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The 3 Best Lawns for Dogs in Florida

Likely, your dog is another highly valued member of your family. Sometimes (like the rest of us) he does not follow the rules.  He makes a mess of your lawn just by being a dog. Choosing the best lawn types for dogs and following a few rules below will help. You will be able to avoid the usual brown spots or matted dirt areas that result from a dog doing what a dog does. So, what to do?   Teach your dog new tricks and make good choices on the best lawn to stand up to their high jinx!

The three lawn types that stand up to dogs in Florida are Bermuda, Zoysia and Bahia.  All three of these options are good for high-traffic and are accepting of dog activity.  However, no sod is completely dog resistant.  These three grasses for dog owners below make life just that much easier and more beautiful.

Bermuda grass is a dog’s other BFF.

We know you’re number one in your dog’s eyes – but he would probably consider a great lawn as his other BFF. Bermuda grass is one popular choice to combat pet urine and lawn damage. It is a warm weather grass and grey-green in color. It is perfect for Florida dog owners with sunny yards. Once Bermuda grass is established, it does not take much water. It is not the best barefoot grass because of its short blades and rough edges. However, it has deep roots which make it incredibly resistant to drought, weeds, and your pet’s running path.

Bermuda grass grows rapidly in all types of soil. It is sensitive to cold temperatures, pests, and shade. Regular maintenance and weekly watering help maintain its appearance and place it high in the category of best grass for someone with dogs.

Both you and your canine will love Zoysia sod

Dogs love to roll in the soft grass, and emerald zoysia sod feels luxurious. It is a dark-green turf grass, so it looks plush, too. One of the best features of a backyard for dogs in warm-weather areas is plenty of tree cover and good shade. This often means dry climate and sand soil. Zoysia grass is the best grass for high traffic and shade. It has great tolerance to salt, shade, and dog paw traffic. It grows more slowly than the others and is generally maintained at a shorter length. This provides a thicker, more trimmed look. The good news is, if brown spots do appear, you can change them out easily with zoysia grass plugs.

Florida dog owners will appreciate Zoysia sod’s drought and disease resistance. It is even less prone to weeds because of its dense turf. Once it is established, it is hardy, but it could take four years to get a good root system. Of course, like any sod, proper maintenance is necessary to maintain its density and beautiful color. All-in-all, it’s one of the best lawn types for dogs in all areas of Florida.

Bahia, another “Best-in-Show” winner for a dog-friendly lawn

​When looking for the best grass for someone with dogs Bahia Grass is another great option. With naturally deep roots it prefers full sun and is drought and heat tolerant. You’ll find it’s a perfect combination for pet owners in Florida. Bahia grass’ coarse leaves and tolerance to drought are both great solutions for dog urine and damage. Within the Bahia Grass family are various varieties for your specific lawn needs. Your local nursery will happily guide you through the differences and steer you in the right direction for your specific lawn.

Maintaining a high traffic lawn for dog owners

​We love to play with our dogs on the lawn. We even love to invite our human friends to join us on the lawn during a picnic. To maintain a high traffic lawn here are five suggestions for solutions for handling the damage caused by a dog’s paws and urine:

  1. Be sure to water the area daily where the dog pees. The extra water dilutes the nitrogen that has deposited when your dog pee’d. This activity curbs the possibility of brown spots.
  2. If your dog is on his obedience school honor roll, teach the dog to pee in one area only. Keeping this activity confined leaves the rest of your yard available for fun play. It just helps you maintain a beautiful lawn.
  3. If your dog is an obedience school flunky, or if you’re home-schooling him, be sure to encourage and reward his good behavior. Every time he finds the specified “unloading zone” provide him a yummy treat and heap on the praise.
  4. Less is more. Fertilize less, or not at all, where your dog pees. Fertilizer has nitrogen in it, just like your dog’s pee. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Refer back to tip #2 and fertilize where your pup is not going.
  5. Encourage your dog to drink more water (lowering the nitrogen strength in his pee). Drinking water is always a healthy thing. You might even be thinner and richer for it! Fido drinking more water will provide you with more exercise in getting up from your chair to let him out the back door more often. It will also save you money on keeping a beautiful lawn.
  6. If you still find these tips are not working, you might feed your dog a dietary supplement. There are several veterinarian formulations available that include probiotics and other ingredients that bind with the nitrogen in the urine, making your dog’s urine less harmful to your grass. If you’re unsure, then by all means, consult your dog’s favorite veterinarian first.

By choosing and installing the best lawn types for dogs – your battle is half won. To help in finding sod near you, you will find your local garden center is your source of sod for a dog-friendly yard. Your local nursery will be able to answer questions like “how much is a pallet of sod?” The best way to determine the perfect sod type is to talk with your local nursery sod specialist. Share with them your lifestyle, yard characteristics, and Fido’s territory habits and they will guide you in the right direction. When you do stop by to order your new sod – do not forget the “pet”-unias!