How to Fix a Yard Destroyed by Dogs: Proven Tips

How in a Yard

If you’re a dog owner, you know they love running around and playing in the yard. Unfortunately, this can often lead to a destroyed lawn. Dogs can wreak havoc on your yard, from digging holes to burnt patches from urine.

But don’t worry! There are ways to fix and prevent this damage. This blog post will cover how to fix a yard destroyed by dogs, including filling in holes, repairing burnt spots, and selecting durable plants.

Understanding the Causes of Yard Damage by Dogs

Before diving into the solutions, it is essential to understand why dogs cause damage to yards. By understanding the root causes, you can develop a more effective strategy to prevent further destruction.

  • Digging: Dogs dig for various reasons, such as boredom, escape attempts, or searching for something buried. Understanding the motivation behind their digging can help you address the issue.
  • Urine Burn: Dog urine contains nitrogen, which can burn and discolor grass, leaving unsightly patches in your yard. Certain breeds with concentrated urine are more prone to causing this type of damage.
  • Trampling: Dogs love to explore and run around, and their constant movement can trample grass and create worn-out areas in your yard.

How to Fix a Yard Destroyed by Dogs

Assess the Damage

How to Fix a Yard Destroyed by Dogs

To begin the yard restoration process, you need to assess the extent of the damage caused by your furry friend. Look closely at the areas affected by dog wear and tear in your yard.

By evaluating the damage, you can plan the best course of action for repair. Identify the specific areas needing attention and consider the overall impact of dog activities on the condition of your yard. This assessment will guide you in determining the steps necessary to restore your yard to its former glory, including addressing the affected areas.

Remove Debris and Dead Grass

Remove debris, dog toys, and any objects that may hinder the repair process to restore your yard after dog damage. Eliminate dead grass and vegetation affected by dog behavior. Remove remnants of dog digging and other destructive activities in the yard.

By creating a clean slate and tidying up the area, you can prepare the yard for the repair process. Clear away dead grass and clutter, providing a fresh canvas for the next steps in restoring your yard.

Repairing Burnt Spots from Urine

dog Burnt Spots from Urine

Male dogs habitually lift their legs and pee on trees, bushes, and fences. This can cause nitrogen burns in plants, leading to yellow and brown patches in the yard. If you have a small yard with limited space for male dogs to pee, it is recommended to take preventative measures to reduce the nitrogen levels in your lawn.

On the other hand, female dogs and puppies tend to squat and empty their bladders in one place, making them more likely to cause damage from dog pee. Proper training and designated areas for dogs, including puppies, to relieve themselves can help fix a yard destroyed by dogs.

To repair burnt spots in your lawn from dog urine, follow these steps:

Rinse fresh spots with water to dilute the urine. Remove dead grass and loosen the soil. Reseed or re-sod the area. Apply gypsum to neutralize soil acidity. Adjust your dog’s diet if necessary. Train your dog to urinate in a specific area. Water the lawn regularly. Maintain a healthy lawn.

Filling in Holes

One of the most common issues when fixing a yard destroyed by dogs is filling in holes. Dogs are notorious for digging, leaving your yard looking like a minefield. To restore your yard to its former glory, follow these steps to fill in the holes:

  • Removing any loose debris and rocks from the holes. This will create a clean surface for the next steps.
  • Fill the holes with a mixture of topsoil and compost. Use a shovel to pack the soil mixture firmly into the holes, ensuring it is level with the surrounding ground.
  • Tamp down the soil gently with the back of the shovel or a hand tamper. This will help compact the soil and prevent any future sinking.
  • Water the filled-in holes thoroughly to settle the soil and promote healthy growth.
  • To keep your lawn in shape and prevent damage from pets, regularly maintain your yard by mowing, watering, and fertilizing.
How in a Yard

Replacing Dead Plants

You can take steps to replace those lifeless greens and bring vibrancy back to your garden. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Remove the dead plants carefully, and dig up the roots as well. This will create space for new vegetation.
  • Assess the type of plants that were lost and consider replacing them with dog-friendly alternatives. Some plants are more resilient to the activity of furry friends, such as lavender, rosemary, or ornamental grasses.
  • Prepare the soil by adding compost or organic matter to give the new plants essential nutrients. This will help them thrive in their new environment.
  • Plant the new vegetation, ensuring they are spaced appropriately and placed at the correct depth. Water them thoroughly after planting to encourage root establishment.
  • Apply a plant-safe deterrent, such as bitter apple spray, to discourage further chewing. You may also consider fencing off vulnerable plants until they have fully recovered.
  • Consider replacing delicate flowers and plants with more durable options that are less attractive to dogs. Choose hardy shrubs, groundcovers, or grasses that can

Selecting a Dog Breed

When it comes to selecting a dog breed for your yard, there are several factors you need to consider. Size, energy level, and behavior are all important considerations. You want to choose a dog breed that fits your yard’s space, landscaping, and maintenance needs.

