Many dog owners have resorted to artificial grass in their lawns because of the benefits that it offers. However, is it a choice that you should make? Is artificial grass good for dogs?
Dogs and natural grass lawns don’t mix well; keen gardeners all over the world are frustrated with the damage their dogs do to their lawns.
Grass takes effort, time and energy to maintain and grow, all to be destroyed by Fido and his quest to bury his bone. An overactive dog can cause grass to tear and become patchy. Their fit of excitement around the lawn turns into a horror for the keen gardener.
1. Not All Artificial Grass is Pet and Dog Friendly
While there is no hard and fast rule which governs whether a certain artificial grass is pet friendly or not, there are somethings you, as a pet owner might want to keep in mind. Modern, reputable artificial grass is no longer a health risk as it was in the past. According to the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), manufactures have had agreements that have confirmed that synthetic turf would no longer be a health concern.
Read More – Does Artificial Grass Cause Cancer
This means, that as long as you choose reputable artificial grass companies, the risk of lead exposure is zero. Making artificial grass a no-risk option for any and all pet owners.
If you have moved into a house that is already fitted with artificial grass, it would be wise to get it checked for lead. If the grass is older, it might pose a risk. However, reputable and newer artificial grass is 100% safe.
2. Drainage of Dog Urine
There are many concerns that dog owners have about artificial grass; however, the biggest concern that they have is whether the dog urine and feces will harm the artificial grass. The short answer is no, it will not.
Unlike real grass, artificial grass does not react with either of the dog excrements and it does not stain it either. The dog pee just drains away just like any other liquid.
Dog feces will need to be cleaned up however, just like on real grass and if you feel any residue left on the artificial grass, you can just hose it down and it will be good as new.
You don’t have to worry about the yellow stuff staining the grass either; since the grass is non-reactive to dog pee, it will just drain away just like rain.
3. Odor Protection
With real grass, there are many different reasons why you still might smell dog pee or poop in the area, hours after it happened.
The grass and the soil underneath it can capture the excrement and it can linger around for quite a while. You can smell the residue left from your dog’s toilet time, even if you cleaned it and hosed it down.
However, when it comes to artificial grass, it’s difficult for it to stick and it can easily be hosed down later if it does smell, washing away any poop water along with it.
But, if you still have any issues with smell, you can just spray the area down with some vinegar or soda bicarbonate and it will completely remove any smells on it for good in a very natural and pet friendly way.
Your lawn will not only smell clean and fresh, but your pets wont stink of their poo or pee either, it’s a win-win situation.
4. Dog Allergies from Pet Turf
Dogs can develop allergies much like human beings and start sneezing when they have rolled around in the grass. This can be because grass Is a natural magnet to many different allergens such as pollen, dust, debris, critters and more.
Where natural grass is concerned, dogs are much more likely to develop allergies as compared to artificial grass.
You don’t need to use a large amount of herbicide or insecticide with artificial grass, so you cut down on a major pollutant that your fur baby can be effected by.
While you also need to wash down your artificial grass quite often to stave away any of the allergens that have stuck to it, it will stick less, wash and drain away much easier as compared to regular grass.
You also don’t have to worry about any soil issues that might cause allergies for your dog; artificial grass is a safe solution for both animal and humans.
5. Bacteria and Synthetic Turf
Artificial lawns are not only ideal for dogs, but they are a delight for dog owners too. Because of their low maintenance, high durability, flexibility and odor resistance, they are great for pet owners who are worried about their dogs being affected by allergens.
They also contain less microbes, which result in dogs bringing in less germs into the house after playing in the lawn.
However, just because artificial grass has inherently less bacteria, doesn’t mean they should not be cleaned. In fact, if you want your artificial grass to be hygienic and not a breeding grown for bacteria, you need to keep certain things in mind.
Getting rid of bacteria in artificial grass
Firstly, you need to clean your grass and hose it down when necessary. You need to choose the right kind of organic infill which reduces bacterial growth and you need to address issues with drainage, which can cause a growth in bacteria.
