Best Grass For High Traffic Backyard Dog Owners (2023)

Best Grass For High Traffic Backyard Dog Owners (1)

No matter the size or breed, dogs benefit from a good outdoor space. Your furry companion can get exercise and fresh air, and most breeds love having a dedicated area where they’re free to run around, chase toys and play. But homeowners have their own ideas about what makes an inviting and comfortable outdoor space. So what is the best grass for high traffic backyard dog owners?

The most resilient types of grass are Kentucky blue grass, perennial rye, Bermuda grass, tall fescue and Zoysia. While these grasses are tougher than most, keep in mind they are still at risk of getting trampled on and turning brown when subject to high traffic or other stresses.

If you’re considering replacing your grass with one of the species mentioned above, it is extremely important to look out for a grass that will grow well in your climate. For example, while Kentucky blue grass is hardy, it’s a cool-season grass, which means that is better suited to colder winter climates.

In addition to weather conditions, there are other factors you need to take into account when designing and maintaining a yard that meets both your and your pets’ needs. In this post, we will go into more detail on how to keep your lawn looking beautiful—even with active pets.

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Let’s start off with how you can create a backyard that can withstand the demands of your pets.

Best Grass For High Traffic Backyard Dog Owners (2)

How To Create A Dog-Friendly Backyard

It is possible to have a dog, or even several dogs, and also a gorgeous yard. You may just need to make some minor adjustments to have a dog-friendly backyard.

Here are some ideas on how to keep both you and your pets happy in your outdoor spaces:

  • Install fencing or another type of barrier to create a special area within your yard for your dog to run and urinate freely, away from more sensitive plants or landscape features.
  • Use mulch to protect non-grassy parts of your lawn from foot and pet traffic and to reduce erosion. Be sure not to use cocoa bean mulch, however, as this variety is highly toxic to dogs. Use pine or cedar instead, and do not allow pets dig in or chew on mulch.
  • Go outside with your dogs whenever they need to eliminate and spray those areas with water from a hose when your pet is finished. When you do this soon after a dog urinates, water will dilute the nitrogen content of the urine and disperse it over a larger area of the yard, making it less likely to cause damage.
  • Similarly, make sure your dog drinks plenty of water throughout the day, since less concentrated urine is less likely to cause discoloration in grass.
  • Keep up with the watering of your lawn in general, especially if you live in a hot or drought-prone area. Regular watering keeps grass healthy, allowing your turf to better handle other types of stress.
  • Use fencing or other methods to keep your dog out of your compost pile, and avoid using chemicals in your lawn that could harm your pets.
  • Instead of grass, install rocks, pebbles or decomposed granite as a hardy landscaping alternative so that your dog’s elimination and digging habits won’t have as much of an impact on the beauty of your outdoor space.

If you like the look of your grass and don’t want to fully convert to a hardscape, there are some grass types that are more resistant to your dogs’ “business”.

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Best Grass For High Traffic Backyard Dog Owners (3)

What Type Of Grass Is Most Resistant To Dog Urine?

Many homeowners wonder: Does dog pee kill grass? Some people believe that female dogs’ urine does more damage than that of male dogs, that certain dog breeds’ urine causes more damage than others or even that dietary supplements can change the composition of a dog’s urine and thereby protect the grass—but these are all myths.

Larger dogs do produce a larger volume of urine than smaller dogs, so a smaller dog might cause less damage to grass simply because it urinates less. Similarly, dogs that drink more water will have more diluted urine that won’t cause as much damage. For the most part, however, any dog’s urine can result in unsightly yellow or brown patches in an otherwise healthy lawn.

So, what type of grass is most resistant to dog urine? Here is a comprehensive list of common types of grass many homeowners consider for their yards, and how each one holds up to dog urine:

  • Bermuda – A good choice for yards with low shade but high traffic and dogs doing their business.
  • Fescue – There are many types of fescue grasses; all tend to be hardy and resistant to dog waste, and typically do well in shady yards.
  • Zoysia – This hardy grass does well with moderate amounts of shade and high traffic, but may not tolerate dog urine well.
  • St. Augustine – A good choice for shaded yards, but not for yards with high traffic from dogs.
  • Perennial rye – This type of grass is highly tolerant of dog urine, and is also hardy even with lots of foot traffic from people and pets.

If you deal with a lawn that is suffering not only from heavy use from your pets, but also lack of sunshine, we can help you there too.

