s health, reducing the amount of herbicides and pesticides that you use on the lawn is pretty important.

Poop Scoopers

Dog poop can also have a detrimental effect on your lawn.

Usually it works as a slow release fertilizer encouraging uneven growth patches across your lawn but too much can cause nitrogen overload.

Dog faeces may also contain worms or harmful parasites that can pose a danger to our pets or children.

Removing the faeces is really the only viable option and it goes with the territory of owning a dog.

There are plenty of low cost poop scoopers available online and in most pet supply stores.

Our 5 Steps to a New Healthy Lawn

Your poor pup might be taking all the blame, but the truth is those yellow spots in your yard can occur whether or not you even own dogs.

There’s no arguing that your dog’s pee contains nitrogen that, when released onto the ground, can cause a yellow mark to appear due to an excess in the micronutrient. But that does not necessarily mean you need to find a way to lower the nitrogen levels in your dog’s urine. Nitrogen is a beneficial (and essential) element for the soil, and a healthy yard should be able to properly absorb, distribute, and utilize it. If your lawn is covered in these patches, it might mean your grass is sick and in need of your help.

So let’s bring your yard back to a lush and green existence! By following these five steps, your lawn should reach a healthful state that is able to maintain a beautiful appearance despite the weather, bugs… and dog pee.

Step 1 – Remove Unwanted Material From Lawn

Before doing anything else, you will want to get rid of any sickly, dead, or unwanted organic material. This includes sticks, dog poop, and of course weeds.

Weed control products may be necessary if you have large areas that are overgrown. All weeds must be completely removed as any roots left behind will begin to hog all the nutrients that is surely needed to feed your grass. Just Be Careful! Most likely your pets will not be allowed in the yard for some time after a weed killer has been applied. Please follow the directions closely.

Before moving on, it is also a good idea to investigate those lawn burns and make sure it’s not one of the following grass disorders:

What may look like dead patches throughout your yard could actually be thatch, a thin layer of dead roots, grass and other plants that accumulate on top of the ground’s surface. Thatch will form when the normal decomposition of loose grass clippings and general plant debris cannot break down fast enough often due to compacted soil. You will want to remove all of the excessive thatch with a dethatching rake or similar tool.
Photo courtesy of eartheasy.comChinch bug infestation
When thatch exists, it is soon followed by chinch bugs as it makes an ideal breeding ground for them. Once they have infiltrated your yard, chinch bugs will suck on the blades of grass while injecting a toxin, gradually killing off your lawn. It may look like burn spots, or as if you’re going through a drought; but on closer inspection you may find microscopic bugs feeding away. Sometimes even the naked eye isn’t able to confirm their existence and a professional opinion may be needed. If chinch bugs are the diagnosis, you will most likely need to apply an insecticide to remedy the issue.Red Thread Lawn Disease
Have you ever seen red coloring on the very tips of your grass? This is indicative of Red Thread Lawn Disease, a disorder caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis, often occurring during periods of wet weather and/or a poor drainage system.. Red Thread Disease is in no way related to your dog’s bathroom habits, and in fact is more likely to occur when a lawn is lacking nitrogen.

If you do begin seeing red tips, you will want to take care of this as soon as possible as it can spread fast. Although several fungicides are readily available in stores, our secret ingredient is neem oil. Not only can neem oil quickly cure Red Thread Disease, but it can further protect your lawn by warding off insects that try to feed off of it. And yes, neem oil is safe for dogs, just follow the safety instructions on the bottle.
Photo courtesy of

Step 2 – Aeration

One of the most common reasons for a sickly lawn is compact soil. Compact soil is when the soil grains become so close together that the pore space is drastically reduced restricting water and air from entering to surface and reaching down to the roots. Compaction will inevitably happen over time, especially in a backyard heavily used by humans ad animals. In order to solve this issue, you will need to aerate the ground – meaning perforating the surface in order to re-expose the soil to the air. There are two main types of aerating tools exist – a spike aerator and a plug aerator.

Spike Aerator
Spike aerators poke tiny holes into the ground’s surface with the intent to make water move more freely into the soil. This is the more popular item purchased by residential consumers – and who can blame them? It’s light-weight, easy to use, and can fit in most residential sheds. Unfortunately, some things are too good to be true. In reality, spike aerators are mostly ineffective since the holes are so small and shallow, and in many cases can cause further compaction soon after the first rainfall.

Core/Plug Aerator
Core aerators remove much larger and deeper clumps (a.k.a. plugs) of soil (about 2 – 3 inches deep, 0.5 – 0.75 inches in diameter) to ensure deep-rooted exposure to oxygen, water and nutrients for an extended period of time. The one downside is how substantially larger it is compared to a spike aerator. About the size of a riding mower, plug aerators can weigh at least 250 pounds, and cost a few thousand dollars to own. Still being the better option, you might want to rent this device (if you think you can handle the heavy machine yourself) or hire a company that will do it for you. If you happen to own a riding mower, you may want to look into purchasing a more affordable plug aerating device that you can tow behind as you ride it.
Photo courtesy of

How often should you aerate? Different soil types require varied frequencies of aeration. Clay soil, commonly found in the United States, compacts easily and should be aerated at least once per year. . A sandy soil may only need to be aerated once every other year. If you are set on having a beautiful healthy lawn, our best recommendation is aerate twice a year in the spring and fall right around when you would want to fertilize.

Step 3 – Fertilize

Next you will want to feed your lawn with fertilizer in order to nourish it with the proper nutrients it is in dire need of. There are two main types of fertilizers out there: Quick-release and Slow-release.

Quick-release fertilizers are water-soluble and therefore immediately available to your plant’s roots when applied;you’ll see almost immediate growth of your grass. The downside is that since the nutrients are absorbed so quickly, you will need to be re-apply on a more frequent basis. Quick-release fertilizers are a danger to your pet since it can be absorbed through their skin. You will need to wait an extended period of time before letting them out after application. Read the directions closely!

Slow-release fertilizers are made to be water insoluble using special organic material or a protective coating. The nutrients are released gradually over time meaning less applications. Although you will need to wait a little longer to see the results, slow-release fertilizers are the safer option in order to avoid further burning your lawn.

One of our favorite fertilizers is Milorganite – a slow-release fertilizer that is made from nutrient-fed microbes that are kiln dried at temperatures exceeding 900 F, ensuring all pathogens are killed off, making it safe for dogs (and you). The result is an effective fertilizer with a 5% Nitrogen content. The low nitrogen level might mean you need to lay down more but it promotes a more even spread and thus a more even growth.

We recommend to fertilize twice a year, right after you aerate.

Step 4 – Seeding

Seeding, more specifically overseeding, is the planting of grass seeds directly into your existing turf. It can be used to regrow bare spots, improve the overall density of your lawn, and restore your yard’s appearance to that vivid green color you once knew.

You do not necessarily need to plant the same type of grass that was there before, but it’s important to pick one that is right for your climate as well as how much sun your yard is exposed to.

Here is a quick guide on grass seeds – from

(W) = warm season grass (C) = cool season grass

Type of Grass Drought Resistance Need for Water Texture Traffic Level Sun Other Features
Bahia (W) High Low Coarse High Full sun to partial shade Moderately aggressive
Bermuda (W) High Medium Fine to Medium High Full sun Fills in quickly
Buffalo (W) High Low Fine High Full sun Requires minimal maintenance
Centipede (W) Medium Medium Coarse Low Full sun to partial shade Creeps low to the ground, slow growing
Creeping Bent Grass(C) Low High Fine High Full sun to partial shade Found on golf courses; provides carpet-like lawn
Fescue (C) High Low Coarse Medium Full sun to partial shade Many varieties; thrives in mild winters/warm summers
Kentucky Blue Grass (C) Medium Medium to high Fine to medium Medium to high Full sun to partial shade Withstands cold and is resistant to disease
Perennial Ryegrass (C) Low High Medium to coarse Medium to high Full sun to partial shade Intolerant of extreme heat or cold
St. Augustine (W) Low to medium Medium to high Coarse Medium Full sun to partial shade Grows quickly
Zoysia (W) Medium to high Medium Fine to medium High Full sun to partial shade Dense and wiry

If you are in Pet Poo Skiddoo’s hometown state of North Carolina, the most popular grasses used are fescue (tall or thin), Kentucky bluegrass, and Perennial ryegrass.

