Creative Ways to Address the Dog-Run Dead Zone

Use these tricks to fix pet damage to your yard and improve curb appeal.
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Your Landscape Is Your Dog's Home

Your dog's habits are no secret...just follow the trail. Medium and large sized dogs who spend lots of time outdoors inevitably cause wear and tear on their favorite parts of your grass. Repair the damage and make your pet feel right at home with these helpful solutions.

When Pet Traffic Leads To Bare Ground

What do you do when your dog and your grass don't mix? Your best friend can really work over that green space, but there are lots of great options to repair or replace the lawn and make both you and your dog happy.

When Grass Is The Only Answer

If you must have grass, try a tougher breed. Spreading grasses like zoysia, bermuda and centipede are self-healing, and for this reason are superior to clumping grass like fescue for damage-prone areas. When holes develop, use a dog-resistant replacement. In some areas other unconventional lawn alternatives like carex or mondo grass may work even better.

The Fence Run

If your dog has a well worn path along the fence, a landscaped border may help to change the pattern. Choose tough specimens like ornamental grasses and native shrubs. These plants may help divert your pup's activity, and will hold up to occasional leaps and bounds.

Visual Barriers

Planting a visual barrier is a useful strategy for dogs that have a tendency to pace and chase along the border. "Hedge" plants like boxwoods are useful, but consider colorful bloomers like hydrangeas that will add a bit more interest.

Pathway on a Slope

A worn path on a slope calls for stairs. Use timbers, stone, pavers or other materials to shore up the ground and minimize erosion on those hillsides where the dog loves to travel.

Build a Walkway

When low or wet locations are part of the landscape, building a boardwalk can help. These decked walkways are elevated, keeping the dog out of the muck and mud on his way to dry terrain.

Heavy Mixed Use

A great solution for high-use areas that won't support grass is paving. Reduce runoff and add durability by using pavers.

Synthetic Grass

When grass is the answer but it just won't grow, synthetic turf is the solution. It holds up to dog traffic, stays green, never needs mowing and allows water to pass through, reducing runoff problems.

Mulch May Be the Answer

Mulch can be an inexpensive temporary or permanent groundcover for dog runs.

A Natural Solution

Mixing natural stone with rugged, lowing groundcovers is another great solution for high use locatlions. For best results, use creeping groundcovers that will self-heal, like this blue star creeper.

Slow Down and Divert Traffic

Planting hedges and other dense plantings in strategic locations and patterns will change the route of your dog's travel. For this to work, the plants have to be higher than the dog's eye level.

Dog Tough Landscape

For dogs that spend their time outdoors, it is important for them and their owners to have a safe and comfortable home. Providing a landscape that holds up to, and thrives with dog traffic is a key to success.