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Best Artificial Grass for Dogs: THE #1 Pet Turf Buying Guide to Help You Choose Dog-Friendly Grass

Looking to create the perfect outdoor space for your furry companions? Our "Pet Turf Buying Guide" is your ultimate resource for selecting the best artificial
Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

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With two-thirds of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) owning a pet, the demand for pet-friendly landscaping solutions has never been higher. Creating a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for our furry friends has become a top priority for many homeowners.

As pet owners strive to create dog-friendly backyards or designated pet areas, one solution stands head and shoulders above the rest. Artificial grass for dogs has exploded in popularity amongst home and business owners alike!

Most can hardly believe the true-to-life look and feel of faux dog turf that stays green all year with minimal maintenance. This pet-friendly ground cover offers the best combination of aesthetics, dog-friendly features, and lasting performance. 

The best artificial grass for dogs is durable, has UV resistance and antimicrobial protection, and efficient drainage. However, with an endless variety of pet turf options available on the market, how do you choose the ‘best’ turf product? 

Your journey to find the best artificial grass for dogs can feel like navigating a maze of features, options, and unfamiliar terminology. From understanding the basics of artificial turf to deciphering important pet turf terminology and navigating the differences between pet turf and regular turf, this guide covers it all. 

Join us as we delve into the key factors to consider when choosing the best artificial grass for dogs. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll have all the tools and knowledge you need to create the perfect outdoor haven for your pup!

The Best Artificial Grass for Dogs: Key Takeaways

At over 8K words, you may not be interested in reading this entire post to glean the most important nuggets of information. Not to worry! Below is a quick summary of the key takeaways from this in-depth guide to the best artificial grass for dogs.

  • Yarn/Fiber: Polyethylene Monofilament
  • Blade Shape: M, W, S, Omega, etc.
  • Density: 60+ oz. per sq. yard
  • Pile Height: 1” – 1.25”
  • Face Weight: 50 – 80 oz. per sq. yard
  • Total Weight: 80 – 100+ oz. per. sq. yard
  • Backing Weight: 20-30 oz per sq. yard
  • Drainage: Fully Permeable (Flow Through)
  • Color: Lighter Green
  • Sub-Base Material: Class II Road Base and/or Decomposed Granite (DG)
  • Infill: T°Cool Infill, Envirofill, HydroChill, ZeoLite

Before you embark on your artificial grass journey, it’s essential to assess your unique requirements. Whether you’re looking to create a picturesque lawn, a pet-friendly play area, or an inviting commercial space, choosing the right turf is paramount to achieving your desired results.

In this buyer’s guide, we will break down the complex world of artificial grass. We’ll explore key terminology and factors to consider and provide practical tips for selecting the best artificial grass for dogs. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision and enjoy the benefits of artificial grass tailored to your space.

Understanding Artificial Grass for Dogs

Understanding Artificial Grass for Dogs (Pet Turf)

To choose the best artificial grass, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of its components and characteristics. Let’s start by defining what artificial grass for dogs is and then delve into important pet turf terminology.

What is Artificial Grass for Dogs

What is Artificial Grass for Dogs?

Artificial grass for dogs, commonly referred to as pet turf, is a synthetic surface specifically engineered to cater to the needs of pets, particularly dogs. It offers a durable and low-maintenance alternative to natural grass, designed to withstand the wear and tear caused by pet activity. Pet turf is constructed using specialized materials and features that ensure optimal performance in pet-friendly environments.

Modern synthetic grass, also known as “Third Generation” turf is pretty much indistinguishable from natural grass. The true-to-life look at feel of synthetic grass has led to rapid industry expansion and consumer adoption. That said, not all artificial grass for dogs is created equal, nor is every turf product universally applicable to every residential and commercial application.

Turf manufacturers incorporate specific features, materials, and enhancements to suit the specific needs of dogs. Just as there are an endless variety of dog breeds, there an endless variety of pet turf products. 

There is no one-size-fits-all pet turf product that will perform equally well with any dog or in any environment. The “Best Artificial Grass for Dogs” is impossible to identify because it’s situationally dependent. Rather than point to a single turf product and say “This is the best,” we prefer a different approach. 

We’ll explain the features and components of pet-friendly artificial grass for dogs. Any turf installer or supplier that you speak with will tell you that their pet turf product(s) is the “best.” Our aim is to help you understand WHY certain features are important and HOW they improve the performance of synthetic grass.

