Best Grass for Dogs for Warm and Cool Climates

Filed in Dog Health on April 11, 2022

best grass for dogs

If you want to ensure your lawn has the best chance of looking lush and green, choosing the right grass is essential.

But when you have dogs, you have to think about even more factors, like dog urine and wear-and-tear such as running and digging. Additionally, you’ll need to determine a suitable grass for your region.

Depending on where you live, some grass varieties grow better than others due to the climate and conditions. For example, the best grass for dogs in Southern California will be different than the best grass for dogs in Florida.

In this blog post, I’ll cover grass for both warm and cool climates that can withstand your dog’s activities, plus I’ll provide additional tips.

How to Determine Where Grass Types Grow Best

Before deciding on a grass, you should first get familiar with the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This map lists hardiness zones, also known as growing zones, that help growers determine the best location for a grass to thrive.

The map divides the country into 13 zones, breaking them down into subzones based on climate. The higher the zone, the higher the temperature in that area.

Most plants will include a zone number on their label, so you’ll need to find your zone and match the numbers. Then, cross-reference them against the dog-friendly grass mentioned in this article.

The Best Grass for Dogs in Warmer Climates

Although no type of grass is entirely impervious to the rigors of dog life, some can handle them better than others. If you call the south home, anywhere from Southern California to Florida, you’re in Zone 7 or above.

Typically, the most southern states top out around zone 10 (although the most southern tip of Florida reaches into zone 11).

You’ll want to get warm-season grass types that withstand the hotter weather but don’t do so well in harsh winters. These grass varieties would have little chance of healthy survival in the more northern climates.

Here are the top grass types for dog owners living in warmer climates:

1. Bermuda Grass

green lawn with bermuda grass

Bermuda grass is a tough grass that’s resistant to wear-and-tear from rowdy dogs, thanks to its deep root system. It also grows rapidly, replenishing itself fast when your dog designates a spot as their favorite pee place.

Bermuda Grass is a good match for dog owners living in zones 7 through 10. It’s also great for active dogs since it can handle a lot of foot traffic and heals so quickly.

2. Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass features very thick, dense growth that covers the ground like a mat. The denseness makes it difficult for your dog’s paws to cause much damage and helps the grass hold up well to heavy foot traffic.

Also, thanks to its thick quality, it quickly covers any unsightly pee spots your dog leaves behind. It’s good for dog owners living in zones 5 through 10. It’s also excellent for active dogs because it’s so durable.

Note: it can take a couple of years before it’s fully established.

The Best Grass for Dogs in Cooler Climates

If you call the central to northern parts of the country home, you’re likely somewhere in zones 3 through 6, unless you live in Alaska where some regions fall into zones 1 and 2.

Here are the top grass types for dog owners living in cooler climates:

1. Fescue

Fescue grass is an excellent pick for active dogs in cooler climates and has multiple varieties you can choose from. It works best in zones 4 through 7, and it’s also well-draining and highly absorbent.

These qualities make it very resistant to dog urine.

2. Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial Ryegrass is a good fit for dog owners living in zones 3 through 9. It’s also very sturdy, holding up well to dog urine. This is a good match for large dogs or households with multiple pups.

3. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass delivers if you need a super durable lawn that can stand up to everything your dog throws at it. It’s also a great pick for colder climates since it works well in zones 2 through 7.

Kentucky Bluegrass heals fast and grows quickly, so it can bounce back from your active dog and their urine in a flash.

Considerations When Choosing Grass Types for Large Dogs

owner with her dog playing on the grass

If you have a large or giant dog breed, keep in mind that bigger dogs run harder, are stronger, and pee more. Opting for extra-durable grass like Bermuda grass or Perennial Ryegrass is a good idea.

Grasses that are very absorbent, like Fescue, are also a good pick for large dog breeds. The super-absorbency stands up better to the increased urine output.

Fast-healing grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda are also good options since they can quickly recover from potential dog damage.

The Worst Grass for Dog Owners

Now that you know the best grass if you have dogs, it’s worth knowing which types are the worst. Canada Wild Rye, Foxtail Barley, and Cheatgrass cause lots of problems and injuries to pups.

These aren’t necessarily grasses you would grow in your yard, but they can still potentially grow wild or be in other areas you and your dog may visit.

Conclusion on Best Grass for Dogs for Warm and Cool Climates

If you’re a proud pup parent, having a beautiful lawn is possible with the proper care and maintenance. But the most important key to your success is planting the right kind of grass for your region and your dog.

If you live in warmer climates, like Florida or Southern California, grasses like Bermuda Grass and Zoysia Grass are great options. However, if you live somewhere cooler, Perennial Ryegrass, Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass are better choices.

To find more precise grass varieties for your specific location, you can refer to the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Large dogs and active dogs do well with grasses like super-absorbent Fescue or fast-healing Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda Grass.

Finding the perfect grass might seem a bit of a puzzle at first, but it just takes a little extra planning and attention to detail.

By the way, once you have a beautiful lawn, you’ll want to invest in a dog safe weed killer to keep it looking good.

Let me know your comments below.

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