Beagle puppy on green grass

How to Keep Your Grass Green With Dogs: Tips and Tricks

I find dogs to be amazing companions, but their presence in my life can sometimes wreak havoc on my lawn. But I believe you can have a green lawn even with dogs running around.

In fact, I prioritize the health of my grass, not only for aesthetic reasons but also for the well-being of my dog and myself.

In this article, I'll give you some tips on how to do it. Let`s begin.

A huge red-haired dog plays with a small orange soft toy on the grass.

Maintaining Green Lawns with Dogs

As a dog owner, you may wonder why it is crucial to keep your grass green when your energetic buddy loves to dig, run, and play on it.

Maintaining a healthy lawn holds several benefits, both for your furry friend and yourself:

  • A vibrant green lawn offers a comfortable and fun area for your dog to play. It lowers injury risk, cushions joints while playing, and provides a cool surface on hot summer days.
  • Exercising on grass makes pups stronger, coordinated, and healthier.
  • A lush green lawn minimizes dirt and mud, reducing the mess your dogs can track into your home. It acts as a natural air filter, trapping dust and allergens, improving air quality around your property.
  • A well-maintained lawn improves property aesthetics and value. It creates an inviting environment for friends, family, and guests, enhancing outdoor enjoyment.¬†

Now let's see how dogs impact grass.

Exploring Dogs' Impact on Grass

 West highland terrier digging a hole

Dogs have a significant effect on your lawn's health and appearance: from urine spots to digging behaviors.

Dog Urine and Its Effects on Grass Health

When dogs pee on the grass, it can lead to yellow spots. The reason is their urine has a lot of nitrogen, which acts as a fertilizer.

As the water in their pee evaporates, what's left behind is a high concentration of nitrogen. If left untreated, the grass will appear brown at the center and green at the edges where the nitrogen is less concentrated, which leaves those nasty yellow marks.

Source: The American Kennel Club  

How to Keep Grass Green From Dog Pee

To deal with dog pee spots on your lawn, try these:

  • If the affected area is brown, give the plants extra water to flush out the salt buildup.

Once the turf has died, you can remove the dead sod along with a layer of soil measuring 0.5-1 inch. Re-turf the area with fresh grass.

Source: Colorado State University Extension

  • Ensure your dog drinks plenty of water, so their pee isn't too strong.
  • Consult your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your pet's food.
Certain additives can have unintended consequences on a dog's health despite increasing water intake.
Source: healthypawsanimalhospital
  • Teach your dog to pee in a designated spot away from the grass. Opt for a mulch or gravel-covered area, or a location where dog spotting won't be an aesthetic issue. This is the ONLY sure solution for the problem!¬†The allocated area will also assists you in yard cleaning and upkeep.
Here's what to do if there are brown spot on your lawn due to dog urine

Dog Digging and Lawn Damage

Reasons why dogs dig in the yard:

Some dogs dig to find a cool spot, others to bury things or fulfill their prey drive.

Knowing why your dog digs can help resolve the problem.

Tips to prevent dog digging and maintain your lawn:

  • Make sure they have other ways to let out their energy and instincts.
  • Keep your dog active with regular exercise and interactive toys.
  • You can make special digging spots with sand or soft soil so they don't dig up the lawn.
  • Think about adding dog-friendly landscaping features like strong fences, shady spots, and areas for play.¬†

 How to Protect Grass from Dog Running

 Cute and adorable Ridgeback puppies playing with a toy outdoors in a yard of a home or house. Two young brown cuddly and playful dogs or pets relaxing in the yard

Manage Dog Playtime and Lawn Care

Finding a balance between dogs' playtime and lawn care is crucial for a green lawn. Follow these tips to minimize dog ruining grass:

  • Set aside dedicated dog play areas in your yard to protect the grass.
  • Create a playtime routine for your dogs to release energy while minimizing grass time.
  • Rotate the play areas to distribute wear on your lawn evenly.

Lawn Activities Suitable for Dogs

Consider these suggestions for entertaining your dogs without harming your grass:

  • Use cones, tunnels, or hula hoops to establish a non-invasive obstacle course.
  • Avoid hard objects that could damage the lawn when playing fetch with your dogs.
  • Try mentally stimulating activities to prevent your dogs from digging up the yard.

Lawn Activities Suitable for Dogs

Consider these suggestions for entertaining your dogs without harming your grass:

  • Use cones, tunnels, or hula hoops to establish a non-invasive obstacle course.
  • Avoid hard objects that could damage the lawn when playing fetch with your dogs.
  • Try mentally stimulating activities to prevent your dogs from digging up the yard.

Creating a Dog-Friendly Yard

Freashly cut green grass

To keep your grass green and your dog happy, cosider these tips for creating a dog-friendly yard.

Choose Pet Tolerant Grass

Some grass types can handle our furry friends better than others.

Look at these resilient grass varieties:

Tall Fescue: It's great for heavy foot traffic and doggy playtime.

Bermuda Grass: Resistant to salty conditions and quick to recover.

Zoysia Grass: Its dense mat prevents dogs from digging and shields soil from urine damage.

Factors to keep in mind when selecting dog-friendly grass:

Climate: Select a grass variety suited to your region's climate.

Shade Tolerance: Choose shade-tolerant grass for yards with trees.

Maintenance Level: Certain grass varieties need more maintenance.

Enhance Soil Health for Dog-Friendly Lawns

Grass health relies on soil quality. A dog-friendly yard requires nutrient-rich soil for resilient grass.

Here's why soil health is crucial:

Grass Resilience: Healthy soil helps grass resist the stress from dog activities.

Root Development: Healthy soil = strong root growth = lush lawn.

Consider these methods to improve soil health in dog-friendly yards:

Aerate the Soil: Regular aeration of soil enhances drainage and root access.

Ensure Proper pH: Check soil pH and make necessary adjustments for optimal grass growth.

Add Pet-Friendly Fetilizer: Seek organic, natural fertilizers that are chemical-free.

Using pet-friendly fertilizers has benefits like:

  • Avoiding the risk of dog's chemical burns or toxicity.
  • Letting your dog roam freely in the yard without constant supervision.
  • Keeping your lawn healthy while protecting your dog's well-being.

Dispose of Pet Waste Correctly

Proper pet waste disposal prevents contamination and odor. Here are the steps:

Scoop and Bag: Remember to scoop and bag with a poop scoop or a special tool for dog waste.

Seal the Bag: Tie the bag tightly to avoid leakage or odor. Consider double-bagging for added protection.

Dispose in Designated Trash: Put the sealed bag of dog waste in a designated trash can.

Flushing or Composting: To prevent contamination, be mindful of flushing dog waste or adding it to your compost.

Pet waste doesn’t just decompose. It adds harmful bacteria and
nutrients to local waters, when it’s not disposed of properly.

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (.gov)

 And Wrapping Up!

 Just to recap, here are the key takeaways.

  • Dogs have a big impact on your yard's grass health and appearance.
  • Adequate space and dog-friendly plants are necessary for a dog-friendly yard.
  • Preventing and treating dog urine spots is crucial for a green lawn.
  • Managing dog playtime and lawn maintenance can improve grass health.
  • Waste management is vital for grass health and cleanliness.

Keep your grass nice and your dog happy with these recommendations. 

What are your suggestions for keeping grass green when you have dogs?

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