(Video) Best Grass for Dogs

Best Grass For High Traffic Backyard Dog Owners (4)

Best Grass For High Traffic And Shade

Homeowners who have shady backyards or lots of foot traffic might have more trouble than most with keeping a lush, green lawn, and might wonder about the best grass type. There are several varieties of grass that perform better than others under all types of stress and sub-optimal conditions, including traffic from pets and kids, exposure to dog urine and lots of shade from trees.

Zoysia grass is a very hardy variety that grows well in both warmer and colder regions. This grass type can tolerate light to moderate shade, but may not fare as well in complete shade. Zoysia is highly resistant to heavy traffic, and once established, is also very drought-tolerant. This type of grass can be a good choice for yards that sustain a lot of wear from active kids or pets, but homeowners with Zoysia who have dogs will still have to be careful about their dogs’ urine damaging the grass. This is because Zoysia grows slowly and develops a thick root structure over time, which can mean that dogs’ urine won’t drain away as easily as it would with another type of grass. Now if you’re wondering which Zoysia grass type is best for your lawn, you might consider Manila grass, Japanese lawngrass or Emerald Zoysia.

Bermuda grass is one of the best grass varieties for resisting dog urine, and it’s also fairly resilient when it comes to wear and tear from foot traffic. Bermuda grass needs plenty of sun, and it grows quickly, which increases maintenance needs—you may have to maintain Bermuda grass more often than if you had another variety.

St. Augustine grass is a traditional and popular choice among homeowners for its beautiful, lush appearance. However, this type of grass is not resistant to wear and tear or heavy traffic from an active family. You may also want to consider that St. Augustine does tolerate shade better than Zoysia or Bermuda grass. Ultimately, the type of grass you choose for your lawn depends on your family’s specific needs.

(Video) The Best Lawn Seed for Dog Traffic

As mentioned previously, some homeowners choose to forgo grass in portions of their yard, or altogether, in favor of hardscaping—meaning, pathways and other areas consisting of rocks, patio pavers, pebbles or crushed granite that won’t be damaged by foot traffic or a dog doing its business. These options are also far hardier than any type of grass could ever be in terms of dogs’ digging behaviors.

But, if you’re hard set on keeping your grass, how can you best maintain it with active pets?

Best Grass For High Traffic Backyard Dog Owners (5)

How To Keep Grass With Dogs

Homeowners wondering how to keep grass with dogs should know that wear and tear and urine aren’t the only potential problems that dogs can cause. Dogs’ feces also contain nitrogen that can harm grass, not to mention the fact that its bacteria content makes these waste products a potential health hazard. This is why it’s a good idea to clean up after your dog as often as possible, removing any waste materials so your yard stays clean and healthy—both for the aesthetics and the safety of everyone who spends time in your yard.

Therefore, the best ways to keep grass healthy and thriving with dogs around is to pick up your dog’s waste regularly, keep the grass well irrigated and provide the dog with a special “dog run” area, if needed, to preserve the rest of the grass. If fencing off an area isn’t a desirable option, you might choose instead to invest in training to help your dog learn to eliminate in only one area of the yard in order to make cleanup and maintenance easier.

(Video) How to Grow Grass in Bare Spots | Dog run edition

Speaking of a professional, a dog trainer isn’t the only expert you may need.

ABC Can Keep Your Lawn Healthy And Green

Keeping up with lawn care can be a daunting prospect if you have a busy life and pets that seem intent on destroying your yard. ABC Home & Commercial Services can help you with all aspects of your landscape, no matter what demands you have for your yard or whether you get lots of shade or require any other special consideration. Our lawn experts are experienced in all types of lawn issues and concerns, and can handle everything from helping you plan a beautiful and functional outdoor space to putting in new grass and other plants to maintaining your outdoor space over time. Let us do the hard work so you can relax and enjoy your beautiful yard and lawn—and your pets can, too.


What is the most durable grass for dogs? ›

Compared to other varieties, bermuda grass is the best grass for pets as it is tough against wear and tear and provides a great playing field for furry friends. Bermuda grass is anchored deep into the ground with strong, sturdy roots that are perfect rough play.

What is the best grass for dogs foot traffic? ›

Bermuda grass is not only hardy but also fast-healing. This makes it a perfect choice for frequent paw-traffic. Its deep root system makes it very sturdy, and it is a popular choice for golf courses and sports fields for this very reason. It is well suited for warmer climates and does not require frequent watering.

Is zoysia grass resistant to dog urine? ›

People also ask us if zoysia grass is tolerant of dog urine. The short answer is "No". As with any grass, dog urine will burn the blade leaving a brown spot but dog urine will not kill the zoysia grass, the zoysia grass will come back. The best way to combat dog urine is to wash it off the lawn.