Pet Turf vs. Regular Turf-Whats the Difference

Pet Turf vs. Regular Turf: What’s the Difference?

While both pet turf and regular turf share the objective of providing a green outdoor space, there are notable distinctions between the two. Fake grass for dogs is designed with features tailored to address the unique challenges posed by pet use. These include enhanced durability, efficient drainage systems, and antimicrobial properties. 

In contrast, regular turf may not be as durable as pet turf. Regular turf also has a less efficient drainage system and typically won’t be enhanced with antimicrobial protection. Without these pet-friendly features, regular synthetic grass is less suitable for withstanding the demands of pet activity. The added features and functionalities of pet turf typically put it toward the higher end of the cost spectrum.

Important Turf Terminology

Important Pet Turf Terminology

There is a lot of terminology specific to pet turf and artificial grass that you should be familiar with. Understanding the terminology used to describe synthetic turf will help make sense of product specifications and find the best artificial grass for your project. 

By taking the time to learn and understand these elements, you’ll be speaking the same language as your artificial turf supplier or installer. You’ll be able to hold up spec sheets for two different turf products and know exactly what everything means. 

Below, we’ll provide an overview of the specific terminology you’ll encounter on product spec sheets to ensure that you know exactly what certain features are and why they’re important. 

Yarn-Turf FIbers

Yarn/Turf Fibers

Yarn refers to the individual strands that make up the grass blades or turf fibers. The yarn is manufactured by melting down plastic pellets and extruding the yarn before it’s placed on spools. 

The yarn or turf fibers used in artificial grass play a crucial role in determining its durability, resilience, and overall performance. Common materials include polypropylene, polyethylene, and nylon, each offering distinct advantages in terms of strength, softness, and UV resistance. 

Extruding plastics is like squeezing play-dough through different shapes. This enables manufacturers to create fibers in a variety of colors, thicknesses, and shapes. Each blade shape serves a different purpose and determines how the turf will perform in different situations. 

Variations in the fibers mimic natural grass and enhance the functionality of synthetic grass. Below is a brief overview of the materials used to create the yarn or fibers on artificial grass.

What are the Best Turf Fibers for Artificial Grass for Dogs?

When it comes to selecting the best turf fibers for artificial grass for dogs, polyethylene stands out as a top choice. Polyethylene fibers offer exceptional durability, resilience, and softness, making them well-suited for withstanding the rigors of pet use while providing a comfortable surface for pets to walk and play on.

Additionally, polyethylene fibers are UV resistant, ensuring that the artificial grass maintains its vibrant color and appearance over time, even in direct sunlight. Polyethylene is highly resistant to water absorption, and won’t hold on to unpleasant pet odors. Softer than nylon, yet more durable than polypropylene, it’s the best fiber material for pet-friendly artificial grass. 

Thatch

Thatch

Thatch (a.k.a. Thatch fibers) is a layer of curly fibers that sit at the base of the straight green turf fibers. These fibers add variations in color, weight, and texture, to mimic the inconsistencies of natural grass. 

The curly thatch fibers are typically shades of green and brown. They’re meant to emulate the dying under-layer found on natural grass lawns. It’s like adding a touch of nature’s imperfections to make your turf even more lifelike. 

It’s not just about appearances though, as the thatch fibers influence the density of your turf. Thatch is included in the face weight of an artificial grass product. Turf products without thatch tend to be more dense at the top of the pile. Alternatively, turf products with thatch offer a more balanced density from top to bottom.

Blade Shape

Blade Shape

The shape of the grass blades or fiber shapes vary quite a bit. Turf fibers are manufactured by melting down plastic pellets and extruding the fiber. This enables manufacturers to create a variety of unique blade shapes.

Each fiber shape offers unique benefits in terms of aesthetics, resilience, and performance. Pet-friendly turf products will typically have “M,” “W,” or similar fiber shapes. The unique blade shapes are able to withstand more foot traffic and offer greater durability. More importantly, the increased surface area helps to keep the turf cooler.

