Best Grass for Dogs

Published Categorized as Lawn Care
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If you own dogs, you know they can ruin your lawn, especially when they pee on it. But, because you enjoy lush lawns and want to keep your dog, you must find a way to keep both. In this article, I will talk about the best grass for dogs—grass that you can plant without the fear that your dogs will spoil within days.

The best grasses for dogs include warm-season types, such as Zoysiagrass, Bermudagrass, and cool-season varieties, including Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Tall Fescue.

Before we look at these five types of dog-friendly grasses, here is something you need to know:

How Dogs Damage Grass

Off the top of my head, dogs cause a lot of damage to the lawn. They can do this by lying on the lawn for long hours, running with each other, playing on the lawn, or even feeding from the yard. Whatever dogs do on the lawn, their uncontrolled presence can damage the lawn. 

Does that mean that the mere presence of a dog in the yard destroys a lawn? Hardly! Here are some of the things that dogs do that destroy a lawn:

How Dog Poop Damages Lawn

Best grass for dogs

Dogs’ poop is terrible and can damage your beautiful lawn. A dog’s poop contains a substantive amount of nitrogen, enough to destroy its resting area. It doesn’t matter what you feed your dogs. 

And because dog poop takes time to break down, it would have burnt your grass before it does, leaving your lawn with vivid bare spots.

When left out in the open, dog poop will attract bacteria, which may cause many health problems in your family. Dog excretion becomes a perfect place for fungi to thrive, which leads to various fungal lawn diseases. 

How Dog Pee Damages Lawn

Best grass for dogs

I must thank all dog trainers reading this piece for your important work. When a dog is trained properly, it knows when and where to release itself. However, most dogs will always consider the yard, especially the newly-laid sod, the perfect place to pee – the toilet.

Generally, dogs pee anywhere, whether behind your car tire, at the base of garden plants, in the bush, or on the grass.

Surprisingly, dog urine contains nitrogen deposits that enter the soil when the dog pees on grass. After the pee, grass absorbs the nitrogen in the urine through the roots, and within a few days, you start to see your grass turning brown. 

Grass indeed needs nitrogen to thrive, but too much-unbalanced nitrogen burns the grass, leaving it to die. But you are not left without a choice. You can alleviate the problem by planting dog urine-friendly grass.

Lawn Damage from Dog Running

Dog foot traffic on grass, especially newly-installed sod, is not good. If anything, you should restrict your dog from running on the lawn. You can do this by erecting a fence that will not only bar dogs from trespassing on the lawn but also human beings and other pets.

When they run, dogs exert pressure on the ground, pressing hard the grass against the ground. Surprisingly, dogs tend to stroll or run back using the same path they used in the other direction. 

The grass on the narrow path becomes extremely weak and worn out following the constant traffic from the dogs’ footsteps. 

Lawn Damage from Dog Digging

best grass for dogs

Whether it is a dog or any other animal, digging holes in your lawn can destroy your grass. Even if you’ve planted the most tolerant grass, no grass can survive after its roots have been uprooted.

If dogs dig holes in the lawn for fun or to chase rodents such as moles, this will spoil the ground’s shape and level. By exposing the soil from underneath, the grass, they are simply cutting off the feeding channel through which grass feeds.

You must teach your dogs not to dig up holes on the lawn or control their movement on the grass to maintain your beautiful lawn, lest you lose it. 

Best Grass for Dogs (Most of These Withstand Drought, Cold, and Traffic)

Now let’s look at the best grass for dogs, starting with the warm-season varieties.

1. Zoysiagrass

If you shop around, you will find that Zoysiagrass is one of the best grasses for dogs that grow to form a dense mat. Thanks to the mat, it becomes hard for dogs to dig holes in the grass. Besides, it is hard for dog urine to penetrate the grass.

The grass can survive harsh conditions such as drought, shade, heat, and foot traffic. It can spread along the ground by stolon and rhizomes, which covers patches without the help of other aids.

Although it is a good grass for dog traffic, Zoysia has excessive thatch, which means you need to dethatch it regularly to avoid thatch buildup. In addition, the grass takes several weeks, even months, to develop a strong root system and aboveground growth. 

It is even worse if you are reseeding, which may take even longer before you start to enjoy walking on the lawn. The grass’s texture is also prickly and somewhat stiff, so your dogs may not like it. 

What’s More About Zoysiagrass?

  • The grass adapts to a variety of soil conditions.
  • Prefers six hours of full sun per day but also can tolerate partial sunlight as long as there are 3-6 hours of direct sunlight in a day
  • It is a warm-season grass but can also grow in Transition Zone

2. Bermudagrass

You will like Bermudagrass because it survives the roughs, the tears, and wears from your dogs, and the grass develops strong roots.

Besides, the grass can survive harsh conditions such as salty ground and drought, which makes it the ideal choice for coastal cities such as Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina, among others. 

Moreover, Bermudagrass can grow in the shade and in areas with high or low temperatures. The grass spreads quickly and grows to form a dense and thick lawn. That explains why the grass needs regular mowing and attention more than the other types. 