Other Buying Considerations:

Avoid straight seed. Straight seed products only contain one type of grass, which actually makes it more vulnerable to drought and disease. By buying a seed blend or mixture, you are combing the beneficial attributes of several different grass types, strengthening its overall resistance. A good blend blend will group together grasses with the same season type.

Germination vs weed. Not every single seed will be successful, but check the label and make sure the chance of germination is above 75% and weed contamination is lower than 0.5%.

Drop Spreader. We highly recommend a drop spreader in order to ensure an even spread and avoid creating concentrated piles of seeds. Overabundant seedlings can result in inconsistencies as the seeds are forced to fight over the resources available in the soil. Often the seed’s packaging will list settings to use for the spreading device.

Overseeding should be performed twice per year, and can be spread on top of fresh fertilizer.

Step 5 – Water

You may have heard that you should water the spot right after your dog pees. Although that will help, it’s hard to imagine following your dog around with a watering can as he looks for a place to do his business. What might be a better option and certainly more practical is to start watering your entire lawn on a regular basis so that it is always well hydrated and prepared to properly distribute the dog’s urine as it reaches the soil.

Water is a key factor in keeping your plants healthy and allowing the natural process of photosynthesis to take place. While mammals (including us) are made up of 70% water, plant life contains 90% water, hence will require more H2O to continue thriving.

It may differ on the type of climate or time of year, but on average you will want to give your grass 1-1.5” inches of water on a weekly basis. This equates to all areas receiving 20-30 minutes of irrigation 3 times a week (of course this can be lessened if it has rained). You should try to water during the cooler part of the day like from 6-10am or 4-7pm. Make sure the ground is completely dry before applying water again.

It is important to note you’ll need to water more -at least once a day – after laying down seed in order to have them germinate. Straw can be layered on top to help lock in the moisture. This aggressive watering will last 1-4 weeks depending on the type of seed and your environment until the grass reaches three inches tall.

If you start seeing puddles or suspect your lawn is being oversaturated, you may need to improve your drainage system by installing perforated tubing or a french drainage system.

Droughts are a big problem across much of the country these days, and many are hesitant to water their grass due to fear of water shortages (not to mention high water bills). To reduce your water usage, it would still be a good idea to invest in a rain barrel to collect water when it rains and use that supply rather than taking from your town’s water supply.
Photo courtesy of

If after following all five steps, you are still experiencing yellow spotting, there are a few more things to consider:

Lawn repair mixes may be necessary for areas where your dog tends to urinate the most. Lawn repair mix can help rejuvenative grass by using a scientifically balance of mulch, seeds and fertilizer with the advantage of having it all in one pre-mixed convenient bag. This should only be done after the five steps have been applied and you have waited the correct amount of time for the grass to grow. Consider alternatives to grass. There are several way to rework the design of your lot to incorporate less grass. Places like California and Las Vegas who are more prone to droughts are known for having beautiful desert landscapes that require little water for upkeep. There’s also the art of mulching that can cover a lot of land with visually stunning colors (and at a relatively low cost). Then there is of course artificial turf that will never yellow, although will also require quite a bit of water on a regular basis in order to flush out urine and other contaminants.

If you suspect that your dog is outputting an unusually high amount of nitrogen or that their pH balance is off, you may need to seek the assistance of a veterinarian. They may want to put your dog on a low-protein diet. Read more in depth about nitrgoen and acidity in your dog’s body here.

5 Steps to Maintain a Healthy Lawn That Can Withstand Your Dog’s Urine Tagged on: backyard safety

Best Grass for Dogs: Creating a Dog-Friendly Lawn!

Generally speaking, grass is a great groundcover for dogs. It’s soft to the touch, it doesn’t present any serious toxicity issues, and–as long as you mow it on a reasonably frequent schedule–it’s unlikely to harbor many ticks or other pests.

Nonetheless, some grasses are undoubtedly better for homes with dogs than others. Some types, for example, are less likely to be harmed by your dog’s urine, while others will hold up to heavy traffic better than others.

We certainly don’t expect anyone to go rip up their existing lawn so it can be replaced with some other type of grass, but if you are currently making significant landscaping changes, you may want to think about the type of seed or sod you put down.

We’ll talk about the dog-grass relationship below, explain the differences between the various grass options, and give you a few tips for keeping your yard looking great.

How Dogs Destroy Lawns

Dogs can damage your grass in a few key ways, and it’s important to identify the way your dog is harming your lawn so you can take steps to protect it. Or, if you end up needing to replace your lawn, you’ll know what type of grass to choose.

Some of the most common ways that dogs destroy lawns include:


Dogs will usually urinate several times a day, particularly if they have free access to the yard. Dog urine is made up of a handful of major ingredients, including something called urea – one of the byproducts created during the metabolism of protein.

Urea contains a ton of nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important resource for grass and other plants, as it helps them produce new tissues and grow (nitrogen is the primary component of most fertilizers).

But, excessive amounts of nitrogen will “burn” plants, and, in the case of your lawn, this will cause patches of grass to turn brown and die.

Some owners opt to train their dog to only pee and poop in one specific spot to limit some of the damage done. While this is certainly a great strategy, it may take some effort to teach your dog the new potty game plan, and some sections of your lawn will still get ruined.


Poop also contains some nitrogen, but the biggest problem relates to the moisture and bacteria it contains. This can disturb the soil microflora and encourage the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.

Your dog’s waste can also represent a pretty significant biohazard if you don’t clean it up regularly, so get out there with a pooper scooper and patrol your yard.


A lot of dogs like to dig – they’ll dig at their beds, they’ll dig at their water bowls, and many dogs seem to pick a particular part of your lawn where they focus most of their attention.

If you’re lucky, your dog will pick some out-of-the-way location to dig, but unfortunately, they often seem to prefer areas that are at least adjacent to your lawn.

Digging not only damages the grass blades and rips up the roots, but it does a fair bit of damage to the underlying soil too. Exposing the soil to the air like this can dry it out, and your dog’s repetitive pawing may compact the soil, making it difficult for the grass to recolonize the area.


A running dog’s paws can crush grass blades and dislodge swatches of turf. Running usually only causes problems when dogs repeatedly run across the same stretch of land. That’s why you might find bare patches near fences and in the places connecting your dog’s favorite spots (such as the back door and his dog house).

You can limit this damage by trying to encourage your dog to use the entire yard. If you keep your dog attached to a runner or a tie-down, try to move the tether periodically to spread out the damage.

What Characteristics Make for a Dog-Proof Lawn

We’ll talk about a few of the best grasses for homes with dogs in a minute, but first, we want to explain the characteristics that give these grasses an edge.

Some of the primary things you want to look for include:

  • Rapid Growth Rate. All lawns will suffer some damage when your dog runs, jumps, and plays on it – there’s just not a lot you can do about this. One of the best ways to keep your yard looking great is to select a grass that grows quickly, as this will help it recover from the damage rapidly.
  • Deep Root Development. Grasses that have deep root systems will tend to weather damage better and recover more quickly. Additionally, deeply rooted grasses will sometimes discourage digging behaviors.
  • Well-Matched to Your Climate. If you don’t pick a good grass species for your property, your lawn will likely be stressed before your dog sets food on it. Give your lawn the best chance for survival by picking one that is perfectly suited to your climate and the amount of sun exposure your yard receives.

Hardy Grasses That Can Cope with Your Dog

Lawncare experts recommend a variety of different types of grass for homes with dogs, but the following four are among the most commonly mentioned.

1. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the hardiest grasses available, and it thrives in most growing locations. Its rapid growth rate, hardy nature, and ability to recover quickly after being trampled make it a great choice for many owners. Kentucky Bluegrass is also quite attractive, which provides additional value.

2. Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrasses usually produce a fairly robust root system and grow very quickly. They’re often best suited to cool climates, where they make one of the best choices for homes that count a dog among the residents.

3. Fescue

There are a variety of different fescues available, so you’ll have to pick a good variety for your climate. However, as a group, fescues tend to be hardy grasses. They exhibit excellent moisture-absorbing properties and generally handle the indignities your dog will dole out. Many fescues are capable of growing in shaded areas.