Fiber ShapeFeatures
“M” Shaped FiberDurable
High foot traffic areas
Ideal for playgrounds, sports fields or landscapes
3D Curvy “W” FiberWithstands pressure and helps the turf bounce back to its original state
Multiple support points allow for greater durability and a “memory” effect
Omega FiberDurable, strong & highly resilient
Enhanced recovery & durability
Ideal for residential & commercial landscapes with moderate to heavy foot traffic
“W” Shaped FiberDurableHigh foot traffic areas
Ideal for playgrounds, sports fields or landscapes
Corrugated FiberDurable, strong & highly resilient
Enhanced recover & durability
Ideal for residential & commercial landscapes with moderate to heavy foot traffic
Diamond Delustered & Mini Ultra FibersDurable, strong & highly resilient
Withstands high foot trafficIdeal for commercial applications
3D Curvy “W” & Curvy Ribbed “C” FibersDurable & strong
Popular on pet turf products
Works best with a short pile height
Density

Density

Density refers to the number of yarn/turf fibers per square inch. It’s similar to the thread count on sheets (a.k.a. Stitch count). A higher density generally indicates a more robust and durable turf. Turf products with a high density are more durable and once installed offer a much more realistic artificial grass lawn.

For dog turf, look for turf products that are at least 60 oz. per square yard. This density provides sufficient support and cushioning for dogs’ paws. It will aslo make your life easier when removing dog poop from your turf. The higher density will help to keep any droppings sitting on top of the turf, instead of settling between the fibers.

Avoid turf products with the highest density, as they’re likely to impede drainage. If your turf is too dense, dog urine can become trapped and cause a buildup of odors and bacteria. Pet turf with a moderate density will provide the best balance of aesthetics, comfort, drainage efficiency, and cleanliness.

Pile Height

Pile Height

Pile height is the length of the grass blades measured from the backing to the end of the longest turf fibers. In the US, pile height is generally measured in inches. Turf products range from 0.5” to 3”+ inches (13-76mm) in pile height. Pile height is an important factor to consider when selecting the best artificial grass for dogs.

For pet-friendly turf installations, a shorter pile height is ideal. Shorter fibers are less prone to matting and are more resilient to heavy foot traffic and constant use. When selecting an artificial grass for your dog, look for a pile height around 1” to 1.25” inches (25-38mm).

This will provide a comfortable surface for dogs to walk and play on while remaining resilient to wear and tear. Avoid excessively long pile heights, as they may trap pet waste and debris, leading to hygiene and maintenance issues. Also, consider factors such as drainage and maintenance requirements when selecting the pile height for your pet turf installation.

Face Weight

Face Weight

Face weight refers to the weight of the turf yarn/fibers per square yard of artificial grass. It is only a measurement of the turf fibers and thatch. Face weight does NOT include the backing. Higher face weights indicate denser and more durable products. 

The face weight doesn’t dictate product quality. That said, it provides a baseline to understand the overall density of a turf product. Most turf products have a face weight ranging from around 40 oz. to 90+ oz. per square yard

Pet turf with a higher face weight can withstand heavy foot traffic and pet use, maintaining its appearance and performance over time. When evaluating artificial grass for dogs, prioritize products with a sufficient face weight to ensure long-lasting durability in pet-friendly environments.

Backing (Primary & Secondary Backings)

Backing

Artificial grass is made up of individual fibers that are stitched and glued to a backing material. Most turf has a two-part backing system consisting of the primary backing and secondary backing. Both the primary and secondary backings work together to provide dimensional stability to the entire system. Below we’ll take a closer look at the two components that make up artificial turf backings.

Primary Backing

The primary backing is typically comprised of woven polypropylene fabrics that allow the artificial grass fibers to be tufted into the material in rows. In other words, it’s the durable material that the grass blades/fibers are stitched to. 

Most artificial grass uses two layers of 13-pic Polybac primary backing. However, some use a layer of 18-pic Polybac instead of one of the 13-picture layers. Additionally, some turf will use a mesh or “stability layer” of material in between the layers of Polybac for added tuft bind or to help the blades stand up better. Typically, the more layers, the better, so a triple or quad-layer backing will offer more stability than a backing with two layers.

Secondary Backing (a.k.a. Coating)

The secondary backing is often referred to as the ‘coating’ on the back of the turf. This coating gives synthetic turf its all-weather durability and most of its tuft bind.  Without the secondary backing, most synthetic turf would not last very long under normal usage. 

