Does having a nice lawn while also having dogs sound like an impossible dream? It does not have to be, and it is, believe it or not, possible to grow grass even when sharing your home with energetic (and destructive) fur friends. It takes patience, planning and potentially a sense of humor (for if things don’t go as planned), and you must be prepared to start over in the worst-case scenario. Stock up on plenty of grass seeds, take a deep breath, consider some of below-listed advice and get started! There is no time like the present, and you deserve to have your adorable pup and a nice grassy lawn. One thing should not have to exclude the other, because if it is one thing dog owners know how to do – it is adapting their lifestyle and their routines to their four-legged friends. Nothing is impossible (not even your dream lawn).
Let Puppyhood Pass
Having a puppy can be the most wonderful thing, but it is also a time of constant patience-testing, and of the puppy breaking things you didn’t even know could be broken! They don’t do it on purpose, because just like small children – they are only just learning about the world, and about the rules that apply in your home. That said; when having a young and energetic puppy at home – it probably isn’t the right moment to try and grow new grass and fix up your yard. It can be done, absolutely, but to spare yourself a headache – you are probably better off waiting a few months before taking on the task, and perhaps turn to artificial grass in the meantime.
If you absolutely must seed new grass while your dog is a puppy, then perhaps the best option is to switch out yard time for walks – at least for a few days, to give the grass a chance to start growing. This, of course, only applies if your puppy has all his shots and has been cleared by the vet to start taking outside walks.
Choose the Right Type of Grass
This might have never crossed your mind, but some grass types are better than others for a dog-friendly household. The Zoysia grass comes in several different varieties, and it is known for doing well in areas with plenty of foot traffic, due to its long roots. Emerald grass, Korean grass, and Manila grass are all examples of this resistant grass type, and you can usually order it online if having trouble finding it where you normally buy your grass seeds.
Fertilize your grass about 4 times a year to help it grow thick and strong, and avoid any pesticides or toxic chemicals for the sake of your grass, your dogs and your family.
Divide the Yard
It is difficult to grow grass when you have a dog that likes to run around in the yard; a dog that digs and/or that enjoys a good roll-on-the-ground a few times a day, but there are solutions to make the process a little easier and more likely to succeed. If you cannot remove your dogs from the yard and keep them away until your new grass has grown out, then the alternative is to grow grass in one spot at the time.
Use pet gates or other dividers to seal off an area of the yard, where you then plant your grass seeds and let it grow. Keep the area sealed off until there is enough grass to cover the ground, then give the dog access, seal off another area and start planting more grass seeds. It takes a lot longer than growing grass all over the yard, all at once (with no dogs living there), but dog owners don’t usually have that luxury. When you can’t do it the easy way – you must find ways around it, and by dividing the yard and growing grass in one area at a time, you will eventually end up with a nice and green lawn.
Save Yourself the Trouble with Artificial Grass
If all this sounds like way too much work and upkeep, you can always opt out of having real grass in your backyard and go with realistic looking artificial grass. Artificial grass needs no mowing, no re-planting, it does not get discolored by dog urine and your dog can’t (well, they probably can, if they really try) dig it up the way they could real grass, and it is a great option for those who may not have the time to care for real grass, or who would just like to take one large item off the to-do list. All you need to do is buy the grass, roll it out and you will be ready to go.
Patience & Dedication
Once you have your grass, just cross your fingers and hope that it will get to stay nice and green! If your dog is a digger, a good option is to buy a sandbox and place it somewhere in the yard, and then let your dog know that it is fine to dig there – but only there! You can play together in the sandbox at first until the message comes across properly, and once you’re all clear on what the rules are, your dog will have somewhere to dig that won’t affect your lawn.
Provide your pup with plenty of water, as a well-hydrated dog has less nitrogen in their urine, which is what causes yard burning and the grass going brown. You might also want to rinse areas where the dog pees frequently with the hose, for the same reason. This may seem time-consuming, but it is necessary if you want to make sure your back garden stays green and fresh.
It takes work to keep a dog happy, and it takes work to keep your lawn looking great, but most dog owners and yard lovers will agree that it is all worth it in the end! Dogs and great grass can coexist if you are ready to put in the work required to keep things running smoothly.