How To Keep A Healthy Lawn With A Pet

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • April 23, 2019

7 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Lawn Even With Pets

If you have a pet, then you know the one question that gets their feet tapping and tail wagging—”Do you want to go outside?”

There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it, pets love to spend time outside. For them, your lawn is a grass-covered playground! It’s the perfect place to play, dig, roll around and take care of business.

Maybe you just welcomed a four-legged friend to your home, or maybe you’ve had a pet for years. Either way, having a pet around will totally transform your home—and lawn. We want to help you protect your lawn against pet damage, so we made a list of seven tips to keep your yard healthy with pets.

So sit, stay, and let’s dig into these pet-friendly yard hacks!  

1. Plant Pet-Tolerant Grass

Choosing pet-tolerant grass is one of the first steps to pet-proofing your lawn. Here are some common signs of pet damage you may find in your yard:

  • The nitrogen and salts in pet urine will burn your lawn leaving shriveled, brown grass, and disrupt the pH balance (which is why you should consider a lime application).
  • High-traffic areas may look worn down or flattened due to pets constantly running back and forth. Over time, the grass will die, leaving behind larger patches of brown grass.

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to protect your yard against pet damage. There are, however, a few kinds of grass that thrive in the Carolinas which are more resistant to pet damage. Grasses with a quicker recovery rate like Zoysia grass are ideal for yards with pets because they can bounce back more quickly from damage spots. Search for a grass with a deeper root that will hold better in high-traffic pet areas.

At the end of the day, these types of grass are tolerant of pet damage—not immune! When it comes to planting the right type of grass for your lawn, always contact a lawn care specialist.

2. Aerate Your Lawn

Aeration is a great way to maintain a healthy yard with pets. Aeration is the process of drilling small holes through your lawn into the soil below with the purpose of allowing air, water, and nutrients to pass through to the grassroots.

This process is especially important for yards that experience pets running back and forth. When pets run around constantly, the soil becomes compact, preventing the grassroots from receiving the nutrients it needs.

Aeration should be done at least twice a year, usually in the months of September and October. This will not only help your lawn stay healthy all year long, but also act as an extra line of defense against pet damage.

3. Make Sure Your Pet Gets Plenty Of Exercises

Obviously, your pet is going to play in your yard—there’s no way around that! But instead of letting your pet roam free in your yard, try taking it on long walks, runs or playdates to work off some of that energy! By making sure your pet gets the exercise it needs, there’s less of a chance it’ll run around terrorizing your yard, thus preventing potential damage.

4. Rinse Urine Spots Immediately

To keep pet urine from damaging your lawn, consider walking your pet on a leash when it’s time to go potty—and don’t forget your watering can! Keep a close eye on your pet to see where it goes, then use the watering can to rinse urine away.

The flow of water will disrupt the nitrogen and salts in the urine, preventing it from further damaging your grass. Keep in mind that less is not more here—you’re going to need to soak the spot with water to fully dilute the nitrogen and salts. While this isn’t a foolproof way to protect your yard from urine spots, it will definitely help!

Also, take note of areas where your pet takes care of business. If it seems like a frequent or popular spot, consider building a designated potty area there.

5. Build A Designated Pet Area

Speaking of designated areas for your pet, taking the time to build an area solely for your pet is a great way to protect your lawn. Here are a few ideas your pet will enjoy:

Set up a potty area. As we mentioned before, if your pet has a go-to spot for its business, consider setting up a potty area there. This could be as simple as a squared-off area of your yard filled with mulch, pine needles, bark and more. Don’t forget to work with your pet so they understand where to go when they need to go.

Build a dog run. Got a pet with a ton of energy? Build a dog run! Fence off an area of your yard where your pet can run and play without threatening the health of your lawn. Consider using pet-friendly grass, or even turf grass, that will withstand all of the activity. This way, your pet gets its energy out, and your yard stays safe—win-win!

Create a pet-friendly sandbox. If digging is a problem, give your pet an area where it can dig to its heart’s content! Similar to the potty area, create a “sandbox” where nothing is off limits. Again, you will need to train your pet so it knows to only use that area for digging. Your pet will love it and so will your lawn!

6. Protect Your Plants

Next, be sure to protect your plants. You can do this in one of two ways:

The first option is to pick urine-resistant plants for your yard. Plants like roses, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and peppermint are able to absorb higher levels of nitrogen, making them ideal plants for homes with pets.

Alternatively, if you have a smaller pet, consider building an elevated garden for your plants. This will prevent your pet from harming your plants, and add a decorative feature to your garden! Or, if you want to keep your plants on the ground, you can train your pet to avoid your plants or garden. (Don’t forget about the designated potty area!)

7. Invest In Killingsworth Lawn Care

Here at Killingsworth, we love pets. That’s why we want to make your yard as pet-friendly as possible, while keeping your lawn healthy and strong!

When you invest in one of our lawn care packages, we will take the time to locate the problem spots in your lawn and treat them naturally with our organic lawn care services. From fertilizer and aeration, to organic bio-nutrient and more, we can treat your lawn all year long to keep it healthy and protected against potential pet damage.

With over 26 years of experience, we truly are the lawn care experts. And we’re ready to help you get the lawn of your dreams—with or without pets!

Want to learn more? Reach out to us today for more information about our lawn care services. Then, download our free Lawn Care Workbook below for tips, tricks and lawn care checklists!

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