Commonly comprised of either latex or polyurethane. The coating is applied to the reverse side of the primary backing in order to permanently lock the tufted fibers in place. In the US most artificial turf is coated with polyurethane. In Europe and Asia, latex coating is more popular. 

The polyurethane coating is a little stronger and more durable. The latex coating is a little more environmentally friendly.  The more ounces of secondary coating, the better.  Standard is 20 oz. per sq. yard, although some turf will have 26 oz. per sq. yard for more tuft bind and durability. 

Backing Weight

Backing Weight

The backing weight is the combined weight of the Primary and Secondary backings in ounces per square yard. 

  • Primary Backing = 6-8 oz. per square yard
  • Secondary Backing = 20 oz. per square yard
  • Backing Weight = 26-28 oz. per square yard

A standard backing weight for pet turf is 20-30 ounces per square yard. The higher backing weights are generally best for high-traffic areas.

So, if someone tries to sell you a turf with only 14 ounces of total backing weight, it should raise a red flag! Keep in mind that a lower amount of secondary backing, like 8 ounces instead of the average 20 ounces, means less durability and tuft bind for most applications. 

Drainage

Drainage

Efficient drainage is crucial for maintaining a clean and hygienic surface in pet turf installations. It’s essential that water and dog urine are able to pass through the turf and into the base below. 

That means that liquids will need to pass through the turf’s backing. There are two types of turf backings or turf drainage systems: fully permeable and hole-punched. 

Hole-Punched Backing
Hole-Punched Backing

Hole-punched backings have been the standard on turf products for several decades. The turf backing consists of small holes punched through the backing every 4” to 6”. The holes are placed between the rows of fibers. A hole-punched backing is not ideal for dog-friendly installations. If you have 1 or 2 small or medium-sized dogs, then hole-punched backing will provide sufficient drainage. 

When dogs pee, the urine makes its way to the holes and passes through the turf and into the base below. The urine can settle in the spaces between the holes. Over time, this can cause a buildup of odor and bacteria. The average hole-punched backing allows liquid to drain at a rate of 30-50 inches of water per hour

Fully-Permeable Backing
Fully Permeable Backing

Fully permeable backings are the best type of backing for pet-friendly turf installations. It’s just what it sounds like. A fully permeable (a.k.a. “Flow Through”) backing allows water and/or dog urine to pass through any point in the turf. 

Fully permeable backings are most commonly found on pet turf products, but they’re also a good choice for areas that receive a lot of rain or are prone to flooding or pooling water. A 100% permeable backing drains at a rate of 250+ inches of water per hour.

Total Weight

Total Weight

Total Weight = Face Weight + Backing Weight expressed in ounces per square yard of artificial grass. A higher total weight generally indicates a more stable and durable product that can withstand heavy foot traffic. 

When evaluating pet turf options, consider the total weight in conjunction with other factors such as face weight, backing weight, and pile height to determine the overall quality and performance of the product.

When speaking with a turf installer, supplier, or sales rep, don’t hesitate to inquire about the face weight, backing weight, and total weight. This will ensure an apples-to-apples comparison. The best artificial grass for dogs will have a total weight of 80-100+ oz. per square yard.

Roll Width

Roll Width

The roll width of artificial grass refers to the width of the turf rolls, typically measured in feet. Roll width can vary depending on the manufacturer and product specifications. Two commonly used widths: 15 feet and 12.5 feet. 

In general, turf made in the US tends to be 15 feet wide, while foreign-made turf is usually 12.5 feet wide. When planning a pet turf installation, consider the roll width to ensure seamless coverage and minimize the number of seams. A random seam can detract from the overall aesthetics and performance of the turf surface.

Ask your turf installer or supplier for a cutting and seaming diagram based on your measurements. A trusted synthetic turf vendor will be happy to provide this valuable service and help you make the best decision for your specific project.

Color

Color

Artificial grass comes in a very wide variety of colors, just like natural grass. Modern turf products incorporate different colors to better replicate the look of natural grass. You’ll find options like lime or field greens, olive, emerald green, beige, bi-color green, and more. Different shades help to replicate the texture and variety of natural grass. 

The color of artificial grass can have a significant impact on its appearance and heat retention properties. Darker shades absorb more heat, whereas lighter shades may offer better heat dissipation and a more comfortable surface temperature for pets. 

Synthetic grass will retain heat when exposed to direct sunlight. If your turf installation will spend hours baking in the sun, then a lighter color is your best bet. Lighter shades reflect sunlight and minimize heat buildup, particularly in warmer climates.

