Regular lawn care tips are not always effective for those with dogs. You must consider how having a dog impacts how you take care of your lawn. These lawn care tips from Eagle Lawns are here to help dog owners maintain beautiful, healthy, and fluffy green grass. From keeping your dog safe in your yard to resisting grass damage from your dog, we are here to help!
How Can Your Dog Hurt Your Lawn?
- Potty damage spots
- Digging in the lawn
- Regular wear and tear from running
- Eating plants and grass
How Can Your Lawn Hurt Your Dog?
- Toxic lawn treatments
- Harmful bugs and pests such as fleas, ticks, worms, mosquitoes, spiders, and more
- Toxic plants
We have made a list of tips for keeping your lawn safe from your dog, and your dog safe from your lawn.
1. Reseed Lawn With Damage-Resistant Types of Grass
You might think of grass and think it's all the same, but there are actually many different types of grasses that can be used on a lawn for different purposes. Some types of grass are better suited for your dog running around and doing its business every day.
If you find your dog likes to use a certain spot that causes wear and tear on your lawn, this might be because of the type of grass. Replacing your current grass with new grass is suggested to fix this issue. The types of grass we recommend are:
- Tall fescue
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Perennial ryegrass
2. Remove Waste Immediately
Letting your dog’s waste sit for a long period of time can damage your lawn. If left, it will absorb into the soil, eventually burning the grass because of the nitrogen levels of their waste.
You can keep the nitrogen from absorbing into the soil if you never let the soil absorb it. If your dog poops, even in your own yard, it should be removed as soon as possible. If your dog pees on the grass, the spot can be watered quickly to remove the nitrogen. This will flush the soil and can be best done with a hose.
3. Mow Your Grass Higher
When grass is taller there are deeper roots and a healthier lawn. Allowing for your grass to grow taller can make it tougher, and more durable from your dog playing in it without breaking or dying.
This doesn’t mean you should never mow your lawn and grow a jungle out there, but you should leave it a little longer if you have a dog. Here is the recommended height for your grass type in a dog-friendly lawn:
- Centipede: 2 inches
- Common Bermuda: 2 inches
- Hybrid Bermuda: 1.5 inches
- St. Augustine: 3 inches
- Zoysiagrass: 2 inches
- Creeping red fescue: 3.5 inches
- Kentucky bluegrass: 3.5 inches
- Perennial ryegrass: 2.5
- Tall fescue: 3 inches
- Bahiagrass: 4 inches
- Buffalo: 3 inches
Taller grass will not only hide damage but it will also be more durable. You might not even notice any holes from digging or patches of brown grass.
4. Fertilize Less
Most lawn fertilizers have nitrogen in them because it is an important nutrient to grow healthy grass. However, too much nitrogen will cause the grass to burn and turn brown, like from dog waste. We suggest these cycles for fertilizing your lawn with dog-friendly fertilizer:
- Once early in spring and again in early fall
- Once early in spring and again late in the summer
For specific advice on fertilizing your lawn, our team at Eagle Lawns can provide advice and services for this!
5. Cut Back on Grassy Areas
If you don’t want your pup to damage the grass, provide him/her with other areas to play without grass. This can be done with hardscapes, mulch, or groundcovers. Some dog-safe mulches include:
- Smooth stones/gravel
- Rubber nuggets
- Cedarwood chips
- Coconut fibers
Ground covers are plants that grow along the ground. They can be used as lawn replacements. Here are some non-toxic and touch ground covers:
- Creeping thyme
- Irish moss
- Labrador violet
- Silver carpet
6. Prevent Fleas in Your Yard
If there are fleas in your yard, they will find their way to your dog and into your home. You should still try to minimize the number of fleas in your yard, even if your dog uses preventative medicine against fleas. Some steps you can take to prevent fleas in your grass are:
- Remove debris like branches, twigs, or old dog toys from your lawn
- Do not overwater the lawn or garden
- Dethatch your lawn regularly
- Secure trash cans and don’t leave food waste out, which could attract other animals such as raccoons that can bring fleas.
- Spread cedar chip mulch around the lawn, garden, flower areas, and other outdoor spaces
7. Keep Toxic Plants Out of Your Dog’s Way
As a dog owner, you must be careful when choosing plants for your yard. Some common poisonous plants in yards are:
- Lily of the valley
- English Ivy
- Any mushroom you cannot identify
- Baby’s breath
This doesn’t mean these plants can’t be in your landscape, you will just have to plant them somewhere your dog does not hang around as much such as by your mailbox, compared to the backyard your dog hangs out in.
How We Can Help
Whether it is replacing your grass for your dog, or mowing your lawn to the perfect height, Eagle Lawns is here to help make your backyard dog safe. Contact us today to discuss making your lawn safe for your dog and safe from your dog’s damage and learn more about all the services we have to offer!