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How to Grow Grass With Dogs

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Grow healthy grass even if you own a dog.

It’s no secret that owning a dog can wreak havoc on a lawn. The nitrogen (not acid) in its urine and feces causes the grass to turn yellow and burn. Fortunately, you can incorporate some techniques to successfully grow grass while owning a dog. If possible, choose a durable grass, such as bermudagrass, that can withstand more traffic than other grasses. This will minimize the general wear and tear resulting from owning a dog.

Set up an area for the dogs to eliminate. Lay small gravel or mulch, which looks nicer than yellow-patched grass caused from the dog’s urine. Also, add a lawn ornament, such a birdbath or large rock for the dog to mark.

Train the dog to go in the designated area. Move the feces and collect cans of urine (place where the dog normally likes to go) to the designated area. Give your dog a treat when it eliminates in the right area and, within a month, it should be trained to go where you want it to go.

Water the grass with about a ½ to 1 inch of water each time after the dog urinates to dilute the concentration of nitrogen in any one area. Also, remove or discard the feces. This will help minimize the damage to your grass while you train your dog to go in the designated area.

Modify your dog’s diet to reduce the amount of nitrogen in its urine and feces, but talk to your veterinarian first to be sure this is the safe for your dog's health. Example modifications include feeding your dog canned food, moistening dry food and choosing dog food lower in protein than other dog food.

Put up a fence to keep the dog contained to a specific area of the yard as an alternative to training. Then, enjoy the rest of the lawn that grows lush and green. When first establishing a lawn, section off one side (such as with cheap chicken wire) for one year while you grow grass. Then, section off the other side the next year while you grow grass there.


Things You Will Need

  • Gravel
  • Lawn ornament
  • Canned dog food
  • Lower protein dog food
  • Fence

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.