Sub-Base-Material

Sub-Base / Base Material

A solid sub-base is the foundation for optimal drainage and stability. Native soil expands and contracts with changes in temperature. Laying artificial turf over dirt or an existing natural grass lawn is a recipe for disaster! 

Pet-friendly artificial turf installations require a stable and permeable base. The sub-base is crucial for the performance, aesthetics, functionality, and durability of your pet turf. 

Two popular sub-base materials are Class II Road Base and Decomposed Granite (DG). Both sub-base materials compact well and remain permeable. If you’re on a budget, Crushed Miscellaneous Base (CMB) and Crushed Aggregate Base (CAB) are worth considering.

When preparing the sub-base for a pet turf installation, ensure proper compaction and grading. You need to create a level and stable surface that can support the artificial grass over time.

To ensure a solid foundation with good drainage, we recommend a compacted base material that’s about 3″ to 4″ thick. This will give you a solid foundation and help with drainage. Of course, the amount of base you need depends on your location, turf application, and property characteristics.

Infill Options

Infill Options

One of the most important components of most artificial turf installations is the infill material. While there are a variety of materials used as infill, they basically all resemble sand. The infill material is added to turf using a dropspreader. A power broom is used to agitate the turf fibers and get the infill to settle. The infill material settles against the backing and fills the spaces between turf fibers. 

  • Acts as ballast
  • Keeps turf in place
  • Prevents shifting
  • Keeps fibers upright
  • Prevents matting
  • Mimics cushion of natural grass lawn
  • Creates more realistic feel
  • Protects backing from UV rays
  • Facilitates Drainage
  • Prevents buildup of odors & bacteria
  • Absorbs impact from falls

If you took a drinking glass and stuck a few straws in it, the straws would just lean against the upper rim of the glass. Fill the glass about ⅔ with sand and the straws will remain standing. That’s what infill does for turf fibers, just on a bigger scale.

When choosing the best infill for artificial grass for dogs, opt for infills that provide superior drainage, antimicrobial protection, and heat resistance.  Below we’ll provide a brief overview of the infill options you should consider for your pet turf.

T-Cool Infill
T°Cool™ Infill

T°Cool® Infill is an advanced infill solution that incorporates both evaporative cooling technology and antimicrobial protection. The evaporative cooling technology in T°Cool Infill works by retaining moisture. When heated by the sun, it evaporates, reducing the surface temperature of the turf by as much as 30°F – 50° F

In addition to providing maximum, sustained cooling, TºCool is also infused with the non-metal, BIO BASED Antimicrobial, BacShield®. Derived from the renewable resource, Chitosan, BacShield helps prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew, as well as preventing stains, odors, and product deterioration. BacShield is sustainable, renewable, hypo-allergenic, and biodegradable.

Envirofill Infill
Envirofill

Envirofill infill is a high-quality and durable infill material designed specifically for use with dogs. It’s non-toxic, pet-safe, and was designed to prevent bacterial growth and odors. Envirofill is composed of a rounded quartz core coated with a green acrylic resin that’s infused with Microban® antimicrobial protection.

This protection works continuously to help inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause odors. With its superior durability, Envirofill infill can be used for multiple turf lifecycles with no decrease in performance. In fact, the product carries a 16-year warranty, the most extensive coverage in the industry.

HydroChill Infill
HydroChill

HydroChill is a precoat applied to sand infill and activated by adding moisture. It provides cooling for days, depending on local conditions. The moisture stored in HydroChill is released slowly through evaporative cooling. It’s similar to the way our bodies cool themselves through sweating. This removes heat, leaving a cooler surface for families and pets. 

HydroChill infill works best when the sun is directly overhead, providing relief during the hottest part of a clear day. It has been shown to lower surface temperatures by 30°F – 50°F. HydroChill is UV-resistant and should be retreated every two years for maximum effectiveness.

ZeoFill Infill
Zeofill

ZeoFill is an organic infill made from Zeolite, a natural mineral that absorbs water and releases it slowly. This process helps keep your turf cool and prevents it from becoming waterlogged or dried out. ZeoFill infill is especially useful for pet owners because zeolite traps odor molecules and controls the growth of odor-causing bacteria, reducing unpleasant smells. 

