If your grass is currently patchy, or you want to cover areas that didn’t have grass before, you may choose to install new sod in your existing lawn.
If you have a dog, you may need to replace grass that has been ruined by dog urine or holes dug by your dog. When you initially lay new sod, you’ll need to take some care to ensure that it establishes itself and develops a strong root system.
It’s advisable to keep your dog away from new sod lawn for at least two weeks to allow the roots to develop. If at all possible, keep your dog off new sod for two months, according to several experienced gardeners.
When sod is newly added, the roots will be short and close to the ground’s surface. Your dog’s urine might easily damage the roots at this point. It can also damage your beautiful lawn.
How Long Should You Keep Dogs Off New Sod?
The roots of freshly laid sod are near to the surface and more vulnerable to animal urine damage. Until the new sod is established, keep the dog off your grass completely.
If that isn’t an option, consider sodding half of the lawn and leaving the other half for the dog. Once the first side is established, switch to sodding the second.
Why Is It A Good Idea To Keep Your Dog Off New Sod?
The state of your soil will influence whether or not the new sod will develop and be healthy in the long run. Although dog stays in lawn to play, dog urine can harm new seedlings and contribute salts to the soil and reduce biological activity.
The soil will not break down the nitrogen and salts contained in dog urine. The grass will be less affected by your dog’s urine until the roots have grown deeper, which will take a few months, and you can let your pet out in your yard.
The history of your yard’s underlying soil will determine how badly dog urine will impact your lawn. There’s a build-up of toxins, salts, and nitrogen in the soil if you have new grass in your lawn and your dog is allowed in the yard.
The current grass has often become uneven or completely dead, necessitating the installation of new sod grass. If you like, you can lay sod as much dead grass. If you plant new sod in contaminated soil, it will likely appear healthy for the first few months before steadily deteriorating.
The roots growing into bad soil produce a fast decline in sod health. Before installing fresh sod, it’s a good idea to improve your soil’s overall health. This can be completed by getting your dog off your grass for a few months before laying the sod.
After washing away the dog pee with plenty of water, evaluate the condition of your soil with a ph test. Before laying the fresh sod, you can add compost or fertilizers as needed. Make careful you apply a sod-specific fertilizer.
New Sod and Dog Urine
You must take measures whether you are laying sod on an area that has never had grass before or restoring grass that has suffered or perished due to dog urine damage. New sod’s roots are short, close to the surface, and particularly susceptible to urine damage—even in ideal conditions, sod needs extra attention for a few months.
The state of your soil is the most important factor in determining whether or not your new sod will thrive. Pee damage to grass is caused by a lack of biological activity in the soil, preventing the nitrogen and salts in dog urine from being broken down.
How To Lay Sod So That Your Dog Doesn’t Ruin It
The majority of pet owners prefer to let their pets out in the yard daily. Giving your yard time to heal and keeping your dog off the newly laid sod might be difficult.
It’s ideal for dividing your yard into two areas and working on one section at a time. While the soil recovers and the new sod grows sufficient roots, you can restrict your dog’s access to one portion of your lawn.
Your soil should be able to break down toxins in your dog’s urine after your lawn is established, and your yard will look gorgeous with healthy, lush, green grass.
How Does Dog Urine Affect Sod That Has Been Placed On New Soil?
Not all soils are created equal. It could be a soil issue because you install new sod, and the entire lawn struggles. Plant growth cannot thrive in soils with insufficient probiotic activity. In these soils, dog urine damage is likely to be severe and take longer to repair.
If sod is exposed to dog urine, it will almost certainly be harmed, even if it is laid on new soil in a fine condition. New sod roots are short, close to the surface, and very vulnerable to pee injury. The new sod is very susceptible to urine damage until the roots are well established into the depths of the soil, and there is enough probiotic activity surrounding them. It may take a few months to accomplish this.
How Dog Urine Affects Sod that Has Been Laid on Previously Lawned Soil?
Another issue that can develop when using new sod is the underlying unhealthy soil history. If a yard has previously housed a dog, nitrogen and other poisons may have accumulated in the soil.
In many cases, new sod is required since the old grass has died. In such cases, the new sod may appear healthy for a month or two before gradually deteriorating.
The roots have begun to grow into the bad soil, causing the lawn’s health to deteriorate. Prior to fixing the urine spots, you must first improve the overall health of your new lawn and soil.
Dogs and Sod: How to Keep It Healthy
If you have dogs and are debating between sod and seed, we recommend going with sod. You won’t have to keep dogs off the lawn for nearly as long this way. If you decide to put sod, we recommend that you look for the best sod for dogs and take extra precautions with your new grass.
Because fresh grass hasn’t had time to grow roots, it’s more susceptible to dog urine damage in places. Keep your dog off the grass for the first two months, when it’s most vulnerable, to give your sod the best chance of survival.
