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Make Sure to Use the Best Grass for Dogs and Pet Owners

Did you know that there are bad and good types of grass for dogs? Dogs are bundles of joy, yet some of them can do damage that often leaves the owner frustrated.

Best Grass for Dogs

While there are plenty of ways in which a dog can cause havoc to your home (from digging through the flower beds to chewing on the furniture), there are things that you can do to prevent such things from happening. Today’s focus rests upon finding the best grass for dogs, with in-depth clarifications related to your options.

How Dogs Can Destroy Your Lawn & What to Do About It

Having a dog is something we encourage for a variety of different reasons and it’s often true that nothing can replace the loyalty and love that a dog has when it comes to its owner. However, you also need to understand that there may be downsides to owning a pet and this is not something to be taken lightly, as caring for another soul is a huge responsibility. Dogs, while lovable, are playful to a point where they can actually do damage to your lawn, so here are some of the ways in which a dog can cause havoc in the yard.

#1: The urine problem

When dogs urinate on the lawn, one of two things happens because of the high nitrogen concentration of their urine. Patches of grass either grow faster and thicker as a result of diluted urine, or they turn brown and die as a result of urine that has nitrogen concentrations.

Female dog owners are more likely to see their lawns suffering damage compared to male dog owners because male dogs urinate on different objects (from trees to fence posts) whereas females do so directly on grass. One solution around this is to make sure you walk your dogs in areas where they’re allowed to urinate (such as special dog parks or in the woods). Another solution is to set up a special area in your yard where the dog can urinate (it can be covered in pea gravel or mulch).

#2: The feces problem

Because dogs must defecate as well as urinate, feces can have an impact on the condition of the grass. Nitrogen is also included in feces but since we’re talking about solid matter, the damage done to the lawn is way slower.

You may avoid feces from damaging turf grass simply by cleaning up after your dogs after they go potty or even multiple times per week. You can also train your canine friend to do the deed into a specific grass patch for dogs, similar to how you would train them to urinate, and therefore have control over the area.

#3: The digging problem

It’s well known that certain dogs enjoy digging. When you notice your canine pals digging up whatever it is you planted in the yard, know that you don’t have to settle for watching.

If possible, try to install fences around areas where you absolutely want to avoid your dog digging in the dirt. Raised beds can also help out in such a situation because of the elevated edges that might trigger a lack of interest in your dog. The idea is to make these spots as inaccessible as possible.

In some cases, you might want to prevent your dog from exploring certain parts of the yard for several reasons. Some dogs will continually run along a fence line, barking at anybody and everything on the other side while wearing a bare patch of grass that mirrors their path.

To avoid such behavior, make sure he gets enough exercise to tire him out. It might also help to plant or place things along the fence to prevent the dog from running in a straight line, thus blocking his path and preventing him from barking at people down the street.

Real Grass VS Artificial Grass

Real Grass VS Artificial Grass

In the current global context, people are becoming more concerned about the role they’re playing in making life more sustainable, and landscaping is just a piece of the puzzle. That leaves us with one desire: to determine whether artificial grass is a better alternative compared to a natural one.

If there’s one thing to love about artificial grass for dogs, it’s maintenance.  Once placed, this type of grass does not require continuous maintenance (this includes everything from mowing to watering), which is an important consideration for lawn owners with varying abilities or who are just short on time. Similarly, fake grass for dogs provides a solution for outdoor areas where actual grass may be difficult to maintain, such as rooftops, balconies, or extremely shady areas.

While artificial grass will generally require less upkeep than natural grass, it is not fully maintenance-free. Artificial turf still needs to be cleaned of litter and may be vulnerable to algae and moss growth, which can be a laborious task. And it will still need to be hosed down or raked on a regular basis to remove all kinds of debris (and even pet odors). While artificial turf may withstand a beating better than natural grass in the short term, it will eventually degrade into a piece of worn-out plastic.

Grass is a tactile sensation for many people, especially those that like to walk barefoot in the yard. Realism used to be at the center of the turf vs. grass debate, and the genuine thing was always the clear winner. Today’s artificial grass, on the other hand, blurs that distinction by providing natural color inconsistencies, accurate blade forms, and even the pleasant sensation of stepping on natural grass.

Because there is no soil beneath the turf mats, artificial grass is a tidier option that will not track in dirt and muck from the kids or pets. Similarly, it is less prone to experiencing immediate wear and tear following heavy use. However, unlike natural grass, artificial turf cannot absorb or degrade pet urine, making it unsuitable for pet parents.

In direct sunshine, the plastic makeup of synthetic grass clearly heats up, making it an unsuitable play space. However, as the temperature varies, fake grass for dogs will not change color with the seasons, which might be a benefit or a disadvantage depending on your preferences.