Zeolite has a negatively charged honey-combed molecular structure, which absorbs the urine like a magnet. It prevents the ammonia from forming a gas which is the main cause of smell. Zeolite has the ability to hold onto gases for long periods of time and the ability to self-regenerate with rainwater!

As an infill material, ZeoFill is lightweight and works best an an infill topper. Therefore, you should use a heavier infill, such as silica sand, as your base infill and then add a secondary layer of Zeolite on top. Some installers will add a layer of ZeoFill to the compacted sub-base just prior to laying the turf. 

How To Choose The Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

How To Choose The Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

Now that you have a basic understanding of artificial grass and its terminology, let’s dive into the exciting process of selecting the perfect synthetic turf for your specific needs! We understand that shopping for artificial grass for the first time can feel a bit overwhelming, but fret not! We are here to guide you through it.

When it comes to artificial turf installation, the first step is to identify the purpose of the turf. Are you looking for a soft and safe playground surface, a pet-friendly area, a putting green, a lush front yard, or something else entirely? Once you have determined where the turf will be installed, we can explain how to choose the best artificial grass for your space. Let’s get started on this exciting journey!

1. Research

1. Research

Before making a decision, conduct thorough research on different artificial grass products, manufacturers, and installation methods. Consider factors such as durability, aesthetics, maintenance requirements, and warranty coverage to determine which pet turf option best suits your needs and preferences.

To help you hone in on the best artificial grass for your needs, we’ve outlined some questions below that you should strive to answer before committing to an artificial grass or a turf installer.

  • Will your turf receive a lot of foot/paw traffic?
  • How many dogs are going to use the space?
  • What size dogs will be using your pet turf?
  • Will kids be using the space?
  • Is the space in the sun or shade?
  • How much rain does your area get?
  • Is it prone to puddles or standing water?

Answering these questions will help you to understand and identify the features you’ll need in a pet-friendly turf product. Also look into different brands of artificial grass to make sure it’s coming from a reputable turf manufacturer

2. Order Samples

2. Order Samples

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, order samples of different artificial grass products. Most artificial grass suppliers will be happy to send you samples of whichever types of turf you want to try if you request them. 

Ordering samples allows you to see and feel the artificial grass in person. This will help you make an informed decision based on its appearance, texture, and overall quality. Many manufacturers offer sample kits that include swatches of their artificial grass products. Use the samples to compare colors, textures, and features before making a purchase.

After checking out the samples and settling on a pet turf product, hold on to that sample. On installation day, compare the sample to the synthetic grass being delivered. The colors may not match exactly due to differences in die lots during manufacturing. It should be close enough that you can easily confirm matching products.

3. Compare Features

3. Compare Features

Compare the features of different pet turf products to determine which one offers the best combination of durability, aesthetics, and performance for your specific needs. Pay close attention to factors such as yarn/turf fibers, pile height, face weight, backing, drainage, and infill options to ensure that you select the right pet turf for your outdoor space.

These characteristics directly impact the turf’s appearance, durability, and performance.

We began by reviewing the most important terminology and explaining how each component impacts the quality and durability of artificial grass. By taking the time to learn those elements, you’ll be speaking the same language as your artificial turf supplier or turf installer. You’ll know what questions to ask and what everything means, enabling you to compare and contrast features.

Here are a few specifications you’ll find on each synthetic turf product:

  • Thatch Color
  • Blade Shape
  • Density
  • Pile Height
  • Face Weight
  • Backing Weight
  • Total Weight
  • Backing/Drainage

A feature’s importance depends on where it will be installed or the turf application. For example, a dog kennel will require more efficient drainage and fibers with antimicrobial protection. An elderly couple replacing their natural grass lawn will be more concerned with choosing the right colors, pile height, and density. 

4. Budget & Financing

4. Budget & Financing

Consider your budget and financing options when choosing artificial grass for dogs. Initial costs will vary depending on the quality and features of the product. However, investing in high-quality pet turf will save you time and money in the long run. It reduces maintenance and replacement costs associated with natural grass.

Artificial grass costs cover a wide range from a few dollars per square foot to more than ten dollars per square foot. Set a budget and review the available financing options before you begin you search. Installing synthetic grass is time and labor-intensive, and is not cheap.

