How long should I keep my dog off new sod after having just laid it? We understand that it takes quite a lot of effort, time, energy, and money to prepare the soil and lay brand-new sod over it.

Keep Your Dog Off New Sod for Four Weeks

No matter how much you love it, you cannot let your dog walk over this sod at the start. Find out why you need to keep your dog away and for how long, along with some cool tips to keep it inside.

How Long Should I Keep My Dog Off New Sod?

💥 Keep your dog off new sod for at least three to four weeks. During this time, take good care of it so that the sod roots develop healthily and extensively into the soil. Once well-established, your freshly laid turf will better survive a dog playing on it.

Some grass varieties cannot tolerate even a moderate amount of foot traffic . If you want to lay sod off the grass, you better keep your dog out of the lawn indefinitely. Either train it never to enter the lawn or put resistance around the sod.

We recommend grass types that tolerate heavy foot traffic so your canine friend can play on it as much as it wants. Still, you must restrain it for three to four weeks until the grass is strong enough to maintain the foot traffic.

For the long-term health of your beautiful lawn, you should properly train your dog so that it never wastes on the lawn.

The dog should know not to nibble on grass or burrow into the soil. If you see any of the animal’s waste in the spots that are on the grass during the training period, wash it with lots of water before any damage occurs.

What Are Reasons To Keep Dog off New Sod?

The reasons why you should keep the dog off new sod would be that the god waste and urine would harm the fresh sod, and it wouldn’t grow in a healthy way. The dog might even uproot the sod, and it will be damaged in the long run.

– Dog Waste Harms Fresh Sod

Unlike waste or manure that would come from other animals like chickens, cows, and rabbits, dog poop is not a good fertilizer. Dog waste would actually kill newly laid sod in spots where it comes in contact with it. If you allow an untrained or young dog into the lawn, then such consequences are to be expected.

The reason is that dogs survive on a high-protein diet daily. All this protein is broken down into nitrogen at the end, making dog waste a very concentrated source of nitrogen. Unless you quickly wash off the spot where the dog has defecated, it will turn yellow or brown from chemical burns.

Dog Waste Harms New Sod

The problem with newly laid sod is that it takes at least four weeks for its roots to become fully established.

If the grass shoots get damaged during this time, the grass will unfortunately, not regrow back any time soon it might even be dead on a prolong time. You will have to sow new grass seeds in those areas, which requires lifting the sod.

Much more time, energy, and money will have to be spent repairing patches damaged by dog poop. You can prevent this by keeping your dog off for at least the first four weeks. 

To fix it, first of all, pick up the the waste from the ground right away. Then wash spots where the dog has peed or defecated with a large volume of water. The goal is to flush out extra nitrogen from the soil, and the grass shoots.

– Dog Urine Kills Grass

Dog urine contains urea, which is a very concentrated source of nitrogen and an acidic agent. A little nitrogen after dilution is great for your lawn’s health, but too much will cause the grass to burn, and the roots might be damaged as well. Urine also contains small quantities of certain toxins regularly expelled by the body.

When dogs pee on freshly laid sod, you will see patches of burnt and yellow grass developing in it. The grass will likely die permanently because it has no roots to sustain itself.

You will end up with damaged sod that needs proper reseeding in urine spots and patches. Therefore spare yourself all this extra work and keep the dog off the sod until it is trained properly.

Even grass with a well-established and strong root system is susceptible to damage by concentrated urine.

Dog Urine Kills Grass on Sod

Sod that has been newly laid down is yet more sensitive and will get burned more quickly. Not only will grass blades get chemical burns on immediate contact with dog urine, but they will also seep deep into the ground.

The dog pee that seeps into the ground stays there until the water flushes it away. It burns grassroots, kills microbes and worms, and disturbs the pH of the soil. However, you must note that the longer it stays on the grass and soil, the more dangerous it is. 

On the other hand, if your dog does not stay hydrated and drink enough water, its urine will be even more concentrated and cause more damage and might even kill the roots underneath.