It’s crucial to make an informed decision and select a breed known to be yard-friendly, minimizing potential damage. Ultimately, you want to find the perfect dog breed to create harmony between your pet and outdoor space.

Install an Invisible Dog Fence

Safeguard your yard and allow your furry friend to roam freely within safe boundaries by installing an invisible dog fence. This innovative solution protects your yard from dog damage and ensures your beloved pet’s safety.

With an invisible dog fence, you can create a pet-friendly space where your dog can play and explore without the risk of running off or getting into trouble.

First, install the fence at least 6-8 inches off the ground to prevent large dogs from jumping over it.

By setting up this invisible barrier, you can maintain the integrity of your yard while giving your canine companion the freedom they deserve. Keep your dog contained and your yard intact with the help of an invisible dog fence.

gsd at garden

Training Your Dog

Training your dog is essential in fixing a yard destroyed by dogs. Teaching your furry friend good behavior and proper boundaries will help prevent future damage. Here are a few training tips to get you started:

  • Establish clear rules: Set consistent rules for your dog’s behavior in the yard. Teach them commands like “Stay,” “Leave it,” and “Off” to discourage digging, chewing, or jumping on plants.
  • Positive reinforcement: Use reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior. Reinforce desired actions such as staying on designated paths or avoiding flowerbeds. This positive reinforcement will help your dog understand what is expected of them in the yard and motivate them to follow the rules.
  • Provide alternatives: Dogs often dig or chew out of boredom or excess energy. Ensure your furry friend has plenty of interactive toys, chew bones, and mental stimulation to entertain them. This will redirect their destructive behavior towards more appropriate outlets.
  • Supervise outdoor time: Keep a close eye on your dog when they are in the yard, especially during the initial stages of training. Correct any unwanted behavior immediately and redirect them to more appropriate activities.

Establishing a Potty Area

To prevent your yard from being destroyed by dogs, it is crucial to establish a designated potty area. You can minimize urine spots throughout the yard and prevent further lawn damage by designating a specific spot for your dog to relieve themselves.

Train your dog to use this dedicated potty space, redirecting their urine and preserving the condition of the rest of the yard. Creating a designated potty spot will reduce urine’s impact on the yard’s health.

This simple step can go a long way in maintaining a beautiful and healthy yard, even with furry friends around.

Create a Dog-Friendly Zone

When creating a dog-friendly zone in your yard, it’s important to designate a specific area where your dogs can play, dig, and run freely. Installing fences or barriers will help keep them contained within this designated space, ensuring their safety.

Add dog toys, agility equipment, and interactive games to stimulate mental stimulation. Additionally, ensure the dog-friendly zone has access to proper shade, water, and shelter for your furry friends. Regularly cleaning up dog waste is essential to maintain a hygienic and pleasant environment for you and your pets.

Use Gravel or Mulch

One effective way to fix a dog-destroyed yard is to use gravel or mulch in certain areas. These materials can help create designated paths or play areas for your dogs, reducing damage to the rest of the yard.

Gravel or mulch can protect grass in high-traffic areas, preventing bare patches and making clean-up easier. These surfaces are more resistant to urine and feces absorption.

Use pet-safe gravel or mulch to prevent harm if accidentally ingested. Avoid cocoa mulch, as it is toxic to dogs if consumed.

Choose Durable Plants

Choosing the right plants is crucial when fixing a yard destroyed by dogs. Opt for durable, sturdy plants that withstand rough play and occasional digging. Avoid delicate flowers or plants with shallow roots, as they are more likely to get damaged. Kentucky bluegrass is not recommended as it is very susceptible to urine damage.

Add texture to your yard with hardy ornamental grasses like fountain grass or switchgrass. Perennial flowers such as coneflowers or black-eyed Susans are also a great option, as they can handle some paw traffic without wilting.