Even if a dog dug a hole and cut a chunk of the lawn, the grass spread quickly to cover the area. The bad side of Bermudagrass is that sometimes it grows and spreads to areas such as driveways and sidewalks where you don’t need it.

What’s More About Bermudagrass?

  • The grass adapts to most soil types, including salty conditions
  • Since it is a warm-season grass, it also does better in Transition Zone
  • It needs at least six hours of full sun per day

Now, let’s look at the cool-season types of grasses for dogs.

3. Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial Ryegrass grows best in coastal cities where temperatures are moderate to mild. Like Bermudagrass, Perennial Ryegrass can grow in areas experiencing intense pressure from human and dog foot traffic, tear, and wear.

The grass is among those that germinate fast, making it a good grass variety for reseeding. If you are struggling with dog urine on your lawn and want to fix it, this is the right grass for reseeding.

However, Perennial Ryegrass is picky. You cannot just grow it anywhere. The grass doesn’t do well in areas with intense heat, dry, and under the shade. The good thing, though, is it can tolerate the cold. 

What’s More About Perennial Ryegrass?

  • The grass prefers full sun, at least six hours of unhindered sunlight daily
  • Because it is a cool-season type, PR does well in the northern Transition Zone
  • Although it can tolerate wet soils, it thrives in well-draining soil
  • The grass doesn’t spread on the ground by stolons or rhizomes, making it a bad choice for healing from brown spots, patches, and dog urine

4. Tall Fescue

One thing that stands out about Tall Fescue is that the grass is very hardy. The grass is a good performer in areas dominated by human and dog foot traffic. Because it takes a strong deep root, the grass can withstand daily tear and wear. 

Tall Fescue also tolerates harsh conditions such as shade, high temperatures, and droughts. 

With all those praises, do not be surprised that several Tall Fescue varieties do not grow independently. It would be best if you kept reseeding them from time to time to keep your lawn greener, fuller, and thicker.

What’s More About Tall Fescue?

  • It is a cool-season grass and thus does better in Transition Zone
  • Tolerates a variety of soils but flourishes in well-draining soil types
  • It can grow in partial shade as long as the area receives 3-6 hours of direct sunlight every day

5. Kentucky Bluegrass

The foremost thing about Kentucky bluegrass is that it takes a long time to establish a strong root system. Because of that, the grass takes time to grow above the ground. 

However, the grass appears to have a strategy – it spreads fast once it takes root. It grows high, but unlike Tall Fescue, Kentucky, bluegrass does not depend on rhizomes, making it the ideal grass for dog and human traffic because it can heal without reseeding.

Kentucky bluegrass is exceptionally good for cold weather and warm seasons, but it will die fast in areas known for its dry spells or high temperatures. 

What’s More About Kentucky Bluegrass?

  • The grass can do well with 3-6 hours of direct sunlight per day
  • Since it is a cool-season grass variety, it does well in the northern Transition Zone
  • It needs a well-draining, fertile soil
  • The grass has a soft texture, which means your dogs will love rolling on it.

Characteristics of the Best Grass for Dogs

Best grass for dogs

The following are characteristics of the best grass for dogs:

The best grass for dogs has a faster growth rate.

Dog-friendly grass should grow faster. Whether it takes time to develop deep roots or not, the best grass for dogs should be able to spread quickly above ground. 

When grass grows fast, it seals the patches that may have been caused by dog urine, tear and wear from human and dog traffic, and bare spots that might be caused by lack of enough sunlight.

Compatible with the climate.

The best grass for dogs is compatible with the climate (warm-season, cool-season, and transition zones). You may have seen that from the various kinds of grass we discussed herein. All the five types of grasses we have looked at have various adaptabilities. 

It is interesting to note that most grasses can withstand various climatic conditions, including drought, cold, shade, and human and dog traffic.

In addition, most pet-friendly grasses flourish in wet and well-draining soils, with some withstanding, even salty soils. 

It develops a deep root system.

The catch with dog-friendly grasses is that they develop a strong, deep root system, which helps it withstand heavy dog and human traffic. Even if dogs try to dig holes in the lawn, they will only partially dismantle the grass root system. 

Best Grass for Dogs FAQs

Q: What is the most durable grass for dogs?

A: Zoysiagrass is the most durable grass for dogs since it tolerates dog urine and is salt resistant.

Q: What is the best grass to lay for dogs?

A: Zoysia Turf grasses are the most suitable for dogs because they resist tear and wear, are resistant to salt water, and tolerate dog urine.

Q: Is Kikuyu grass good for dogs?

A: Kikuyu grass is one of the best grasses for dogs because it grows faster after tear and wear and is good for reseeding.

Q: What is the best grass to plant for dogs and high traffic?

A: Bermudagrass is hardy and heals faster, making it ideal for dogs and high traffic

To Wrap Up

You can keep a nice lawn and, at the same time, breed as many dogs as you want in your compound, but you must go for the best grass for dogs. Now, unlike any other time, you have a list of five dog-friendly types of grass to choose from.

Tall Fescue is the most prevalent among them, but you can also opt for Kentucky bluegrass, Bermudagrass, Perennial Ryegrass, or Zoysiagrass. If you need help installing new sod, you can contact any lawn care company near me for customized same day lawn service near me.