4. Bermuda

Bermuda is a popular choice among those living in warm climates, and it rarely needs supplemental irrigation. It’s also the perfect choice for high-traffic areas since it’ll usually tolerate your dog’s paws pretty well. However, like all other grasses, it’ll appreciate a break from time to time to heal and recolonize bare areas.

Do note that Bermuda grass tends to become dormant and turn brown during the winter when temperatures drop below about 55 degrees. It will come back to life (so to speak — it doesn’t actually die), once warm weather returns.

5. Zoysia

One of the more luxurious grasses for your pup’s paws (as well as your feet), Zoysia is another popular choice for homes with dogs. Zoysia is reasonably drought tolerant and hardy once established, but it often requires four or more years to get a solid foothold.

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Dog Safe and Your Grass Beautiful

No matter what type of grass you select, there are a few things you can do to help keep your lawn looking its best. Some of the most effective ways to do so include:

Dilute Your Dog’s Pee

One way to reduce the damage caused by your dog’s nitrogen-rich urine is to hose down the area right after your dog pees. This will help dilute the amount of nitrogen and reduce the damage caused.

You can also protect your lawn even more by simply taking your dog for a walk first thing in the morning and after you return home from work.

Your dog’s urine will typically be most concentrated, so a nice walk will give them a chance to flush out all of that nitrogen somewhere other than your yard.

Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop

First of all, you should regularly patrol and clean your yard, as a build-up of pet waste can cause a number of very serious health problems for your dog and your family (as well as potentially attract coyotes).

But aside from this, cleaning your yard regularly will help keep your grass healthier.

Like urine, dog poop is also full of nitrogen. This can create the same types of problems that frequent urination does.

Try to Encourage Your Dog to Enjoy the Full Yard

If you spread out your dog’s impact on the lawn (including the physical wear-and-tear caused by his activity and the chemical assault poop and pee represent), it’ll give the grass a better chance to recover. It isn’t always easy to accomplish this, but you should do your best to try.

Don’t Let Dogs Play on Wet Grass

Any type of high-impact activity will cause more damage to a wet lawn than a dry one, so try to keep your dog from zooming around the backyard following rain or watering.

Besides, letting your dog play on a wet lawn essentially guarantees a huge mess in your home once you let him come back inside, and you’ll likely to have to break out the paw washer.

Don’t Allow Your Dog Outside After Spraying Your Yard with Chemicals

A little incidental contact with an organic fertilizer is probably not likely to cause huge health issues, but if your dog rolls around in some or eats any, it may lead to pretty big problems.

Pesticides and herbicides probably represent an even more acute danger, so you should definitely follow all label instructions and keep your dog off the lawn for the recommended period of time.

Also be sure to read up on pet-safe weed killers, as some treatments are much more dog-friendly than others.

Take Advantage of Problematic Growing Spots

Most lawns will have an area or two that – for whatever reason – struggle to nurture a thick carpet of grass. Instead of lamenting these problematic patches, try to put them to good use by trying to encourage your dog to use these places.

You may want to put his dog house or tie-down stake in these areas, or you could simply try to confine play to these barren areas.

What kind of grass do you use in your yard? Did you think about your pooch when making the decision? Have you experienced any particularly difficult challenges?

Let us know all about your experiences in the comments below!

If you’re on the quest for a dog-proof yard, also make sure to read our articles on dog-friendly shrubs and dog-safe flowers.

Grass is something that is everywhere and we never even really think twice about it. When you buy or rent a house and you have a dog, you simply just take it for granted that the dog will enjoy the grass and love rolling through the shrubs when they get outside. Often times this does happen and when you know what is the best grass for dogs, you will find that your best friend is much happier and loves to be on the lawn more often than not.

Dogs do have a tendency to always please their owners and they can also be taught to get past the fear of certain things. If your dog makes a habit of not doing his thing on the grass, you can teach him to get past this sort of behavior, but often times, your dog may also be allergic to the grass and this will dissuade them from using it and spending time on it.

We have decided to look a little deeper to find out what the best grass seed for dogs is. We have also found a few things that you will need to consider when you are fortunate enough to plant and care for your own grass. Sometimes it can be quite a strenuous process to simply get rid of the old lawn and plant a new one with the hope that your dog will still be happy.

Before we dive into the top grass for dogs, there are a few characteristics that you need to know about good grass that can tolerate the lifestyle of any dog. These characteristics are found in many grass types and if you can find one with a lot of them, you will most likely see your garden growing and your dog being happy at the same time.


Key characteristics to Take Note of

Grass has different characteristics that make them differ from one another. This can be the speed at which they grow and the type of texture that they have when they are fully grown out. For dogs, there are a few special characteristics that you will need to look for and this will not only be great for them, but also for the welfare of your entire lawn and especially the way it looks to your guests.

Here are a few characteristics that you should look for in great grass for your dogs:

Grass that grows quickly

Since dogs will certainly be looking to tear apart the lawn when they are pup or even as they get older, you will need to have grass that can quickly recover and regrow to fill up those patches. Grass that grows quickly keep your lawn looking good all the time and you will not have any of those extensively deep gaping holes that you will need to cover.

Good toleration of urine and feces

Dogs also have to go and relieve themselves and since the grass is generally one of the softest and easiest places to do so, they choose to use it for this purpose. If you have multiple dogs that like to use the lawn, you will need to ensure that your grass has the absorption capabilities to deal with this.

The underlying ground will also make a difference, but having some decent grass is essential when it comes to keeping your lawn looking great and have less of an odor. We also recommend that you do buy a poop scooper to keep your lawn looking fresh.

Deep root system

Grass with a deep root system is vitally important when it comes to keeping the dog happy. Even if you have grass that grows back very quickly, it will still be of no use if the dog manages to dig out all of the roots. The deeper the roots, the harder it’ll be for the dog to reach these roots and they will continuously be able to grow with you having to replant and rebuy new grass all that often.

Try to buy organic

Many people live under this notion that dogs are only carnivores and they tend to only love eating meat, but dogs also love to munch on grass from time to time. To reduce the chances of your dog getting any possible allergic reaction to the grass or the added chemicals, you should try and get organic grass. This will also help to improve the dog’s metabolism and reduce the chances of constipation in the dog.

The one thing that you should also know about having grass with all of these characteristics is that they do have a very high price tag. Like most things in life, you will need to pay to get the best, but you will not be disappointed. Not only will your canine friend be very happy, but your lawn will also look fresh and inviting for a majority of the year. During the winter months, you might need to put in some extra effort to keep the lawn in this shape.

Is Artificial Turf Suitable for my Dog

One of the main questions many people ask is whether or not artificial turf will be fine for their pets. If you are not fortunate enough to have an area where you can create your own lawn, artificial turf will be the best alternative option that you could choose for your dog. Artificial grass can be good or bad for your dog and at the end of the day it comes down to a few things that you will need to have in place:

Benefits of Artificial Turf

Artificial grass might be more expensive at first and it will also cost you a few extra bucks when it comes to laying it down and getting it all in place.

Once you have gotten this part out of the way, artificial grass can actually make life much easier for you and allow you to save some money and time in the long run, whilst keeping your dog happy.

No long-term maintenance

Artificial grass cannot grow and this will mean that you do not have to buy additional fertilizers and grass food to keep the grass flourishing. In the long term, this will save you a few extra bucks and you will only need to keep focussing on keeping the grass clean and washing away the feces and urine from time to time to keep the grass from leaving that unbearable stench.

No gardener needed

The great thing about artificial lawn is the fact that you will not have to mow the lawn to keep it tidy. Artificial grass will not grow any longer and this will save you a ton of time when it comes to keeping the lawn looking great.

No need to fill up holes that pups like to dig

Puppies love to dig holes and these holes will look bad if they are left unfilled in your garden. Since artificial turf is a little harder and there is no soft soil underneath, the dog will have a tough time trying to dig and will eventually give up. This means that you do not have to spend your time scolding the dogs and Saturdays can actually be spent watching your favorite sport instead of filling up the lawn and planting new grass seeds.

Now that you know some of the benefits of having artificial turf, you should also know a few of the cons to help you make an educated decision when you are faced with the decision of choosing between real grass and artificial turf.