Adding shrubs like boxwood or juniper will provide a green, lush backdrop to your yard and act as a barrier, preventing dogs from venturing into areas they shouldn’t. These shrubs are hardy and can withstand occasional scratching or bumping without much damage.

dog puppy

Consider hardscaping

In addition to using gravel or mulch, hardscaping can be a valuable solution to fix a yard destroyed by dogs. Incorporating elements like stone pathways, raised beds, or retaining walls can add structure and visual appeal to your yard and protect it from further damage.

Stone pathways strategically placed throughout the yard can help define areas for your dogs to walk or run, minimizing wear and tear on the grass. Consider using materials like flagstone or pavers for a durable and aesthetic result.

Use Pet-Friendly Ground Cover

To restore a dog-damaged yard, use pet-friendly ground cover options like artificial turf, fake grass, or pet-safe grass seed. These alternatives can withstand urine, digging, and heavy traffic, making them ideal for pet owners.

They require less maintenance and retain their appearance over time. Install the chosen ground cover properly according to manufacturer instructions.

Regular care, such as watering, mowing, or grooming, will keep your yard neat and green. Explore pet-friendly ground cover options to choose the best way to fix your yard, and if all else fails, consider replacing your grass with a more durable option.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your yard in good shape, especially after dogs have damaged it. This includes regularly picking up after your dogs, your best friend, to remove any waste that may have accumulated.

Not only does this promote cleanliness, but it also prevents the waste from causing further damage to your yard. Additionally, mow the grass regularly and water it deeply with a sprinkler twice weekly to keep it at a manageable height and provide adequate water.

By staying proactive with maintenance, you can ensure that your yard remains beautiful and healthy despite the challenges posed by your furry friends.

Create a Dog Run

When fixing a yard destroyed by dogs, one effective solution is to create a designated dog run. This separate, enclosed space allows dogs to run, play, and eliminate without damaging the rest of the yard. Dogs running around in your yard can cause significant damage to the grass and soil. One way to fix this is by laying pea gravel in a designated area of your landscape where you want your dogs to urinate and defecate. 

To ensure the dog run is secure, install fences, dog-proof gates, or electric fences. Provide dog-friendly ground cover such as artificial turf, gravel, or mulch for added comfort.

Don’t forget to include dog amenities like water bowls, shade, and a dog house. Regularly cleaning the dog run, removing waste, and maintaining hygiene are essential for its upkeep.

Strategies to Prevent Future Yard Damage

To prevent future yard damage from dogs, there are several strategies you can implement.

Training Your Dog

Training your dog to use specific bathroom spots, such as a designated gravel or mulch area, can be a highly effective way to prevent further damage to your yard.

By consistently directing your dogs to these spots, you can train them to use that spot for their bathroom needs. Positive reinforcement, such as hosing down the designated area and rewarding them with treats and praise, is key in this process.

Additionally, using a mixture of 1 cup of baking soda dissolved in 1 gallon of water on dog urine spots can revive your grass and discourage your dog from peeing there again, as the baking soda will neutralize the nitrogen and eliminate the smell.

The Utility of Outdoor Toys and Distractions for Dogs

Providing dogs with outdoor toys and distractions is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent bad behavior. Outdoor toys like chew toys, balls, and interactive games can provide mental stimulation and entertainment for dogs. Rotating the toys regularly is important to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

Building a Dog Run

Building a dog run offers several advantages for pet owners.

Firstly, it provides dogs with a secure and enclosed space where they can run, play, and exercise without causing damage to the rest of the yard. Constructing the dog run with materials like artificial grass, gravel, or turf can also help prevent wear and tear on the grass.

Additionally, having a designated dog run allows dogs to enjoy outdoor time even when the yard is being maintained or landscaped. It is a great solution for pups who love to be outside.

Is it Safe to Sow Grass Seed if You Have Dogs?

When sowing grass seed with dogs around, precautions should be taken to ensure successful germination. Create barriers to prevent access to water regularly, and consider pet-friendly seed varieties like tall fescue. Consult experts for guidance on the best options for dog owners.


Learning how to fix a yard destroyed by dogs is essential for a green, healthy lawn in the long run. To repair the damage caused by big dogs, start by reseeding the areas with new grass.

Use a high-quality grass seed and apply a layer of topsoil or compost to help it grow. Fertilize your yard with a balanced fertilizer to restore vital nutrients.

Additionally, consider creating designated play areas for your dogs to reduce heavy wear on the whole lawn. Regular lawn care, like mowing and watering, helps keep your yard looking its best.

If you’re dealing with spots with too much nitrogen from dog urine, consider using humic acid to balance the soil. With time, patience, and proper care, you can transform your yard from a dog-worn space into a beautiful, thriving garden.


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