What is the best grass seed for heavy traffic and dogs? ›

Perennial ryegrass

It tolerates high traffic and wear and tear exceptionally well, which is perfect for active dogs who love to run and play outside. This grass type is somewhat picky about its growing conditions.

What grass doesn't burn with dog urine? ›

Ryegrass and Fescue are the most urine-resistant type of grass, while Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda are the most sensitive. Feed your dog a dietary supplement.

What turf can dogs poop on? ›

Artificial dog grass is made of nylon or polypropylene. These materials are completely safe for pets. They are also non-toxic and lead-free.

Is Zoysia or Bermuda better? ›

Zoysia has a higher tolerance for drought and shade. Zoysia is lower maintenance than bermuda grass. Bermuda grass establishes more quickly and is less expensive. Bermuda has higher salt tolerance, making it great for coastal homes.

What kind of grass gets stuck in dogs fur? ›

The barbed seed heads of the foxtail plant can work their way into any part of your dog or cat, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes, and mouth. They can even simply dig themselves directly into a patch of skin. The foxtail plant is a grass-like weed.

How do you pick up dog poop in long grass? ›

Spade scooper: A durable spade scooper works well on a variety of surfaces, ranging from grass to asphalt and concrete. This tool features two handles connected to wrap-around scoops, maximizing waste removal. Waste bags: When you're on the go, dog waste bags are a must-have option.

Is zoysia or St Augustine better for dogs? ›

Zoysia – This hardy grass does well with moderate amounts of shade and high traffic, but may not tolerate dog urine well. St. Augustine – A good choice for shaded yards, but not for yards with high traffic from dogs.

What can be used on grass for dog poop and urine? ›

For grass, sprinkle garden lime on the area. This helps both to eliminate the odor and neutralize the urine to help restore your grass. For grass, use an oscillating sprinkler daily on the affected areas. The water will slowly dilute the urine, so it seeps into the soil.

Which zoysia is best for dogs? ›

The Zoysia grass Florida lawn is heat resistant, so your dog can enjoy playing on it even on the hottest days and can withstand heavy traffic. If you're looking for a soft, cushiony texture gentle on your dog's paws, this Zoysia grass Florida backyard is an excellent option to go with.

Is fescue toxic to dogs? ›

Unfortunately, tall fescue also has a downside. Most tall fescue in the state is infected with a fungal endophyte, Neotyphodium coenophialum (formerly called Acremonium coenophialum) that is toxic to animals.

Is Scotts Tall fescue grass seed safe for dogs? ›

A: This product is safe for both children and pets. However, for best results we do recommend not to allow activity on the newly seeded area until the seeds have germinated.

Is clover good for high traffic areas? ›

By itself, clover doesn't hold up well to repeated heavy foot traffic or playing fields, However, when blended with turfgrass, it can make a strong lawn and take occasional heavy traffic. If you have white clover ground cover, it can appear patchy and bare in heavily traveled areas.

Will grass burned by dog urine grow back? ›

Will grass grow back after dog urine? Yes, with help. Even though brown grass is dead grass, you can reseed those brown spots and have a lush green lawn again in no time. Even if you don't reseed, the surrounding healthy grass should eventually grow over the dead patch.

How do you get rid of dog urine burns on grass? ›

Lawns that are overly dry or already weak and stressed are especially susceptible to this type of dog urine damage. Whenever patches of brown grass appear, water the area deeply and repeatedly to flush the urine salts out of the surrounding soil.

Does dog pee bleach grass? ›

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.

Is it bad to mow lawn with dog poop? ›

Scoop dog poop immediately after your dog goes to the bathroom (even in your own backyard). If not immediately, clean up all dog poop in your yard at least once a week. Never mow the lawn with dog poop in it. Your lawn mower will spread any bacteria or parasites in the poop all over your yard.

How often should you pick up dog poop in your yard? ›

Most dogs poop at least twice a day, sometimes more so if you have only 1 small dog you can usually pick up dog poop at least once a week. If you have multiple dogs, you'll have multiple piles of poop in your yard so it's a good idea to pick up poop at least once a day or every time your dogs' poop.

Should you leave dog poop in grass? ›

People often believe that leaving dog waste to decompose in the yard is good for the lawn, but the truth is that dog poop is toxic for your grass, said PetHelpful.

What is the downside of Zoysia? ›

One drawback is that zoysia will not stay green year-round in our climate. Zoysia grass will look its best for about three months of the year, and zoysia lawns lose the desired green hue around mid-autumn. Often, the lawn will stay brown well into Spring, which is a deal breaker for some.