While many of the advantages and disadvantages of natural and artificial grass for dogs are quite obvious, the question of eco-friendliness is a bit more ambiguous, and it is mostly dependent on situational conditions. Some people think artificial grass is more eco-friendly because it doesn’t require using chemicals such as pesticides or insecticides, but the problem goes deeper than that.

It’s true that you have the possibility to choose artificial grass for dogs that can be recycled, or opt for products that are made through a more sustainable manufacturing process.  In the grand scheme of things, the production of plastic (such as that used in most varieties of fake grass for dogs) emits a large quantity of carbon dioxide.

Artificial grass is less advantageous to critical species such as endangered bees and earthworms in the nearby habitat because it prevents access to the soil required for burrowing. Fake grass for dogs does not offer nourishment for living organisms and does not contribute to local biodiversity. Furthermore, synthetic grass has no climate benefits.

How to Install Artificial Grass

Installing artificial grass may be a time-consuming process (depending on the size of the area you want to cover) but it isn’t a complicated thing to see through. If you choose to tackle this project by yourself, here is what you have to do:

  • Measure the area that you want to cover with artificial grass.
  • Make sure you have all the equipment needed, including weed killer, tape, glue, a turf cutter, and a Stanley knife.
  • Clean the area where you’re going to place your artificial grass. You can use a turf cutter for this step.
  • Make sure the ground is compact (you’re going to need a vibrating plate or a roller for this).
  • Place compacted sand on the ground (you can also use stone) but make sure it’s a little bit moist.
  • Compact the ground again.
  • Place the grass underlay and put the artificial grass on top of it.
  • Let the grass settle for at least three hours to prevent creasing or wrinkling.
  • Trim the edges using a Stanley knife.
  • Pin the grass down with special landscaping pins.
  • Brush the grass and enjoy your new artificial turf.

Tips for Using Grass Seed

Let’s assume you are a DIY enthusiast and you’re ready to turn to grass seed to grow your own lawn. If you want to see this through successfully, here are some tips that might come in handy:

  • First of all, you need to choose the best grass type for your climate. Just like in the case of every other plant, grass types are also bound to specific growing regions and thrive in certain climates. If you are in the United States, there are also some excellent online maps that have all of the information you’ll need to select the suitable grass species for your growing conditions. You can find grass seed brands that include a “filler” component to assist you to scatter the seed uniformly and to act as a protective coating.
  • Make sure the ground is prepared before planting. After you’ve chosen and purchased the seed, you need to make sure that the soil is ready for planting. This is a critical step in learning how to correctly plant grass seeds. Tender roots of new grass plants are not compatible with compact soil, so this stage must be completed correctly.
  • If you want to plant your grass seed in a bare spot on the lawn, you are going to have to remove dead grass first. For this, you can use a hand cultivator or a diamond hoe if you’re dealing with larger spots.
  • For tiny areas, disperse the seed by tossing it out over the area with your hand. To disseminate seed over vast areas, utilize a spreader (it can be a hand-help hopper or a walk-behind broadcast spreader). Chances are that you’ll either place too many seeds or not enough. The grass seeds need to be equally distributed across the soil surface.
  • Cover the seeds soon after they are sowed to protect them from birds but also to trap moisture underneath and prevent rain from washing away the seeds. You can utilize a variety of mulches to complete the task. Mushroom soil, screened compost, and straw are the three best options in this particular situation. All three of these solutions are accessible at your neighborhood garden center. Another approach is to use erosion mats. They are biodegradable and can be quickly unrolled over the region, but they are also significantly more expensive than the prior options.
  • Many people believe that fertilizer should be added at the time of planting. However, this is not a healthy practice because fertilizers can burn sensitive new grassroots. You can top-dress the lawn using compost or a special organic granular fertilizer and ditch that synthetic brand. Proceed to add fertilizer only after you’ve mowed the lawn about six times.

Best Grass for Dog Owners

We’ve talked enough about grass in general, so let’s dig into some options that serve as the best grass for dog owners.

Fescue

FescueView in gallery

Fescue grass is tough and tolerates active dogs who like to run and tumble in your yard. There are numerous variations available as part of the Festuca genus. Fescue could be the ideal choice for people who own large dog breeds. This grass kind is quite absorbent and can easily manage the urine of a large dog. Many fescue cultivars are low-maintenance, don’t require a lot of nutrients or care to thrive, and can survive shade and drought. Fescue is an excellent choice for low-maintenance, long-lasting grass.