Beyond the price of the artificial grass itself, an installation involves a number of additional costs. These should all be taken into consideration when determining your budget and considering financing options. Don’t forget to factor in the amount you’ll be saving on maintenance and water costs. 

You may want to check out our Pet Turf Cost Calculator to get a sense of the costs associated with pet turf. The items below are the most significant factors in determining the cost of installing artificial grass:

  • Site Preparation
  • Sub-Base Material
  • Infill Material
  • Dumping & Removal Fees
  • Installation Extras (Edging, Drainage Membrane, Etc)

Given the uniqueness of each turf installation, it’s impossible to point to a single metric as the “cost of artificial grass.” The best we can do is provide a price range based on information from several industry sources and experience.

A professional installation of artificial grass for dogs ranges from $10 to $20 per square foot. Typically, artificial turf pays for itself in just three to five years. If you need financing for your investment, many turf companies offer flexible financing options.

5. Work With A Reputable Turf Installer

5. Work With a Reputable Turf Installer

Getting the best artificial grass for dogs begins with selecting a reputable and trustworthy turf company. Proper installation is more important with pet-friendly applications than with a lawn or patio. 

The artificial turf industry has grown quite rapidly in the last few years, and will hopefully continue to do so. Unfortunately, this has attracted some less than reputable people entering the turf industry. They’re more concerned with making a quick buck than offering great products, providing great installation services, and delivering a great customer experience.

The best artificial grass for dogs is only going to perform well if properly installed. Working with an installer that doesn’t know what they’re doing can result in a disastrous installation. 

How Do I Find the Best Artificial Turf Installer Near Me

How Do I Find the Best Artificial Turf Installer Near Me?

New turf companies seem to be popping up every day claiming to have the “Best” products and installation methods. When every turf company’s website says “We’re the Best,” how do you know who’s telling the truth?

Before you commit to working with a turf company, check out their product lineup. Use the knowledge gleaned throughout this post to gauge the quality of each company’s offerings. Find a company with pet turf products that have the features and components to meet your needs.

Also, check out their reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, etc. Do they have any professional certifications that speak to the values of the company? What type of warranty do they offer on their turf products? Do they offer an installation warranty? Look into their compliance record with the Better Business Bureau and local consumer affairs office

If possible, visit some of their installations, the older the better. This is probably the best proof of the quality and efficacy of their products and installation methods. 

You may have to deal with your turf installer after the installation is completed. This could be fore maintenance, cleaning, repairs, questions, etc. With that in mind, ask companies how they deal with or handle:

  • Customer Questions
  • Service Issues
  • Warranty Claims

Beyond the turf products, ask about their installation processes. A reputable and trustworthy turf company should be happy to provide you with all the information you want. 

Don’t trust low-ball quotes. They are likely skimping on materials to provide a lower quote. If the price you’re quoted sounds too good to be true… it probably is.

What To Look For In The Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

What to Look for in the Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

When it comes to selecting the best artificial grass for dogs, there are a few features and characteristics to look for. There is no one-size-fits-all solution with synthetic grass! The “best” turf is different for every application.

For example, the “best” artificial grass for dogs will be different than the “best” artificial grass for a front yard lawn. The front yard requires a turf that’s visually appealing and handles less foot and paw traffic. On the flip side, the “best” artificial grass for dogs should be robust, have efficient drainage, and a shorter pile height for easier waste removal.

These are just a couple of examples to illustrate the diversity of options. Now, let’s delve into the most vital features and characteristics of pet-friendly artificial grass. By understanding what to look out for, you’ll be well-equipped to find the perfect fit for your pup or pups.

Efficient Drainage System

1. Efficient Drainage System

The most important feature of any pet-friendly turf installation is efficient drainage. It’s crucial for maintaining a clean and hygienic surface. Dog urine and water need to be able to pass through the turf and into the sub-base below. The quicker and more efficiently liquids pass through the turf, the lower the likelihood of odors or bacteria building up.

The best type of drainage for pet turf depends on several factors, including the climate, soil conditions, and amount of pet urine and waste. Proper grading of the turf area is crucial for effective drainage. The turf should be sloped away from the house or other structures to ensure water flows away from the foundation.

As mentioned previously, there are two types of turf backing or drainage systems for pet turf: fully permeable and hole-punched. The best type of backing for artificial grass for dogs is fully permeable. It’s also commonly referred to as “Edge-to-Edge” or “Flow Through” drainage.