If the grass dies in that spot, then conduct soil testing first. If the acidity of the urine ends up disturbing the soil’s pH, then adding lime will raise it. New grass will not grow unless you correct the soil underneath.

– The Dog Might Uproot Sod

Dogs are naughty little creatures and like to nibble and check every new thing out. They will not even leave your new sod and will disturb it.

As said, it will be four weeks before a new sod develops a strong enough root system to sustain it, and six weeks if you wish to have the perfectly grown and on with proper grip. 

Your dog walking on this sod will trample the grass blades and crush them under its paws. These grass blades cannot repair themselves and perk back up because they have no roots underneath.

Dog Uprooting Grass from Sod

Note that the grass will start disappearing in patches and will not grow back again. However, the larger and heavier the dog is, the more easily damaged sod will be. 

Moreover, larger and more curious ones might lift the entire sod from its edge. If the intimate contact between the sod and the soil below it is lost, you will have to say goodbye to grass altogether. Keeping dogs out is a good idea in this case.

You may have to fertilize the barren spots in the sod with a well-balanced fertilizer. New grass is not good at tolerating harsh fertilizer, so it is better to stick to an organic one. If you must use a chemical fertilizer, then a slow-release formula is a relatively option because it releases nutrients very slowly into the soil.


How To Prevent Dog from New Sod?

To prevent dogs from going on new sod, you must first create a barrier so that they stay away from it. Additionally, you can spray natural repellents such as vinegar or lavender, you can even spray some repellents that dogs don’t like. Lastly, you can place sprinklers like motion detectors.

– Create a Barrier

Removing your furry friends from a lawn with new sod will not be easy. While we want to keep them away from the sod until it becomes well-established, we also do not want to harm them during the process.

If you can create a proper physical barrier around the periphery of your lawn, then that would keep the dog out fully.

Any temporary fence made of plastic, wood, or even net will work in this case and can be removed easily. Go for an inexpensive fence using fence posts made of PVC pipes and netting in between.

– Spray Vinegar or Lavender

The vinegar smell strongly repels dogs; you can use this property to keep them off new sod. Use undiluted household vinegar all around the periphery of the new sod.

Spraying Vinegar on Grass

If you don’t want to drop vinegar on the grass for fear of burning it, then you can soak cotton rolls with it and lay them around the periphery instead, or you may also dilute it, so that the acidity would not cause further damages.

Weirdly enough, dogs are repelled by the smell of lavender, which we humans find so pleasant. You can easily buy a lavender-scented spray and use it all around the border of the lawn. Cayenne pepper is another household item you can take from your pantry and spray to keep the dogs out.

– Spray Repellents

We understand if you are dubious about using DIY products because you don’t want to experiment on your dog. Commercial dog repellents are made with certified ingredients that will not harm dogs or any other animal or dog. 

You may, in this case, read up on the instructions given on the spray bottle while using these products because these aren’t organic ones, and more of chemicals. Although, some of these repellents smell like urine, which might be something you don’t want to smell around your lawn.

– Place Sprinklers

Take help from sprinklers that are activated by motion detectors to keep dogs out. Some of these sprinklers also redirect water jets toward the direction of motion, and the dog would sprint off the lawn in no time. Basically, as you adjust it, tour dog will get tired of being attacked by the water jet and stop stepping on the sod.


As per our parting message, a brief recapitulation is called for.

  • Ensure that pet dogs stay inside for at least four to six weeks after laying down new sod on your lawn.
  • This is the approximate time fresh grass needs to extend its roots deep into the soil and become strong enough to withstand dogs walking on it.
  • It is best to train dogs not to damage grass, urinate, or defecate.
  • To protect new sod, try building a cheap plastic temporary fence around it.

We understand how difficult it is to restrain dogs and puppies and keep them inside the house for a long time. This is something you will have to struggle with for the sake of growing healthy grass. 

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