Disadvantages of Artificial Turf

Even though you will be washing or simply hosing down the turf from time to time, you will still find that the stench of urine and feces remains after having the same turf for too long. The moisture will get into the turf itself and this will be the hardest part to wash out and clean.

Not good for the dog to chew on

Dogs do need some sort of green vegetation to help their internal body function better and also help them to process their foods much better. While most commercial dog foods have now tried to include some of these sources in their products, the dog will still gravitate back to nature.

With artificial turf, you will eliminate the opportunity for the dog to eventually satisfy their need for these minerals and vitamins in a natural way.

Weak drainage

One of the biggest problems that many people face with artificial turf is the lack of drainage. If you cannot have your turf drain quickly, you will be left with puddles of built up water. This will not be the best way to go about doing things and will also lead to puddles of urine and feces that will simply just create that unbearable stench. We recommend setting up a decent drainage system first before laying down your artificial turf.

Gets very hot in the summer

Unfortunately, turf cannot naturally cool down itself like natural grass. In the summer months, turf might become very hot and it can even become much hotter than concrete. This will not be ideal for dogs and you will definitely find them gravitating away to a cooler area in the summer.

Now you have a better understanding of turf and how turf can be beneficial and also be quite problematic. Since we generally like to recommend natural grass for dogs, here are a few grass types or seeds that you should consider planting to ensure that you get the best out of your lawn and potentially keep yourself and your canine companion happy at the same time.

Best Grass Types/Seeds for Canines

We have chosen a few grass types that we have come across after doing some research into which grass types will be the best for dogs. Not all of these grass types will grow everywhere and therefore, it is imperative that you look at a few of the main characteristics of these grass types to ensure that you get the best possible value for your money.

Kentucky Bluegrass is known for its ability to grow almost anywhere. This grass is a highly sought out choice due to its ability to recover and repair damage over time. The Kentucky Bluegrass will also drain and absorb the urine from your dog and it will also slightly spread over time and cover more areas of your lawn.

Kentucky bluegrass can also be used in areas with high traffic. This Northern climate grass is very durable and the growing speed is actually impressive. Kentucky Bluegrass will ensure that your lawn looks great for the most part of the year.

Tall Fescue Grass Kentucky 31

This grass type is not only known for its ability to grow very fast and in shady conditions, it also has the capabilities of absorbing urine and moisture. If you are looking for a grass type that’ll keep your lawn looking good in all conditions and not cost you too much out of the pocket, the Tall Fescue grass Kentucky 31 will be perfect for your lawn.

One thing we should mention about this type of grass is the maintenance aspect. The grass will grow much quicker than many other grass types this will cause you to mow the lawn much more often than you might be used to.


Bermudagrass is designed for those areas with extremely high traffic and this grass type does have great abilities to repair itself with only a small break needed. Bermudagrass is the most effective when it is planted in warmer climates. You will also have little lower maintenance on this grass type as it will be able to survive on the rain of the summer months alone.


Ryegrasses might not be super effective on its own, but when it is over seeded with Bermudagrasses in will act as another layer of protection against the canine.

This combination of grass types is usually best when you have a long time for the grass to get set and establish itself. The combination will also be great for those with multiple pets.


These 4 grass types are what we consider the best for those with dogs. The grass on your lawn will definitely look much better and you will also be able to have a few guests over without having the dogs destroy that perfect lawn that you have been spending so much time on. You will also be able to enjoy your weekends and spend the entire day working in the garden and doing those manual repairs to get the lawn in shape for the week.

Turf will also be a great option for those living in areas where it is impossible to have your own lawn. If you do choose to go with turf, you should definitely spend some time keeping it clean and washing it down to ensure that those odors and stenches do not leave a bad impression when people do come to visit.

If you have any additional tips or even a few grass types that you think we have missed and you have used, be sure to let us know in the comment section and also share your thoughts on the above-mentioned grass types if you have used them before.

ceenspots – posted 04 April 2002 15:07

I do rescue and all of my dogs are inside dogs, however, we do play outside. The area around my deck is now just dirt and the walkway from gate to gate is the same way. Also, part of my yard is yellow (maybe burnt from urine?) I believe I have St Augustine right now and I have seen places that they sell the squares of sod. I’m just scared it will be the same way. Someone told me to seed with Bermuda. Is this a good idea? I want to do whatever will hold up the best.


Josh – posted 11 April 2002 08:22

Yes, bermuda would be a better grass than St.Augustine as far a pet urine damage is concerned. I have had a lot of customers with your same problem. The best solution to that problem is to water that area regularly to help prevent the buildup of residue on the leaves that causes the damage.Be careful not to overwater because you will run into more problem with fungus.

To address the traffic part of your problem, it is best if you can keep the dogs from traveling the same habitual walking path from day to day. Some have had success by placing obstruction in the paths of dogs that keep them from using the same trail time after time.

There are a lot of bermudas on the market. I would recomend a courser type of bermuda because of their incresed wear tolerance. GN-1 bermuda grass is a great grass that is very aggressive and recovers very well from damage. It cannot be planted from seed. Only sprigs or sod. Make sure you have plenty of sun. Minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight is required for all bermudas.

If shade is a problem you might try zoysia. It is very wear tolerant as well.


ceenspot – posted 11 April 2002 21:51

Josh, Thanks for the reply! The only thing I am worried about is the time in between when the seeds are planted and it is growing. I will make sure that in the mean time I water enough.

TextronSaudi – posted 14 April 2002 23:47

My daughter has the same problem – 2 Rottweillers – in PA. I suspect that her only answer for a green back yard is green paint- on concrete Good luck

KONI – posted 29 April 2002 11:33

I have 2 dogs I have adopted from the streets also and have a grass problem. For the past 4 years we have tilled the back yard and put new grass in, nice green lawn yard til winter. During the winter months, when grass has died back, you can walk on grass and it just comes up with nothing but dirt under for the new yard. Come spring we start over again. There has to be a better way to maintain and keep grass from year to year without starting over each year. You would think a sod farm or research would come up with new grass. If a football field can be used with all the practice and games you would think they could come up with a grass for family with pets. Maybe we can both get answer since we have the same problem. Don’t know where you live but I live in Oklahoma.

Josh – posted 29 April 2002 13:13


What type of grass do you have. There are plenty of grasses on the market that will perform very well under pet traffic with ADEQUATE maintenance. The problem you are having is generally due to some other factor(grub or insect damage; too much shade; too much water; not enough water; fungus;etc.)

Let me know a little more about your situation and I will do my best to help with your problem. You can contact me directly at [email protected]


quote:Originally posted by KONI:I have 2 dogs I have adopted from the streets also and have a grass problem. For the past 4 years we have tilled the back yard and put new grass in, nice green lawn yard til winter. During the winter months, when grass has died back, you can walk on grass and it just comes up with nothing but dirt under for the new yard. Come spring we start over again. There has to be a better way to maintain and keep grass from year to year without starting over each year. You would think a sod farm or research would come up with new grass. If a football field can be used with all the practice and games you would think they could come up with a grass for family with pets. Maybe we can both get answer since we have the same problem. Don’t know where you live but I live in Oklahoma.

Hunter – posted 05 June 2002 08:25

Josh,You suggested someone use Bermuda grass in their yard if they have dogs. I was wondering if that would be your same suggestion for a backyard in Minnesota, zone 4, with an outside dog.

ajbosco – posted 04 November 2003 13:12

I am also experiencing this lawn problem. I live in NH. I have two dogs that are indoor dogs, but play a lot outside. Our so called lawn is becoming completely dirt. I try so hard to maintain the grass that we have, but I fear that eventually the dirt will just take over. They have paths that are now just dirt. And from a certain part in the lawn, the grass just stops and the dirt takes over. Please Help. Any suggestions.

ted – posted 05 November 2003 12:34

holy moly. first of all the post about whether it’s better to have st. aug or bermuda is best answered by where you live! generally bermuda does not do well if it’s overseeded. generally nothing wrong with the concept, it just takes so long to develop. second, bermuda is not going to do well anywhere other than the south or the desert southwest, so seeding it in Minnesota would definitely not work! the best way to co-exist with dogs in your yard, is to have the correct grass for your area maintained properly! if it’s watered and fertilized and mowed correctly you shouldn’t have much of a problem. I had a fescue lawn with a 130 pound german shepherd, a 110 pound golden retriever, and a smaller 80 pound rottweiler mix! i never had any problems because i maintained correctly. what you’re seeing are lawn problems that are being highlighted by the animals, not necessarily caused by the animals. I never like to hear stories where animals are blamed for poor landscape design or maintenance. it really can lead to animal abuse or neglect. as the dog rescuer knows, there’s literally millions of homeless animals in shelters out there, because of a “poor fit” with the homeowners. Come on, it’s not the animals fault.

