7 Ways How to Protect Grass Seed from Dogs

Filed in Dog Health by on April 10, 2022

how to protect grass seed from dogs

You expect to enjoy a lush, green lawn when you plant new grass seed. But if you have a dog who goes in your yard often, that goal isn’t as easy as you think.

Between running, digging, and peeing on the grass, your canine companion can completely ruin your dreams of a perfect lawn.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss several ways how to protect grass seed from dogs.

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How to Protect Grass Seed from Dogs

If you’re planning to plant grass seed, you’ll want to take some precautions if you have a dog. Familiarize yourself with these 7 ways to protect grass seed from dogs.

1. Choose Tough Varieties of Lawn Grains

Certain types of grass hold up better against dog urine and running, clawing paws than others. If you live in a cool climate, consider Perennial Ryegrass, Tall Fescue, or Kentucky Bluegrass.

If you reside somewhere with warmer weather, opt for something like Zoysia, Bermuda, or Bahia grass.

If you’re unsure of the best grass for your particular area, consult with your local garden store. You’ll also need to consider things like your soil type and if your lawn gets more sun or shade.

Let the pro know you have pets, and together you can find the ideal grass seed for your yard.

2. Only Plant What You Can Maintain

Instead of reseeding your entire lawn, think about doing it in small sections, so it’s easier to maintain. You can concentrate on one part of your lawn at a time, keeping your pup off that spot until it’s well-established.

This process might take you longer before reaching a full yard of green grass. But, it could be the easiest way to achieve your goals if you have pups used to playing in the yard.

3. Create a Pup-Friendly Lawn Patch

puppy patch for dogs

While you’re working on reseeding your lawn, creating a potty zone is another great way how to protect grass seed from dogs. You can use a grass pad specifically designed for dogs like PetSafe’s Portable Pet Loo.

Likewise, provide your dog a designated play area outside during the grass-growing process.

4. Keep Up the Pace

Make sure your grass has the best chance of taking root and growing as healthy and quickly as possible. The first few weeks after you lay down fresh grass seed are the most critical.

Make sure to water your grass enough during this time (but not too much). Also, apply a dog-friendly fertilizer like Scott’s Natural Lawn Food. The key is to keep a very watchful eye on your grass and its health during the first few weeks.

5. Encourage Deep Roots

After about two to four weeks, your grass enters the maintenance phase. To ensure your grass can withstand wear-and-tear and pet urine the best, go for long blades and deep roots.

When you mow the grass, set your blade to maintain a height of three inches.

It’s also recommended not to mow your grass for the first time until it reaches at least 3.5 inches. Also, don’t remove more than ⅓ of the blade at one time.

When you water the grass, water deeply but not too often to make sure you achieve optimal root development.

6. How Long Should You Keep Pups Off Lawn After Germinating?

You should keep your pets off your lawn for at least two to four weeks after putting down new grass seed. This time period is when grass seed is the most vulnerable and still taking root.

However, many professional gardeners recommend this time be closer to 6 to 8 weeks, well into the maintenance phase. This time frame allows your grass enough time to get well-established and develop strong roots.

7. Lay Down a Light Layer of Mulch or Straw

You can give your grass seed some extra protection from your dog’s paws (and birds too) with straw. Lay down a thin layer of mulch or straw to help cover and protect the seed. This tip is especially helpful if you can’t keep your dog off the grass for the 6-week period.

Dangers of Grass Seed to Dogs

planting grass seeds

Of course, this article focuses on how to protect grass seed from dogs. But, it’s equally (if not more) important to make sure your dog stays safe as well.

Grass seed can work its way between your pup’s paw pads, into the ears, the nose, the eyes, and more. The seed tends to burrow into your dog’s skin, causing massive irritation and discomfort.

Plus, as your dog tries to find relief through chewing and scratching, they can make matters worse.

Grass seed wounds can lead to infections, abscesses, corneal ulcers, and other unpleasant issues. Breathing in the seed can lead to potential lung infections or respiratory problems.

If your dog gets grass seed in their mouth or throat, it can cause coughing, difficulty eating and drinking, and severe consequences.

Is Treated Lawn Grains Safe for Pups?

Treated grass seed can also be hazardous for your dog. Typically, treated grass seed features growth enhancers and fertilizers to achieve faster germination. The idea is you won’t need to use as many different products to help your grass grow if you use treated seed.

In terms of how this affects your pup, it’s still important to keep your dog off the lawn and follow the same guidelines. Also, the products’ packaging should always include information about when it’s safe for your pets to go on the lawn.


If you’re looking how to protect grass seed from dogs, you’ll need to employ a few extra steps and take some additional precautions than normal.

You can choose a grass seed variety from the start that can withstand more wear and tear. Alternatively, you can take other actions mentioned in this blog post to protect the seeds from your dog.

By the way, once your lawn is fully grown, you should also get a weed killer safe for pets to keep your lawn looking good.

Following these tips to protect grass seed from dogs will lead to better success in achieving the lush lawn you crave.

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