What are the disadvantages of Zoysia grass? ›

The major cons of maintaining Zoysia grass are that this grass has poor shade tolerance and is difficult to grow from the seed stage. It is also not the most vibrant grass variety in the market, and its grass blades can be coarse and rough.

What grass will choke out Bermuda? ›

Amazoy will choke out all existing cultivated and wild grasses, including Bermuda (often called wire grass) and St. Augustine. For best results keep these grasses away from newly planted zoysia plugs.

Why is foxtail bad for dogs? ›

Foxtail plants are a weed-type grass that can cause serious problems for dogs. Flourishing in the summer months, the seeds from these annoying weeds are designed to burrow into the ground. If they attach to your pet's coat and burrow into the skin, this can lead to pain, infection, and sometimes more serious issues.

What are the little green balls on my dog? ›

Think of burrs as tiny cactuses; both are considered diaspores due to those painful protrusions. These protrusions act like velcro, allowing them to hitch a ride on passersby. These prickly balls house seeds and allow them to move further than they would on their own, with animals as the transport vessel.

How long does it take dog tuff grass to fill in? ›

Typically within one season, Dog Tuff® Grass fills into a thick, luxurious lawn, spreading by stolons that root deep into the ground. This grass is considered sterile, so it doesn't spread by seed.

Does rain wash away dog poop in grass? ›

WHEN YOUR DOG GOES ON THE LAWN, REMEMBER IT DOESN'T JUST GO ON THE LAWN. Rain washes dog poop and its bacteria into storm drains. From there, it goes on to pollute our waterways.

Is there anything that breaks down dog poop in yard? ›

If you are looking for a more efficient way of dealing with dog waste, you might want to look for ways you can dissolve it in your yard. Luckily, you have several options: gardening lime, a mixture of vinegar, a septic tank, and an enzyme-based dog poo dissolver.

What dissolves dog poop fast? ›

Apply a 1/2 cup of lime to the feces and leave it. The Lime will destroy the dog poo and it dissolves over a few days at which time the residues dissolve into the soil also. Its very efficient and works great and you can buy it from your garden supply on account.

Can I throw my neighbor's dog poop back in their yard? ›

Dog poop on your lawn can be very frustrating, but here are a few things you shouldn't do: Don't shoot your neighbor. Don't throw the dog poop onto the neighbor's walkway. Don't mail the poop back to the dog owner.

What smell do dogs hate to poop on? ›

Something that is generally very effective is vinegar – dogs seem to hate the pungent, acrid smell of vinegar, and its application in a few strategic locations may do the job. Another popular – although sometimes controversial – option is cayenne pepper or strong chili powder.

What to do when neighbors dog poops in your yard? ›

If you find your neighbor's dog pooping in your yard or damaging your carefully managed garden, you need to contact your local animal control center immediately and file a complaint, and you should fence your property. It is best if you can provide clear video or photographic evidence of such a situation.

What is the hardiest grass for dogs? ›

Compared to other varieties, bermuda grass is the best grass for pets as it is tough against wear and tear and provides a great playing field for furry friends. Bermuda grass is anchored deep into the ground with strong, sturdy roots that are perfect rough play.

What smell do dogs hate grass? ›

Vinegar. You can use vinegar to keep dogs away from your lawn by spraying it around the perimeter of the area you want to be canine-free. Dogs don't like the strong smell of vinegar and thus will be deterred by it.

What is the best grass for dog pee spots? ›

Perennial ryegrass is particularly fast-growing and hard-wearing and is the main component of our FAMILY: Kids and Pets mix. The fescue content gives your lawn a thick and luscious appearance and gives it the strength for tackling dog urine.

What is the best grass for sensitive dogs? ›

Eureka Premium VG Kikuyu is certainly one of the best types of turf for dogs. It's able to withstand high traffic (even during winter) and its vigorous growth habit means it will repair itself quickly if damaged. Eureka Premium VG Kikuyu is the best grass for dogs with allergies as it's low allergenic.

Can you put baking soda on grass for dog urine? ›

A natural way to repair yellow spots in the grass caused by the dog's urine is to dissolve a cup of baking soda in a gallon of water and pour on the affected area. The baking soda neutralizes the high nitrogen concentration, and it will also deodorize the area so the dog won't recognize the spot and go there again.

Can you put baking soda on grass for dog poop? ›

Mix one cup of baking soda in about a gallon of water to use baking soda as a neutralizer. Spread the mixture around your lawn, focusing on its perimeters if you are deterring strays.