LaVerda – posted 27 February 2005 21:13

I live in Maryland and I have the same problem with my backyard. No grass! We play with our golden retreiver all the time winter through summer and our green backyard is now a mud bowl. I am not blaming my dog, I just want to know what grass I can get to grow in my backyard

jennmanski – posted 07 March 2005 07:35

I live in Michigan and have Great Danes who jump and run, and whenever they do, clumps of grass go flying. My whole backyard is now mud, since the snow is melting. I really need to know what type of grass I can plant, and how to keep it up, so that I can keep it green and loose the mud! I also have a huge maple tree in the backyard that I have tons of problems with the roots and the driveway, so I have a lot of flooding. What is a really strong/tough grass that can be used in Michigan?

Mr. Orr – posted 08 March 2005 09:49

Ted I dont think they/we are trying to set ourselves up for animal abuse or anything like that. I am a new home owner that has 2 boxers that pretty much tear our backyard apart. Last year we planted St. Augustine in our backyard and it was doing great until winter hit and now it is nothing but mud. I will never give my dogs up and would prefer to have a backyard to admire. I would also like to know what I could do to have a nice backyard. By the way I do live in Arlington, TX. We have a slight draining problem when it rains, but the water does not stand. There is some shade, but we also have 5 pine trees in the back that drop large amounts of pine needles on the grass. We clean those up as much as possible and still cannot keep grass growing.

I am at a total loss on what to do.

ted – posted 08 March 2005 19:36

thanks for a thoughtful question and response from someone that sounds like they actually care about animals. first of all, i wouldn’t recommend st. aug. in arlington. i think you’re looking more at bermuda. sounds like you have a drainage/sunlight problem, might try pruning. try also overseeding with rye in the winter. you can always let or walk the dogs to another area in the neighborhood. what’s important is finding the right type of landscape design, maintaining it properly, and being responsibile to animals. what always happens is that homeowners don’t think about how the animals will fit into their situation, and the only ones that suffer are the animals. they’ve become way too disposible in our society. i’ve seen posts on this board that recommended shooting and poisoning animals because the homeowner was too lazy to maintain his/her lawn! hope that helps. i feel better….

Grifftech – posted 28 March 2005 07:15

My wife and I are in the same situation as alot of the posters here. We have 2 Golden Retrievers and a Doberman with a small backyard (45 x 70) Our dogs are indoor dogs but they still tend to tear up the yard. The main problem is in the fall early winter. So what we did this year was put down a layer of straw that has helped considerably. But this spring we are having the landscape redone and putting in a flagstone running path for the dogs and having the yard comepletely redone with sod. We live in central Illinois and I am curious as to what is the most resilent and self-repairing sod type for our lawn.


ted – posted 28 March 2005 09:43

i’m assuming bluegrass in your market- might try tall fescue but you may be too far north- tall fescue easy to reseed and repair. again, if the grass is healthy you won’t have too many traffic related issues.

charlotte – posted 29 March 2005 10:28

We live in Atlanta and have 2 very active dogs. Our entire backyard has been reduced to weeds, clover and bare dirt (it’s our first year in the house). We are tempted to sod the entire back yard since the dogs would negatively impact any seeds we lay down.

Can you recommend the best type of grass to sod in Atlanta? The area we’d like to sod has several hours of direct sunlight a day.

Toto68 – posted 03 April 2005 11:09

I live in Iowa and my backyard is also a dirtbowl/mudbowl. We moved our fencing to another part of the yard for two years so that the backyard could grow grass. Kind of like moving the herd to a new pasture! It is much more convenient to have them right out the backdoor, so we moved them back again last spring. We can’t keep moving the fence every two years. I am wondering about using something besides grass for their yard. How about woodchips or mulch? Has anyone tried either one, or does anyone have another suggestion? I don’t have much money to spend and chips or mulch seem economical

Buck – posted 04 April 2005 09:28

Charlotte – I have two labs and a Giant Schnauzer, very active and produce a remarkable amount of by-product daily. We have hybrid bermuda and they have not worn it down. Further it is very easy to maintain as it is so low that a bull-nose shovel slides right under the waste that kind of sits on top like a golf ball. If you have a lot of sun, I’d give this a try.

ted – posted 04 April 2005 09:46

we’re kind of wearing this subject out, but i’m sure buck’s lawn is maintained on a high level- you just don’t get that kind of damage on a well maintained lawn. if it’s healthy, you won’t have as much traffic damage.

Jusdky – posted 18 July 2005 11:41

I have 3 German Shorthair Pointers in West Tennessee, I have zoysia and bermuda which do well in the sunny area’s – What can I put in the shady (mud bowl) area ? Thanks Jusdky

ashley – posted 06 August 2005 21:47

I live in studio city california, I have one huge dog (mastiff) and a shar pei…st. aug or bermuda?

Keeknrox – posted 10 August 2005 23:48

Ted, you sound like a true animal lover, good man! This is a bit off the subject, but who gives a rat’s rump what the lawn looks like as long as the animals are happy. At least that’s what I keep telling myself every time I get out the garden tools to repair the urine spots from my two dachshunds. After a hard day’s work in the yard, the pups are right there to greet me with all that unconditional love…it can’t be beat! ANIMALS RULE!!!

lovemydoghatemyyard – posted 09 April 2011 10:39

I live in Missouri, which has very hot, long, humid summers and it turns 80 degrees in April and stays there and above through October. I have an 85 pound dog who loves to play in the yard, but has left it almost grass free. We’ve been trying to plant the fescue grass, blocking off areas to protect it, he just hops the fence. After he does his business, he scuffs his back legs, which further rips up the lawn. What type of grass do you suggest for these conditions? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sunrise – posted 15 April 2011 11:24

We have four labs who are crated at night and when we leave the house. However, during the day, they are either in the house with me or outside playing. We have bermuda grass, which is properly maintained (mowed weekly, edged, fertilized 3 times a year, weed killer, quarterly bug treatment service, etc.) and the dogs waste is picked up several times each week. Our grass has dead spots where they routinely go potty and there are paths worn into the lawn between the deck and the gate, and around the kids playground where they chase each other like it’s a racetrack. We have repaired with sod and within a short time, it’s mud again. I really need to pull out the bermuda and get a more resilient grass that will withstand four active dogs who are either swimming in our pool or chasing each other around the yard. Would appreciate any suggestions. Frisco, TX (20 miles north of Dallas)

Lination – posted 25 April 2011 19:27

Hello Ted,

I live in Connecticut and need help with my grass. I have a small yard, but I am an avid gardener and would love to have a nice grass this year. I have two beautiful girls (dogs) who live inside, but love to play outside. Every year they pee and run around, to the point where just a few patches remain and everything else becomes mud when it rains. Another reason I would love to have grass is to avoid the diry / muddy paws and dogs when it rains… when should I seed the grass? Or what type of grass is the best one for my area? Cheapest?

Lady Author – posted 06 September 2011 08:53

I live in West Virginia with a Doberman, a large Pit Bull, a large Lab, and a small mixed breed. My fenced back yard is now a dust or mud bowl. The yard has two large shade trees. What grass should I plant that will stand up to my four dogs?

Raven’s Dad – posted 18 October 2011 16:32

We have lived in the same place the last five years. From reading earlier posts, we have been lucky as our lawn has remained pretty decent with our two dogs (who have access to the yard whenever we’re home).

What is frustrating to me is that … for some reason … something is causing them to literally tear up (and eat) about a one-third section of the lawn. They have never done this in previous years.

Any ideas of what would cause this?

whistler – posted 28 October 2011 12:25

Did you use a mulch on the lawn, or a different kind of fertilizer? Many dogs will try to eat mulch (i mean real mulch, not bark), because it’s wonderfully stinky to them, and full of tempting tastes.

