The Best Types of Lawn Seed if You Own a Dog

Picture of a Jack Russell on the lawn

If you’re gearing up to get your yard in shape after the ravages of the winter months, purchasing an effective lawn seed may be among your priorities. Sharing your home with a dog does mean additional wear and tear on both your house and your yard. Unless you plan to transition to artificial turf, this will also mean taking into consideration which type of natural grass is best-suited to seeing regular pet use and abuse. There are several different types of lawn seed to choose from with some being hardier and able to withstand heavy traffic while also remaining non-toxic if eaten. If you’re considering purchasing some lawn seed, what are the best types to buy if you own a dog?

What Effects Do Dogs Have on Lawns?

There is no question that sharing your backyard with your dog means your lawn will take a beating. There are several different ways that dogs cause damage to grass. Understanding what these problems are can help you to make wise choices in the purchase of lawn seed to re-seed your yard, and hopefully, see fewer negative effects this year than last.

Among the issues that affect the lawns of homeowners with dogs are the following:

  • Urine

Dogs make use of their yards to urinate and defecate several times a day, and unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that cannot be changed. However, the chemical composition of urine, in particular, makes it less than compatible with growing and maintaining lush, green grass.

One of the main elements in dog urine is urea, a substance that is rich in nitrogen. Though nitrogen in the correct amounts is a friend to grass; when it is excreted in large volumes it has a caustic effect, causing the lawn to turn brown from scorching.

  • Excrement

Fecal matter is also comprised of some nitrogen; however, it is not this particular element that causes the most damage to your lawn. The moisture and bacterial growth found in feces interferes with the delicate balance of healthy soil and supports an environment in which destructive fungi can grow and thrive.

  • Digging

For dogs that love sinking their paws within the earth, it can be a real problem for you to devise a plan to keep them from destroying your yard with digging. Digging at grass causes great harm to delicate grass blades and can also permanently damage the grass roots, leading to permanent unsightly bald patches in your yard.

Unfortunately, digging does not only cause harm to grass. It can also have negative effects on the soil itself, making it an inhospitable environment for future re-seeding.

  • Continuous running in one specific place

Many dogs make their own running track in a certain area in their yard. While it is grand fun for them to race back and forth along a fence line or in your garden, it does tramp down the blades of grass, quickly reducing the area to not much more than mud.

What are the Best Types of Grass for Dogs?

There are certain types of lawn seed that will yield better grass for families who share their yard with dogs. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in the best types of lawn seeds for pet-owning families:

Efficiency of growth
Since damage occurs rapidly to grass, you will want a lawn seed that regenerates itself quickly, allowing for fresh regrowth to keep the lawn looking in decent condition.

Depth of roots
Since dogs running and digging in grass can cause great harm to the root systems, you want to look for a type of lawn seed that is known for both hardy and deep roots. These kinds of grass are better able to withstand a little abuse and are able to bounce back more rapidly from any damage.

Suited to your climate
It’s fighting a losing battle to select a lawn seed that requires more maintenance than you can provide or that is not suited to the climate in which you live. Set yourself up for success by selecting a grass seed that is known for withstanding a little pet use and abuse and that can easily thrive in the weather conditions in your region.

Thankfully, when it comes to selecting a grass that is up to the challenge that dogs can dish out, there are many excellent options available today.

Here is our list of the best types of lawn seed for dogs:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass

One of the best choices for lawns that see regular pet use, Kentucky Bluegrass is very durable and is known to flourish in nearly any climate. A grass renowned for an excellent rate of growth and quick recovery from damage, Kentucky Bluegrass is practical and beautiful, making it an excellent choice for families with dogs.

  • Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial Ryegrass is a lawn seed that has the deep roots you need to encourage hardiness in your grass. A type of lawn that grows at a rapid pace, Perennial Ryegrass makes it easy to keep your yard in good condition, even if Fido is less than cooperative. However, this type of lawn seed thrives in cooler temperatures, making it ill-suited to areas with hot, humid climates.

  • Fescue

Fescue comes in a wide array of different variations, making it possible to select the right type for the weather conditions in your region. A grass type known for its hardy nature, Fescue readily absorbs excess liquid and is resistant to common dog problems such as urine and feces. As an added bonus, fescue does not require direct sunlight to thrive.

  • Bermuda

Bermuda is a type of lawn seed that does best in the environment its name suggests: warmth. Bermuda is a low maintenance lawn seed, requiring minimal watering at best to remain lush and green. It stands up well to regular traffic and is unlikely to succumb to damage from continuous running and other abuses.

Bermuda grass does tend to break and takes longer for regrowth to generate, meaning lawns seeded with this will, on occasion, show bare patches. During the colder seasons, Bermuda grass becomes brown, but with a change in the weather, it easily returns to its former green glory.

  • Zoysia

Zoysia is a type of grass that is well-known for its silky feel. It requires little watering and is hardy once its roots are firmly developed. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for this grass to be properly established, typically up to four years, a length of time most families can’t wait for.

How Can I Protected My New Lawn from Damage from My Dog?

Choosing a lawn seed known for producing hardy grass is an excellent first step in helping to maintain a lawn that looks lush and fresh while still sharing the space with Fido. However, no lawn will thrive if precautions are not put in place to protect it. Here are a few things you can do to help preserve the integrity of your grass:

Regular watering
Though many of the recommended lawn seeds for homes with dogs do not require a lot of irrigation, watering your lawn offers other benefits that can help keep it stain-free. One of the biggest advantages to regular watering is the dilution of urine. This helps to reduce the concentration of nitrogen, thus preventing scalding.

Prompt poop pickup
Promptly cleaning up any fecal matter is an excellent way to prevent excess staining and damage to your lawn.

Avoid pet playtime on wet grass
Wet grass is more likely to succumb to damage than its dry variant. Limit play and potty times to times of the day when the grass is dry if possible.

Thinking it’s time to re-seed your lawn? Consider one of our recommended lawn seeds for families that share their homes with dogs for a hardier, healthier lawn.

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Jason Homan

Jason Homan

Jason and his wife Debbie breed award-winning Parson Russell Terriers under the kennel name Bristol Abbey. They share their home with Branson, Bridget, Gigi, and Ollie, their foundation breeding dogs, and Vixen and Jackson, their two rescues.

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