Pet owners want to protect their animals. Though artificial turf is tempting to create a low-maintenance yard, a lot of people are worried about whether it is suitable for their dogs or not. Is natural grass better in some way?
Our pet owner’s guide to artificial turf will put you at ease.
Is artificial grass pet friendly?
In theory, there are plenty of types of artificial grass that are pet-friendly and won’t cause any irritation or issues for your dog. It does depend slightly on the materials used. If the grass has any lead coating, then you should avoid this as it can be harmful if your dog should eat it. Most artificial grass is non-toxic and won’t cause any problems for your dog. The fact is that dogs and natural grass don’t mix well, and grass allergies are more common in dogs than you think.
While fake grass or natural grass are options for your dog, they have different characteristics. If you use artificial turf, then there is a chance of it becoming smelly over time, but only if there isn’t a proper drainage system; with most artificial grass, the rain will wash away any smells.
Dogs don’t have much preference, so it depends on your taste. Ensure that your fake grass doesn’t get too hot for your puppy’s paws on hot days.
Why should you install artificial grass for dogs?
Natural grass becomes damaged by dogs’ urine, so it is good to use an artificial replacement that can handle it. Dog owners quickly discover that the dog’s urine can leave those annoying yellow stains and brown patches across your yard.
It’s a good idea to install artificial grass so that your dogs can’t damage it with their urine or dig it up. However, if your dog likes to dig, work to stop this behavior so they don’t rip up your turf, artificial or otherwise, after installation.
Your dog won’t recognize the difference, but they will probably enjoy the fact that the grass stays in good condition year-round. With artificial grass, even when the weather is terrible, your dog won’t track as much mud into the home.
Your job as an owner is much easier if you don’t have to perform any maintenance on the yard, and this maintenance tends to be even worse if you have to prevent somehow the damage that a dog does to natural grass. And chemicals used to maintain the yard can be toxic to dogs too.
What to look for when buying artificial turf for dogs
These are the features you should consider when buying artificial turf for dogs (and, of course, to make your life easier as a pet owner). You need to make sure you make the right choice when spending the money to install artificial turf.
Pile height and density
Pile height and face height are personal preference factors. Still, know shorter grass is better for most dogs and their owners as it allows you to pick up any minor accidents your dog might have on the grass. This is especially true with fibers made from polyethylene or polypropylene. If you’re going with either of these types of plastic for artificial grass, a pile height of 22mm–30mm is ideal. However, if you choose a nylon-based fiber, you should go with a 22mm–35mm pile size.
A dense pile structure will help your lawn withstand foot traffic from pets while also giving it a natural appearance. Choosing a pile density of between 16,000 and 18,000 stitches per square meter is recommended.
Consider drainage capabilities
A highly absorbent backing will help to reduce pet odors while also directing water away from your lawn. Many dogs are allergic to latex, so it is a good idea to avoid this kind of backing, as it is to avoid any products that include lead. The synthetic turf backing is separated from the ground by the base, which has tunnels to help drain water from the yard. The choice of floor is also crucial for drainage, so look for a stable base material when choosing turf.
When looking for the best artificial grass for pets, it’s vital to choose one that will be able to stand up to the heavy, regular use that it will receive from the pets. Artificial grass made from nylon would be an excellent choice for pet owners as nylon is the hardest-wearing and most durable material used to manufacture fake grass.
Softer textures without too much of a bristle are usually best for your dog, but make sure they are still easy to clean or rinse if needed.
A bristly and tough texture can cause your dog irritation, especially for their paws, as harder grass can get stuck in their pads or cause pain. Make sure you get a model that is soft enough for your dogs.
Choose the right infill
Infill is almost like the dirt or soil found in natural grasses.
It helps your artificial turf blades to stand up and keep their lively appearance, improving absorption and odor control.
It comes in different forms like silica sand, rubber, ceramic, thatch. Silica is the most economical infill available and an excellent choice for dog parents. Although it’s less natural-looking, its antimicrobial properties, drainage, and odor reduction make it an ideal option for almost everyone.
As a dog owner, you should avoid using rubber infill as it absorbs heat quickly and can cause burns depending on how hot it is in your area.
Use a lighter color
Natural, lighter colors help your dog understand that the surface works like natural grass. Choose a lighter shade If your dog uses the yard as a toilet.
How much does fake grass for dogs cost?
A ballpark figure of around $10-15,000 is standard for a 1,000-square foot yard, but the price varies depending on your home’s location and the supplier. Get quotes before you make your choice.
Jennifer Williams is a public relations and communications specialist for Festivalturf.com who creates content that would help its customers understand the company’s mission and products. Jennifer is a DIY enthusiast settled in Las Vegas with her two dogs. In her free time, she browses Reddit’s /aww subreddit for cute pet photos, works out in a gym, or reads books.