From a behavioral standpoint, did something change in the dogs’ lives this year, such as less exercise or attention? New family member, maybe? Less walks?Boredom and lack of stimulation will cause dogs to seek activity (chewing, digging) that they haven’t previously engaged in.

quote:Originally posted by Raven’s Dad:We have lived in the same place the last five years. From reading earlier posts, we have been lucky as our lawn has remained pretty decent with our two dogs (who have access to the yard whenever we’re home).

What is frustrating to me is that … for some reason … something is causing them to literally tear up (and eat) about a one-third section of the lawn. They have never done this in previous years.

Any ideas of what would cause this?

socrmom11 – posted 31 October 2011 15:50

quote:Originally posted by ceenspots:I do rescue and all of my dogs are inside dogs, however, we do play outside. The area around my deck is now just dirt and the walkway from gate to gate is the same way. Also, part of my yard is yellow (maybe burnt from urine?) I believe I have St Augustine right now and I have seen places that they sell the squares of sod. I’m just scared it will be the same way. Someone told me to seed with Bermuda. Is this a good idea? I want to do whatever will hold up the best.


I am replacing the dirt in my backyard with Palisades Zoysia. We are in Austin, TX. Of the info I’ve gathered it is best to plug this grass not to plant it from seed. It is drought tolerant, high traffic tolerant and is super slow growing so no need to mow often either. We were told to water daily for 2 weeks so the roots can take hold then as needed after that. It will brown if not watered but this is a dormant state not a dead state. It’s a beautiful grass that is thick and has a relatively wide blade.

April 17, 2019 Content Dept. allergic, dogs, friendly, healthy, lawn, pets, types, yard

Let’s face it; dogs love to play outside almost more than humans do. And when they get the chance to stretch their legs and bound around to their heart’s content, you want nothing but the best for their health and well-being. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your dog is experiencing the best grass possible.

It’s no secret that humans and dogs have different needs. When it comes to protecting your furry loved one, it’s important to know about what types of grass are harmful or helpful. Not to mention that your animals probably enjoy tearing up the grass and going to the bathroom all over your lawn. You need a grass that can put up with the abuse! Our Lawnscape professionals can help you determine the best grass for your dogs. Here are a few starting suggestions.


Fescue comes in a variety of shapes and forms and can be very sturdy. This is one of the best grasses not only for your pet but also for your yard. Fescue can grow in the shade, does not require tons of water to thrive, and, the best part – it can withstand whatever damage your dog wants to do to it.

It’s less soft than other grasses, so you may not find it as comfortable to lay on during your picnics. However, it’s a very manageable and family-friendly pick.


What is Zoysia grass? It’s a lot like fescue, only it has an advantage since it is a soft grass. This is one of our more luxurious picks here at Lawnscape, and we recommend it for pet owners who want to give their pet the best of both worlds. It’s something that is durable, yet it takes some time to grow into its sturdiness. It’s fairly drought resistant, meaning you can easily live with it in a dry desert state. Alternatively, you can start growing it with lots of water, and over time it will become flexible and perseverant.


Bermuda grass is one of the more popular choices among homeowners and pet owners alike. The biggest advantage of this grass is that it can really thrive on its own without additional water regulation. It’s perfect for those who live in warmer climates, especially when the summers get hot. Not to mention it can withstand dog paws pretty well. Just be sure to give your grass a rest every so often so that it can grow to its full potential.

Kentucky Bluegrass

This isn’t just a music genre – it’s a great type of grass for your dog. It’s the most versatile grass in the world, and because of that, it is actually found all over the world. It grows extremely quickly, requires little water, and creates a beautiful, lush lawn in no time. Your dog’s trampling is no match for this great grass. It’s hardy, long-lasting, and attractive to boot!

Get the Right Grass with Us Today

At Lawnscape, we offer professional lawn care services from creation to tune-ups. If you’ve been dealing with a rowdy dog that just can’t stop tearing up your grass, it might be time to switch to a new seed. If you’re looking at one of the grass types listed above, Lawnscape is a great place to start. We can offer you lawn care solutions and professional lawn services to last you a lifetime. For more information about grass and protecting your lawn from pets, reach out to us at any time. You can contact us online or give us a call at 909-627-2000.

How to grow grass in the shade if you have dogs

Dogs and Shade Vs. You and Your Lawn

A question we get asked a lot is, “I have heavy shade and big dogs, what grass should I pick?”

Seems we want four mutually exclusive things: dogs, shade, an amazing lawn, personal happiness. Myself included – I want these things too!

An active dog and heavy shade are a tough combo for growing a lawn. Can you guess the winning team? Dogs and Shade.

Why can’t we outscore dogs and shade?

Dogs cause challenges for lawns in two ways:

  • Their urine (high nitrogen) will cause patches of grass to die.
  • As creatures of habit, they wear down paths along fences or on their favorite routes across a lawn.

Dog urine can cause patches of grass to die. This is my neighbor’s zoysia – I saw the deed happen! (For the record, it wasn’t my dog that did this.)

Shade is challenging for lawns because most turfgrasses are from sunny ecosystems and require full sun to thrive and form the plush carpets of grass we desire. When grown in shade, grass doesn’t get the light it needs, so it thins out. Some types of turfgrass are more shade tolerant that others and we talk about them in our video explaining Shade and Turf.

Ford is sitting pretty in his yard.

These kids play sports and lawn games and Handsome romps all over this TifTuf Bermuda lawn, but it’s still green and beautiful!

Dogs and shade are a double whammy – all the above factors come into play, plus the fact that in shade a lawn that will normally repair itself simply doesn’t have the vigor required to fill in and repair damage.

Tactics to Win!

After two decades of problem solving and pushing my luck with the dogs-shade scenario, I have a few solutions. Pick those you can best balance with your lifestyle of loving dogs, shade, and lawns.

This doggy daycare installed TifTuf. It has worked wonderfully for them (and the dogs).

Grass Care Solutions

  • Choose a warm season grass because they have the special ability to repair themselves. They grow via runners (stolons and rhizomes) that will vigorously grow and fill in damaged areas. Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, and Zoysiagrass are all warm season turfgrasses – meaning they grow during the spring, summer, and fall, but are dormant in the winter.
  • Avoid winter damage. Keep in mind that a warm season lawn will only repair itself when actively growing. That means it won’t be able to repair itself during the winter when it’s brown and dormant, i.e., not growing. It may be necessary to take your dog on walks during the dormant winter, rather than expecting them to burn off their energy on your lawn.
  • Reduce the amount of shade by removing some trees or big limbs to give the lawn more sunlight. If you can make sure the area gets at least 5 hours of sunlight, then TifBlair Centipede, TifTuf Bermudagrass, and Zoysiagrasses will grow well in those areas.
  • Give the grass a break! An active dog will create paths that will stay visible unless the dog is kept off that area for 1-3 months so that the warm season lawn can grow to fill in the damage and repair itself. The dog will wear down those paths again, so this is a temporary solution, say if preparing your garden for a party or wedding. During this repair phase, regular fertilization coupled with extra watering of the bare areas will promote active growth for quicker repair by those runners.
  • Rinse and repeat. Monitor where the dog is peeing and rinse the spots immediately with running water. I did this for my Zoysia lawn when I put the house up for sale. It was a big effort, but it worked.
  • Are you a loyal fan of the Tall Fescue team? If so, remember that Tall Fescue grows in clumps, rather than via stolons and rhizomes, and will not repair itself. However, we recommend reseeding Tall Fescue lawns every autumn anyway, so there’s already a routine of renovation in place for Tall Fescue lawns.
  • Replant sod:
    • To repair those dog paths, you can lay rolls of sod along them to instantly get them covered. Repairing patches is one of the reasons why we sell sod by the individual roll.
    • We know a few folks who think of sod like an annual planting. When their sod declines in their shaded yard, they replace their thinning and struggling sod with new sod. New sod has enough energy reserves to last several years in the shade.

Sloan is showing off his Zenith Zoysia.

Blu sees a lush future overseeding Tall Fescue every autumn.