If you get everything right, you should have very hygienic grass which works wonders.
6. Turf Durability with Active Dogs
One of the biggest struggles of having a natural lawn with pet dogs is that active dogs like to play around a lot, dig up the dirt, roll in the grass, pee and poop on it too. This not only kills the natural grass since their excrement is terrible for the grass, but it can also cause many patches in some spots and brown spots in other places.
With artificial grass however, you’re getting a very durable material that cannot be dug up by dogs, it doesn’t wear and tear that easily and it does not die or become patchy in case your dog is highly active.
The biggest advantage for dog owners who want to get artificial grass is that the durability; you’re getting a very effective solution which gives you a nice green lawn and makes your pets happy.
7. Temperature – Does Artificial Grass Get Too Hot for Dogs?
Since artificial grass is made of synthetic material, it will absorb more heat than regular grass and become slightly warmer than the surrounding area. This is because real grass has water inside it, while artificial grass does not.
Artificial grass will not burn you, or become hot enough to injure your pets. You cannot compare modern artificial grass with asphalt or concrete.
In the cold, you don’t have to worry about the artificial grass become stiff and breaking off like real grass. This is because there is no water in it, and it will not form into tiny icicles. It will, however stiffen up slightly and become less cushioned when walking on it.
Since the artificial grass is a synthetic material and does not naturally have water, it will be a bit more difficult for it to form layers of ice on it as compared to grass. While it does get a little slippery in the winter, a little sun will straighten it right out.
8. Infill for Dog Friendly Artificial Turf
Artificial turf filler is one of the most important aspects of artificial turf installation. Filling is a substance placed between the fibers of artificial grass. Even after being stressed, it can keep the grass blades upright and protect the turf backing from UV rays. In addition to these two, artificial grass infill for pets also has some other functions:
- It provides effective lawn drainage, allowing water to drain effectively from the turf, especially in the rainy season.
- It increases the weight of the grass and prevents it from wrinkling due to exercise. It is recommended that you do this, especially when you use turf in high traffic areas.
- It provides support to prevent falling off and cause wear patterns.
Depending on the density and height of the grass, you will need up to 1 kg of weight. The number of fills per square foot. This is to ensure that the grass has the support needed to maintain its shape, stability and uniformity.
Is Artificial Grass Good for Dogs? Here Are the Reasons It Is!
There are many reasons why you should get artificial grass if you have pets, it’s something that will make both you and your pet happy.
9. Great for smaller dogs
An untamed lawn can be a nightmare for a smaller dog; if the grass is overgrown, it can be a real challenge for your short legged friend. Grass needs to be a good length for a shorter dog to feel comfortable. Artificial grass takes away this problem.
10. Dog poop and urine isn’t a problem
While some may argue that dog feces and urine can be nutritious for the soil; in reality however, dog urine can kill the grass way before the nitrogen in it can cause a growth spurt. The excrement is also bad for the grass and cause it to go brown and wither.
11. Shorter artificial grass can make cleaning up dog piles easier
If you decide to go for a smaller artificial grass, it will be much easier to clean as compared to longer grass.
It can’t be dug up and it doesn’t get muddy
Artificial grass is just like the real thing, except it cannot be dug up or gets muddy when it rains. It’s a perfect little patch of happiness for your dog.
It’s just as comfortable as the real thing
If you like to put your toes in the grass just as much as your pet dog, artificial grass is just like the real thing. Your dog will take to it pretty easily and won’t take much time getting used to it.
Artificial grass is usable all year round
Artificial grass doesn’t require high amounts of maintenance, you don’t need to water it, you don’t need to provide it fertilizer and it definitely won’t wither when winter comes around.
If you’re a pet owner, artificial grass is one of the best inventions out there. You’re not only getting an ever green grass which is very low maintenance, you’re also getting an odor resistant, bacteria resistant, durable turf that your dog can’t rip into pieces. It’s a pet owner’s best friend and a dog’s dream.