If you can’t keep your pets off altogether, take them for a walk as soon as you wake up and as soon as you get home from work so they can empty themselves somewhere else. This is when the nitrogen levels in their urine are at their maximum, causing the most damage to your lawn.
Another solution is to hose out the area where they urinate, but there’s no assurance you won’t still end up with brown, dead spots in your lawn – it could just help to mitigate the damage.
Check out our sod questions and answers if you have any extra inquiries concerning sod.
Our advice is straightforward: the best way to keep new sod healthy is to keep dogs off it for a while. Your maintenance schedule may alter once it’s implemented.
That’s because, aside from peeing, dogs may wreak havoc on your lawn by digging, uprooting plants, and making dirt trails where they frequently walk. Here are some advices to help your dog get along with your lawn:
1. Think How To Entertain Them
Instead of letting your dogs run about in the backyard, take them for regular walks or visits to the dog park. They’ll have less energy to spend tearing up your lawn this way
2. Get Rid of Pests
Dogs dig when they see pests in your yards, such as moles and insects, and they’re trying to catch them. Always use non-toxic pest control chemicals that will not hurt your pet.
3. Use Marking Posts or Designated Bathroom Spots to Indicate Where You Want to Go To The Bathroom
Placing a pole or fire hydrant in your yard (where it will be hidden) can encourage dogs to use the toilet in one location. You can even surround the pole with mulch or river pebbles to prevent the urine from killing the grass. Another piece of advice is to train your dog to go to the same area every time they need to go to the potty. This will simplify clean-up and prevent the majority of your lawn from harm.
4. Preventing Opportunities for Evasion
If your dog likes to dig along the fence, make it less appealing to them. You can use wire to cover the bottom of the fence or rocks to fill the opening.
5. Ensure That Your Lawn is Well-Maintained
It’s crucial to aerate your grass in trouble areas a couple of times a year to encourage growth. Mulch can also be put on your lawn to offer nutrients to the soil and aid in water absorption.
The Foundations for a Successful Lawn with Dogs
- Begin small. Plant only as much grass as you can keep up with. This is to mix things up (and meet up with their four-legged buddies!). The local park for a dog is still an option.
- Plant hardy cultivars. Don’t scrimp on grass seed mixes, plugs, or sod by using generic grass seed mixes, plugs, or sod. Invest in high-quality, tough grass seed to ensure that your turf grass plants are strong and resistant.
Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass (or a mix of these kinds) are good alternatives in temperate climates. Zoysia Grass, Bermuda Grass, and Bahia Grass are the greatest varieties of turf for dogs in Southern lawns.
- Look for the bright side. Plant grass in a location where the lawn will receive enough sunlight. It’s far more difficult to establish a shade grass lawn with dogs than it is to grow a sunny grass lawn with dogs.
- Select a sandy location. Choose a spot where the soil is naturally sandy. If you have clay soil, buy and spread at least a few inches of sandy loam or good-quality topsoil on top of it before seeding.
Dogs may wreak havoc on a clay lawn, and dogs can wreak havoc on a clay-soil lawn. And, in any case, the grass will grow better in the sandy loam.
- Slopes should be avoided. Lawns with relatively flat slopes are far easier to maintain than those with steep slopes (particularly with paw traffic around).
- Long blades and deep roots are ideal. Long blades and deep roots are characteristics of the healthiest grass species. These grasses are the friendliest to dogs. Mow the grass until root grow of 3′′ and never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at once. To produce root grow and root development, water the grass infrequently but deeply.
- Maintain a high rate of grass growth. Ensure that the lawn receives adequate water and nitrogen to maintain a healthy growth rate. Use a pet-safe lawn fertilizer on your turf grass like Scott’s Natural Lawn Food or Kellogg’s Organic Lawn Food. On the other hand, overfeeding and overwatering can be hazardous to your lawn’s health, so keep a watch on it.
Dog-Hardy Lawn Grass Seed Varieties
The grade of grass seed available for purchase varies greatly. It’s worth investing in high-quality, resilient, long-lasting grass seed if you care about your lawn enough to do your research.
Don’t put in a season’s worth of effort only to discover that half of the grass seed you planted was filler annual variety (that only last one year).
Northern cultivars include:
- Tall Fescue is a type of fescue.
- Bluegrass in Kentucky.
- Ryegrass is a perennial grass that grows year after year.
Varieties from the South include:
- Grass of Zoysia (seeds or plugs)
- Bermuda grass is native grass to the United States.
- Grass of Bahia
For around two weeks, dogs are unable to walk on new sod.
Creating two distinct sections in your yard is a wonderful idea. This will allow you to improve the soil and lay new sod in one area at a time. Block off your yard so that your dog does not trample the recently laid sod.
Keep your dog away from the fresh sod until it has established itself and developed a strong root system. This could take a few months. After completing the first piece, you can return your dog to the grass and begin working on the second section.