Other Landscaping Solutions

Sometimes dogs, shade, and lawns simply can’t cohabit. In some cases we advise against any lawn because a full canopy of shade is the happy home of several large, vigorous canines. By now we know the winning team. If you can’t beat them, join them!

Barbara Evins’ dog is loving her Zeon Zoysia!

  • Mulch 3-4 inches deep with shredded bark (instead of having a lawn) to keep down the mud. Mulch again as needed; at least once a year.
  • Plant a groundcover like monkey grass or Asiatic jasmine – most other herbaceous perennials will not withstand the trampling. Alternatively, plant shade-loving shrubs which are more likely to stand up to the dogs running around.
  • Create a dedicated dog area or “dog run.” Most dogs tend to use only part of a landscape – they pick their favorite areas and gravitate toward them. Observe where your dog hangs out and let her tell you where she prefers. Let her have that area and build a fence to keep her out of the lawn areas you’d like to perfect. There are many lovely fence designs and the fence can be installed as a “design element” or focal point of your outdoor living space. When you’re there to monitor her activity, she can be in all areas of the garden with you.
  • Similar to a dedicated dog run, train your best friend to go someplace remote (other than the lawn) to relieve themselves.
  • We’re seeing a growing trend in customers purchasing a few rolls at a time to make dog potties. In conversations we’ve learned that cheap kiddie pools are handy for lining with sod and getting man’s best friend to “go” in there.
  • So, this is not exactly a landscaping tip, but if you’re looking for a new canine pet, get a male. Why? Males hike a leg to pee on the bushes, while females squat to urinate all over your lawn (as shown in the cone-shaped damage in the first picture).

We’d like to hear more tactics to beating dogs and shade. I know there are some clever ones out there, your friends and I would like to hear them!

Disclaimer: These dogs may or may not get to pee on their lawns. I didn’t ask. No animals were interrogated or shooed of the lawn in the making of this article.

Who are these dogs? Six of them are employees’ pets and we introduced them by name. We love our pups.

Daisy is looking forward to hearing your tips & tricks!

Cricket enjoying one of our lawn displays at a Super-Sod store.

Topics: damaged lawn, Elite Tall Fescue, Zoysia, shade, TifTuf Bermuda, TifBlair Centipede, Dog

Are Zoysia Grass and Dogs a Problem?

Are Zoysia grass and dogs a good combination for your Houston area lawn? Houston Grass South Owner Michael Romine answers that question in this video. If you’re looking for the best Zoysia grass in Houston, please call us at 281-431-7441. If you’ll looking to give a dog a new chance in Fort Bend County, please call the Fort Bend County Animal Shelter at 281-342-3411.

Summary of the Zoysia Grass and Dogs Video

– – Do you recommend Zoysia grass for customers with dogs? We obviously get lots of dog questions. The questions are usually about the dogs having torn up grass or they’ve worn out grass or the different effects that dogs can have on the grass.

Zoysia Grass Has Good Dog Traffic Tolerance

Zoysia grass does well with dogs because it is so dense. It’s got good wear tolerance, so I would say if you have big dogs and they’re running over the grass a lot, as long as you’ve got some good sunlight in that area to keep your grass growing, it’s going to take longer for the grass to wear thin when you’re talking about the Zoysias.

Zoysia Grass and Dogs

However, once the grass does wear thin, Zoysia grass does grow slowly so it’s going to take it longer to recuperate than say St. Augustine and the Bermuda grasses, but that’s information that you need to know as far as Zoysia and dogs go.

Because It’s Thick, Zoysia Grass May Be Damaged by Dog Urine

But I guess the biggest thing that we get asked is, “I planted this Zoysia in my backyard and now I have these yellow spots” Because Zoysia is so dense and thick, when a dog goes to the bathroom, when in pees in particular, the vegetation holds that ammonia, I guess is what it is, up on the surface of it, and especially during the summer, on a hot day it burns the grass.

The urine may filter through St. Augustines and Bermudas a lot better because they are a little bit thinner and dog urine doesn’t seem to be an issue. But we have had several phone calls over the years about dog urine and Zoysia grass, and that can be an issue. If you plant Zoysia in your yard that’s what those yellow spots are if you have dogs.

When that starts to appear, I guess the way to avoid that would be to rinse that area off. I guess, maybe irrigating a little bit more frequently to, basically, you’ve got to get the urine off of those leaves so the sun isn’t burning it. That is, I guess, one of the ways you can avoid damage to your Zoysia grass from your dogs.

There’s not many downfalls to having really thick, lush grass, but having the dogs that go to the bathroom on it, that is one thing you have to watch out for. And that is where the yellow spots come from on Zoysia, if you have dogs.

The Best Zoysia Grass in Houston Comes from Houston Grass South

Call us at 281-431-7441 for the best quality Zoysia grass available in the Houston area. Our grass comes from our family farm in Bay City so we know the quality that goes into every piece, pallet and roll that we deliver. We offer three varieties of Zoysia — our easy to care for Palisades Zoysia and the fine-bladed Emerald and Cavalier Zoysia grasses.

Related Articles About Zoysia Grass:

  • Where to Buy Zoysia Grass
  • Why Pick Emerald Zoysia Grass
  • Why Pick Cavalier Zoysia Grass
  • Why Choose Palisades Zoysia Grass

How to protect your grass from dog urine

Dog’s urine ultimately damages your lawn because it is high in nitrogen. Whilst nitrogen is usually a good thing to apply to your lawn, and you may indeed notice your grass get (suspiciously!) green in patches, if not diluted with water it will scorch and burn your lawn.

Dog owners and lawn lovers alike will already know that dog urine and grass do not mix, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things you can do prevent it becoming a permanent problem. In this guide we share 4 steps to protect your grass and help turn your muddy minefield into a luscious pet-proof lawn!

Step One: Sow hard-wearing grass seed

The first preventative measure you can undertake is to sow a hard wearing grass mix. There may be grass seed out there that promotes its ability to be resistant to dog urine, but let us assure you, just as there is no such thing as bird resistant seed, there is definitely no grass that won’t suffer slightly over time due to dog urine!

By sowing a hard wearing mix, that can tolerate wear and tear and recover quickly, you give yourself the best opportunity to have the lawn you’ve always longed for. Perennial ryegrass is particularly fast-growing and hard-wearing and is the main component of our FAMILY: Kids and Pets mix. The fescue content in the mix also gives your lawn a thick and luscious appearance making it the ultimate lawn for tackling dog urine.

Now your grass seed is posed & ready to take on all your pup’s pees, it’s time to stop it in its tracks!

Step Two: Dilute the damage

When you have a dog, you can be pretty certain that their toilet habits on your lawn are inevitable and unavoidable – but you can help to reduce the damage. Dog urine is mostly made up of nitrogen which is just like our spring / summer fertilisers! Whilst nitrogen helps to make your grass nice and green, it is very strong and needs to be watered in to first be activated and to second – not scorch your lawn. When your dog goes for a widdle on your grass, this nitrogen is often left without being watered and therefore turns your grass yellow, and if wee’d on again, will probably kill it off completely. Keep an eye on your pup when they use the little dogs room, and use a watering can to dilute the affected area. This will lessen the effect the nitrogen has on your lawn, and stop your grass from yellowing.

Step Three: Train to gain

Where peeing on the lawn is concerned, you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks! Teach your dog to use a certain place in the garden as its toilet, it may take a little time will be highly rewarding for you and your pup! You get to keep your lawn green and pristine, and they get their own garden en-suite!

Step Four: Take the hard line

You can of course decide to not let your dog use your lawn as a bathroom at all – and cordon off a paved area in your garden that will be much easier to manage. However, if you know dogs like we do, you know they love nothing more than an inquisitive sniff around a garden and can be pretty fussy about where they choose to do their business!

Repair & Avoid Damage caused by Dogs

Is dog urine killing your grass and creating yellow patches on your lawn?

Dog urine on grass is bad for your lawn as it contains a high concentration of nitrogen. Nitrogen is a common component in most grass fertilisers and lawn treatments, but due to the concentration present in dog urine, this can often kill the grass.

Dogs are creatures of habit, often using the same areas to relieve themselves, causing nitrogen to build up in the soil to a level where the grass cannot survive. It is also true that female dogs can cause more damage than male dogs, as male dogs tend to relieve themselves little and often as they mark their territories. This spreads out the nitrogen and reduces the impact on the lawn.

