Dog-friendly ground cover?

Asked July 14, 2019, 10:24 AM EDT

I bought a house in Denver in January that had been vacant/under renovation for the preceding year. The flippers apparently never reseeded/re-sodded, so I have almost no grass in the yard (which is fine by me) - it's filled with mallow, clover and those beautiful but dangerous-to-dogs grasses (as well as a lot of things I can't ID). I'm looking for a dog-friendly, low maintenance ground cover- something that can out-compete some of what's there now and won't hurt the pups even if they graze on it - and that will stand up to their traffic and... nutrient input. :) Ideally a CO native or at least non-invasive. There's a lot of xeriscaping in the area so I won't face a lot of resistance from neighbors over not having a conventional lawn as long as I don't choose something that will interfere with theirs. Appreciate any thoughts/suggestions!

Jefferson County Colorado

5 Responses

I am happy to help you come up with some options. First, tell me about:

  1. How the area is/will be watered
  2. how much sun the area receives
  3. Approximate square footage to be covered
  4. the kinds of plants that surround the area
Best regards,


I have a sprinkler system but definitely do not want to use it - at least once new plants are established. Looking for options that are indigenous to the area and adapted to our weather/precipitation patterns.

Direct sun most of the time - partial shade late afternoon.

No idea re: sq. footage - there are a number of not very large grassy areas surrounded by xeriscaping (rock and mulch) in the front yard now. Looking to replace the grass. Back yard is theoretically all 'lawn' but I listed the plants that are there now in the original question.

I am sending you a link to ground cover and xeriscape turf alternatives. Hopefully you will get some good
ideas from this information.
There is also a grass named Dog Tuff. It does need sun and doesn't grow well in shade. the link below will direct you to Kelly Grummons that can help you decide if this grass will work for you. There is also a link to a video explaining this product. Good luck