Specs for comparison table:

  • Sun needs: shade to sun
  • Soil needs: well-draining, neutral
  • Grow zones: 4 – 7

Zoysia

ZoysiaView in gallery

Zoysia is a thick and luscious grass genus that is ideal for areas where dogs roam on a regular basis. It thrives in warmer regions and, due to its drought resilience, it doesn’t need to be watered that often. It is incredibly robust once planted and makes a plush, thick grass that will endure your pup’s activity. It will take two to four years to completely develop, but you will be rewarded with lush grass that both you and your dog will enjoy.

Specs for comparison table:

  • Sun needs: partial to full shade
  • Soil needs: loamy, slightly acidic to neutral
  • Grow zones: 5 – 11

Bermuda

BermudaView in gallery

You might not have the time to wait for Zoysia grass to grow because your four-legged companion is difficult to contain. In that case, Bermuda grass might be a better choice.  Bermuda grass is not only tough, but it also heals quickly. This makes it an excellent alternative for areas with high paw traffic. Because of its deep root structure, it is highly strong, and it is a favorite choice of sports fields. It thrives in hotter regions and does not require frequent irrigation.

Specs for comparison table:

  • Sun needs: full sun
  • Soil needs: rich, slightly acidic to neutral
  • Grow zones: 7 – 10

Centipede

Centipede grassView in gallery

The Eremochloa ophiuroides (a.k.a. centipede grass) require certain growing conditions to thrive, but it could be a great option for withstanding your dog’s urine. It requires more acidic soil compared to most types of grass out there and will not grow in alkaline soil. Centipede grass thrives in hot conditions but needs plenty of water to thrive. If you live in the United States, planting this grass in the Southeast is your best bet. Without consistent irrigation, it may not grow.

Specs for comparison table:

  • Sun needs: partial shade to full sun
  • Soil needs: sandy, well-drained, acidic
  • Grow zones: 7 – 10

Kentucky Blue Grass

Kentucky Blue GrassView in gallery

If you have a dog that’s filled with energy and loves to run around so much that the grass beneath him actually wears out, there might be a good solution for you. The Kentucky Bluegrass, a hardy and attractive cool-season grass, can be of great use in such a scenario. This fast-growing and quick-healing grass is up to the task of your dog’s racing paws. It grows well in most regions and thrives in cooler climates. It not only heals from roughhousing or your dog’s potty breaks, but it also makes a really lovely lawn because it has a unique blue hue.

Specs for comparison table:

  • Sun needs: partial shade to full sun
  • Soil needs: rich, slightly acidic to neutral
  • Grow zones: 2 – 6

Perineal Ryegrass

Perineal RyegrassView in gallery

Perennial Ryegrass is resilient and resistant to dog urine, making it an excellent choice for homeowners with one or multiple dogs. Even if it doesn’t tolerate cold as much as Kentucky Bluegrass, it grows well in milder regions and retains its gorgeous green hue in mild winters. It is a pretty low-maintenance type of grass that doesn’t need that much fertilizer or water.

Specs for comparison table:

  • Sun needs: partial shade to sun
  • Soil needs: rich, moist, slightly acidic to neutral
  • Grow zones: 3 – 7

Best Grass Seeds for Dog Owners

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed

Scotts Turf Builder Grass SeedView in gallery

If you’re ready to plant your own grass, this is one of our first suggestions. While available in multiple bag sizes, the seven-pound bag can cover up to 1,750 square feet of area, which is suitable for most buyers considering this type of product. The growth conditions are fairly simple to understand: this grass will thrive in partial shade to full sun, loves high temperatures, and is pretty resistant to drought and pesky insects.

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermuda Grass

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermuda GrassView in gallery

Another Scotts product that we loved is this one filled with Bermuda grass seeds. It is available in packs that range from five to 40 pounds, offering you the possibility to grow a durable lawn that can withstand all that energy coming from your dog. It will thrive on Southern lawns and features the company’s WaterSmart PLUS technology, translated into seed coating that helps retain moisture for twice as long compared to uncoated seeds.

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Kentucky Bluegrass

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Kentucky BluegrassView in gallery

Our final suggestion is this bag of Kentucky Bluegrass. It is available in bags of three and seven pounds, and you can purchase one to four-packs, depending on how much area you want to cover. This type of grass will thrive in areas with light shade and full sun, having a medium drought resistance. Unlike the previous option, this one is recommended for Northern lawns, offering a cold-tolerant solution for people living in these areas.

Conclusion

If a dog owner states they’ve never once been frustrated with something their dog did, I smell baloney. As much as we love our dogs, they sometimes have the energy of dinosaurs and their surroundings (ourselves and our homes included) can’t always keep up with the energy levels of our furry friends.

Grass is one of the first ones to suffer damage, whether its urine or running-around related. Hopefully, today’s article was a helpful informative piece that taught you how to keep your grass protected from your four-legged friend.