Unfortunately there are no species of grass seed that are resistant to dog urine. However, there are certain varieties that are quicker to recover and more hard wearing generally. We recommend either our ‘Childs Play’ or ‘Renovator’ mixtures if creating a lawn which will be a dog play area.

To repair yellow patches on your lawn, we have an easy to follow advice article on How to repair your lawn with grass seed.

To avoid damage to your lawn we have some useful tips.

  • Dilute the concentration of nitrogen by spraying the area with a hosepipe or watering can after your dog has done its business.
  • Create a ‘dog toilet’ in a corner of your garden with bark, chippings or gravel and train your dog to use this area.
  • Feed the grass in autumn and spring with a suitable fertiliser to ensure the grass is healthy and in optimum condition.
  • Overseed the lawn with hardy grass seeds such as our ‘Renovator’ mixture to increase the number of healthy plants to avoid bare ground developing.
  • Take your dog out on its lead and rotate the areas they use to urinate.

Dealing With a Dog Peeing on the Lawn

Maybe you are currently experiencing lawn damage from your dog peeing on the grass, or you just got a new dog and want to avoid lawn damage, but you keep asking yourself, “are dead spots inevitable with dog ownership?” Well, good news for you! It’s possible to have a beautiful lawn and a dog at the same time! When dealing with dog urine on grass, the best thing is to be proactive. However, if you already have many dead spots, there are easy ways to fix this problem, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Work from the Inside Out

To prevent those dreaded burnt dead spots, you have to take some control over your dog’s urinary behaviors. Instilling habits is easier in puppies, but within a few weeks you can train older, more stubborn dogs as well.

Firstly, think about all the factors leading up to the actual process of peeing on the grass. One way to prevent deep, dead grass is to make sure your dog drinks a lot of water. Providing the proper amount of water to your dog each day is vital to living a healthy and active lifestyle, and it helps dilute their urine. Diluted urine causes much less damage than concentrated urine. Your dog’s water bowl should be filled with fresh, clean water all day long. Aim to have your dog consume one ounce of water for every pound of body weight.

Again, keeping a nice lawn starts even before you let your dog outside. By using a leash to take your dog outside for bathroom trips, you can control where he goes. It’s important to have your dog go in several areas. In the morning, when his urine might be most concentrated because he didn’t drink much overnight, have him do his business in a patch that receives adequate sunlight and water. These environmental factors will help the grass recover.

If it seems like you can’t get your dog to go where you want him to, you may need to find out if your dog is just being stubborn or if he may be having urinary issues. If after a week your dog refuses to urinate outside in areas you lead him to on the leash, it is important to contact your veterinarian and rule out health conditions. Be consistent and persistent in training your dog where he may and may not go on the lawn.

Fix It and Forget It

If it seems like the grass is greener on every other side of your fence and you already have lawn damage, you may have to test your soil. Grass that has heavy clay soil may require compost. Other types of soil and grass blends may just need additional water. Sometimes local farm bureaus or college agriculture programs will test soil for free.

A really savvy lawn care professional may suggest that you adjust your pup’s food to keep the grass nice and green. Dog foods with a balanced pH may neutralize the dog urine and prevent additional lawn damage. If your lawn develops fewer brown spots, it may be a sign of a healthy dog that drinks enough water and enjoys well-balanced dog food. Some vets may even recommend that you spray the lawn after your dog urinates to help dillute it with water.

Designate a Spot

If your dog still insists on peeing in a certain part of the yard when you let him out, you might designate a corner spot of your yard to fence in where he can go and do his business that has less foot traffic than the rest of the yard. This will help keep the dead spots out of the middle of your green yard and leaving eyesores.

Move On

Once your lawn is healthy and your dog’s eating, drinking and urinary habits are well-established, you’ll find fewer of those dreaded dead spots. You may even find with the balanced nutrition and proper water intake, your dog is energetic and ready to take on dog parks and other outdoor areas, which could mean less urine on your lawn. So, start from the inside out, and get ready to own the green grass every dog owner envies!

Contributor Bio

Chrissie Klinger

Chrissie Klinger is a pet parent that enjoys sharing her home with her furkids, two of her own children and her husband. Chrissie enjoys spending time with all her family members when she is not teaching, writing or blogging. She strives to write articles that help pet owners live a more active and meaningful life with their pets.

Why Does Female Dog Urine Kill The Grass?

Wondering why your female dogs’ urine seems to burn the grass more than your male’s? Technically there are no chemical differences between male and female dog urine.

The difference in the effect on your yard come from dilution. Most female dogs squat when urinating causing their urine to stay in a smaller area of the lawn and be concentrated more heavily there which can damage the grass more seriously. Males, however, generally lift their leg and spray a wider area when peeing.

How To Prevent Lawn Damage

There are a wide variety of solutions that can help prevent damage to your yard. You can try any of the following and see what is most effective for your yard:

  • Have a designated location. Go outside with your dog frequently for a while and try to get your dog to only go to the bathroom in a specific area of your yard where there is no grass to kill. Once your dog gets used to going in that area, they will continue to go there rather than around the entire yard.
  • Water it down. Consider getting a sprinkler system for your yard or spraying the specific area of your yard down daily with the hose to dilute the concentration of the urine in that area.
  • Use Dog Rocks. Dog Rocks are an all natural way to neutralize your pets’ urine and prevent it from burning your lawn.
  • Consider Diet Changes. Consult with your veterinarian first but incorporating more water into your dog’s diet through moist food can help dilute the concentration of their urine as well.

How to Prevent Dog Urine from Killing Grass

Nothing your pet does can stop you from loving them. That’s not to say they don’t irritate you at times, particularly when they harm your beautiful lawn. As dogs, it’s in their nature to roam your property confidently. You can teach them not to dig holes in your sod, but you can’t expect them not to urinate on your carefully cultivated grass.

Fortunately, you can have both a happy dog and a green, flourishing yard once you learn how to stop dog urine from killing grass.

Why Does Dog Urine Kill Grass?

For years, people believed that dog urine killing grass was due to its acidic nature. In fact, the real culprit is meat and other proteins. Dogs need to eat a great deal of protein to maintain their health. During the digestive process, the protein is broken down into nitrogen and released through your pet’s urine. The high nitrogen in dog urine burns the grass in the same way that too much fertilizer does.

Some pet owners are more likely to have problems with dog urine killing grass than others. Female dogs are harder on lawns because they urinate in one concentrated spot. Large dogs cause more harm simply because they release large quantities of urine. If your lawn already has problems, dog urine will worsen its condition.

Before you take action, check to make certain those brown spots are urine damage and not fungus problems. If you can pull up the grass in the brown spot easily, dog urine is not the problem.

Remember, you need to protect trees from dog urine as well. Routinely examine the bottom two feet of your trees to check for burned bark and other deformities.

How to Prevent Pet Urine from Killing Grass

You can reduce or stop dog pee from killing grass entirely if you make a few changes in how you handle your lawn and your pet.

  • Don’t over-fertilize your lawn. Lawns that already have high levels of nitrogen are more susceptible to dog urine killing grass.
  • Avoid Bluegrass, Bermuda grass and other grasses that are sensitive to nitrogen.
  • Spray water on the spot after your dog urinates.
  • Encourage your dog to drink more water to dilute their urine.
  • Train your dog to urinate on the same spot in the garden or on a discrete spot on your lawn.
  • Don’t let your dog urinate on trees.
  • Consult with your lawn care professionals.

Zodega TIS Lawn Care

The lawn maintenance and landscaping team at Zodega TIS can offer multiple solutions to your unsightly pet issue. You may choose to have your lawn re-sodded with a more urine-resistant grass and your tree trunks protected from dog urine by fencing or other barriers.

Our experts offer a full range of residential and commercial landscaping and lawn care services that keep your property looking lush and well-maintained all year long. They have a unique understanding of the Houston climate that translates into a more beautiful lawn for your business or home.

To receive a free quote, call us at 713-955-5505 or visit our website to fill out our contact form today. Taking action now will prevent pet urine from killing your grass and trees, allowing you to better enjoy your beloved dog’s outdoor time.

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