What neutralizes dog urine smell? ›

Opt for Baking Soda

Baking soda naturally neutralizes odors. Sprinkle it liberally on the damp area or even an old urine stain, and work the powder gently into the fibers of any fabric, rug or carpet. Let the baking soda sit overnight for maximum odor absorption, then vacuum it up to remove the smell completely.

What is the best zoysia for high traffic? ›

Best Variety for High Traffic

The Meyer Zoysia seed variety is the best Zoysia grass for high traffic and can withstand cold temperatures. It is native to Japan and features a dark green color with a wider blade than other zoysias.

Can zoysia grass withstand dog urine? ›

People also ask us if zoysia grass is tolerant of dog urine. The short answer is "No". As with any grass, dog urine will burn the blade leaving a brown spot but dog urine will not kill the zoysia grass, the zoysia grass will come back. The best way to combat dog urine is to wash it off the lawn.

Which grass is the most durable? ›

Perennial ryegrass is the most durable variety of grass, so it is the most popular grass for golf courses in northern climates. This is a kind of grass with tough blades and a strong root system. As well, it withstands heavy foot traffic, is fast-growing, and is drought-resistant.

What is the most durable pasture grass? ›

Novel endophyte tall fescue is really the best of both worlds of persistence and lack of toxicity. This type of tall fescue contains a different endophyte, selected to give added persistence over endophyte free tall fescue but with none of the animal problems of toxic tall fescue.

Is fescue or bermuda grass better with dogs? ›

Bermuda – A good choice for yards with low shade but high traffic and dogs doing their business. Fescue – There are many types of fescue grasses; all tend to be hardy and resistant to dog waste, and typically do well in shady yards.

What is the easiest grass to maintain? ›

1. Zoysia Grass. Zoysia is best the lowest-maintenance grass due to its ability to grow in various conditions, thanks to its deep root system. It is one of the most drought-tolerant grass species and requires far less water than other types of grass.

What grass are dogs least allergic to? ›

Try grass species that don't release pollen until they are tall – like 12” or taller. Rye grass and fescue are better for allergies. Bathing once every 1-2 weeks is a good way to reduce the pollen and other irritants in the coat.

What dissolves dog poop on grass? ›

The best and most effective method way to eliminate dog droppings is to use a dissolving agent like vinegar, bleach, and enzymes, all of which break down the waste over time.

What grasses make dogs itch? ›

Grass allergies, caused by common grass pollens from grasses such as Bermuda, fescue, alfalfa, or rye, have similar symptoms to allergies caused by pollens from trees (cedar, pine, oak) and weeds (ragweed, pigweed). Dogs that enjoy rolling in the grass can get symptoms from direct contact.

What helps grass recover from dog urine? ›

Whenever patches of brown grass appear, water the area deeply and repeatedly to flush the urine salts out of the surrounding soil. Minor dog urine damage may fill in with the surrounding grass over time, but you don't have to wait on nature.

What is the least maintenance lawn grass? ›

Fine fescue is the most popular low-maintenance cool-season grass. Hard fescue and fine fescue mixes require very little maintenance. You'll only have to mow your lawn once or twice a year. Fescues are hardy and they'll naturally crowd out weeds, so you don't have to worry about fertilizer, herbicide, or pesticide.

What grass is most resistant to weeds? ›

Zoysia grass also makes for a durable lawn as it is resistant to weeds, insects, and diseases that would be bad news for other types of grass. Zoysia is an extremely aggressive spreading grass that can literally choke out weeds.

What is the best grass for no water? ›

Bermudagrass is ideal for hot and dry areas because once established, it tolerates both conditions very well (though it will need some water to stay green in arid environments). A finely textured turfgrass that grows best when maintained at 1-2 inches in height, bermudagrass requires full sun for best growth.

What is the best grass for hard soil? ›

What is the best grass seed for hard dirt? Some grass types grow better than others on hard dirt. For example, hardy grass types like perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass will grow better on tough soil. Keep in mind that you should still consider your area's climate when deciding on a grass type.

What grass is better Zoysia or Bermuda? ›

Zoysia grass is an excellent choice if you live in an area with hot, dry summers and want a low-maintenance lawn. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, is ideal if you want a durable, high-traffic lawn that establishes quickly.

What is the easiest wild grass to grow? ›

Deergrass is one of the easiest native grasses to grow and can be planted in full sun to light shade, in moist or dry conditions, and in most soil types. Its extensive root system controls erosion on slopes, and it offers food for songbirds as well as larvae of a number of butterfly species.


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