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When Can a Dog Walk on New Grass? [5 Ways to Protect Grass]

It’s essential to prevent your dog from walking on your new grass for 3–4 weeks after it is planted. This rule applies to both grass grown from seed and turf grass grown from sod. Even after your grass is established for 3–4 weeks, it’s best to limit pet traffic for an additional 4 weeks before exposing it to regular traffic from your dog. This means your lawn will be off-limits to heavy use for up to 8 weeks.

When can a dog walk on new grass?

How Long Should Dogs Stay Off New Grass?

To truly allow your grass to establish itself, plan to keep your dog off the lawn for 8 weeks. However, the first 3–4 weeks of this period are the most crucial. It’s essential that your dog does not walk on new grass seedlings or new sod for 3–4 weeks. Even a small amount of foot traffic can kill large quantities of grass. That’s why it’s important to allow the correct time after planting before you can walk on new grass.

  • It’s best to keep dogs off new grass for 8 weeks.
  • Do not allow any pet traffic on your grass for the first 3–4 weeks after your lawn is newly seeded or sodded.
  • Once the grass is established, keep pet traffic to a minimum for an additional 4 weeks.
  • Your grass is ready for regular use after 8 weeks.

After the initial 3–4 week period where your new grass is working hard to establish itself, keep pet traffic on your lawn to a minimum for an additional 4 weeks. Your green lawn needs this time to develop strong roots. It’s best to provide your grass 4 weeks to establish itself without any interference, mow it weekly for the following 4 weeks, and then allow it to be used for regular pet traffic.

Can You Let Your Dog Walk on Grass Seed?

Never allow your dog to walk on new grass seed. Grass seed is extremely fragile when it is germinating. Although you may not see it at first, your grass seed may begin to send out initial roots and blades within a few days. At this stage in the grass plant’s development, even light foot traffic from a dog can result in dead grass.

  • Do not allow your dog to walk on a lawn with new grass seed.
  • Foot traffic from your dog can kill grass seedlings just as they germinate.
  • Keep your dog off your lawn for a 3–4-week period of time after spreading grass seed.

Just because you haven’t seen your grass seed sprout, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe for your dog to walk on the lawn. So, treat your lawn as an off-limits zone starting from the time you spread grass seed. Keep pets, children, and any other traffic off your lawn for at least 3–4 weeks after you spread seed. This contributes to a beautiful lawn and prevents dead spots.

Can Dogs Walk on Freshly Laid Turf?

You should completely prevent your dog from walking on new sod turf for 3–4 weeks after sod installation. New sod requires undisturbed time to send roots into the top layer of soil. Dog traffic on sod can tear the sod, prevent rooting, and may result in the sod dying. One of the keys to growing a healthy lawn from sod is preventing all foot traffic on sod for a month after you install it.

  • Wait 3–4 weeks after installing sod or grass plugs before you allow your dog in the yard.
  • Pet traffic on new sod can prevent proper root development and cause your new turf to turn brown and dry out.
  • Some dogs may be tempted to dig up fresh sod. 

Dogs may be intrigued by the smells of new sod turf. So, dogs may dig up fresh turf, grass plugs, or other plants. Prevent destructive behavior by keeping your dog off the lawn entirely for a few weeks. Doing so will make it much easier to grow grass with dogs.

How to Block Off New Grass From Dogs [5 Tips]

If you’re determined to have beautiful grass with dogs in the lawn, you need to allow grass to establish a foothold before it can withstand pet traffic. In order to keep your grass safe until it is strong enough to survive animal traffic, use these methods:

Establish an Alternate Dog Potty Location

If your dog is used to using your lawn to relieve itself, provide an alternative while your new grass is getting started. Some good methods are to create a small grassy area by laying sod on top of a sheet of plywood. This grass patch can be situated on a patio or driveway. Guide your dog to this location to do its business. This helps prevent urine spots in your new grass.

Fence Off of Sections of Your Yard

It’s in a dog’s nature to explore outdoors. If your dog is used to having access to the lawn, it’s necessary to temporarily fence off new grass until it is well established. You can use this temporary fencing to protect your lawn. This way, you don’t have to supervise your dog each time it goes outside. This tip works great when combined with Tip Number 1, where you create an alternate outdoor bathroom location for your pet.

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Visit Your Local Dog Park

Because new grass from seed or sod requires up to 2 months before it’s ready for regular pet traffic, redirect your pet’s outdoor needs elsewhere. If there is a local dog park or another pet-friendly park, take your dog there for outdoor playtime. This way, you and your best friend can enjoy the outdoors without damaging your infant grass.

Take Your Dog on Long Walks

Neighborhood walks and trips to local pet-friendly hiking trails are a great activity for you and your dog while your new lawn is still off-limits. Not only will your dog relieve itself somewhere other than your delicate new grass, but your dog will also get exercise. This leads to a happy, healthy dog that is content to rest inside between walks. Just make sure to bring doggie bags and pick up after your companion!

Try Vinegar Deterrents

Dogs are deterred by the smell of vinegar. You can use this to your advantage by tying vinegar-soaked rags on a temporary fence or on posts near your section of new grass. Dogs will stay away. Plus, vinegar is harmless to dogs. Just make sure you do not spray vinegar on your new grass—the acetic acid in vinegar will turn grass blades brown.

How Long Before Your Dog Can Walk on New Grass?

When you are installing a new lawn in a yard commonly used by dogs, follow these rules:

  • Keep your dog off new grass completely for 3–4 weeks after spreading seed or installing sod. 
  • Keep dog traffic on grass to a minimum for a full 8 weeks.
  • After 8 weeks, your grass is ready for regular pet traffic.
  • While your new grass is growing, create an alternate location for your dog to relieve itself outdoors.
  • Take your dog to a dog park, on walks, or on hiking trails until the grass in your lawn is ready for pet traffic.
  • Install a temporary fence to deter your dog from walking on new grass.

You can grow beautiful grass with dogs in your home. It’s just essential to protect your grass for 4–8 weeks after seed or sod installation. Babying your lawn at this time prevents grass death and ensures you don’t have to re-seed or re-sod again soon.

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