If you plan to install your pet turf in an area with poor drainage or over an impermeable surface (i.e. patio, concrete, rooftop, etc), you’ll need to incorporate drainage tiles.

Drainage Tiles (Optional)

Drainage Tiles

Artificial turf drainage tiles are specialized components used to improve the drainage capabilities of artificial grass installations. These tiles are created to establish a permeable layer between the artificial turf and the sub-base material, which helps in efficient water drainage through the turf. 

They are especially beneficial in areas where quick and effective drainage is necessary. This includes regions with heavy rainfall, a lot of clay soil, concrete surfaces, or dog runs/pet areas.

Drainage tiles are typically constructed from durable, lightweight plastic or rubber and often feature a grid or channel structure. This design enables water to pass through the turf and into the drainage tiles swiftly, where it is then directed away from the area. 

The use of drainage tiles is essential in preventing water from accumulating on the turf surface, which can result in issues like mold, mildew, and deterioration of the turf backing over time. The following are the different types of drainage tiles that are available. 

Durability

2. Durability 

Investing in artificial grass for dogs is a smart choice to create a safe and pet-friendly space. You’ll want it to stand the test of time. When selecting a pet turf product, after drainage, prioritize durability as the most important feature. 

Artificial grass for dogs needs to be durable and able to withstand their rough and tumble play. The most durable type of artificial grass for dogs is made with polyethylene or nylon fibers. These fibers are strong and resistant to wear and tear, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Additionally, these fibers are UV-resistant, so they won’t fade or deteriorate in the sun.

Nylon fibers may be the most durable and resilient fiber material, but it’s also the most expensive. More importantly, Nylon is semi-permeable and absorbs water more than other materials. This makes it less appealing as a pet turf product, as you don’t want your turf fibers absorbing dog urine.

The best artificial grass for dogs will have Polypropylene fibers. They are the most realistic-looking turf fibers and behave the most like natural grass. Softer than nylon and more durable than polypropylene, polyethylene is the perfect combination of durability and aesthetics.

When choosing artificial grass for dogs, it’s also important to consider the pile height. A shorter pile height of 1” to 1.25” is best for dogs, and it makes cleanup a lot easier.

Also, look for resilient and springy turf fibers that resist matting and lying flat. Turf fibers should slowly return to an upright position when walked upon. A pet turf product’s durability is influenced by the fiber material, blade shape, and density. While you may invest a bit more for added durability, remember that:

Artificial grass is a “buy it nice or buy it twice” kind of purchase.” 

You don’t want to regret your decision a few years down the line when you realize that the cheaper turf you chose can’t withstand the foot traffic in your space.

UV-Protection & Heat Resistance

3. UV Protection & Heat Resistance

Creating turf with built-in UV protection and heat resistance is one of the greatest challenges facing artificial turf manufacturers. Day after day, artificial grass endures the sun’s relentless UVA and UVB rays, which can lead to fading or degradation over time. 

This process, known as “Photooxidative Degradation,” occurs when solar radiation breaks down the chemical bonds within the turf’s polymer structure. Not only does prolonged exposure to sunlight cause material degradation, but it also results in heat absorption, elevating the surface temperature of the turf—a discomforting experience for your furry friend.

To address this issue, many manufacturers have implemented innovative technologies to mitigate heat buildup within their turf products. By incorporating infrared reflective pigments, these advanced pet turf solutions effectively dissipate heat and reduce fiber emissivity, ensuring a cooler surface temperature. 

In fact, pet turf products with heat-resistant properties can remain up to 20% cooler than traditional artificial turf alternatives, providing a safer and more comfortable environment for pets to enjoy.

Moreover, UV protection is a crucial feature integrated into artificial grass during the manufacturing process. UV-resistant additives are seamlessly blended into the molecular structure of the turf fibers, ensuring long-lasting protection against the sun’s harmful rays. 

These additives serve various functions, including deflecting UV rays, absorbing UV radiation and converting it into heat, and scavenging free radicals to prevent polymer breakdown. By embedding UV stabilizer additives into the physical structure of the turf fibers, manufacturers guarantee continuous protection throughout the lifespan of the turf, without the risk of wearing away or washing off.

Turf With vs. Without Antimicrobial Protection

4. Antimicrobial Protection

The best artificial grass for dogs will have built-in antimicrobial protection. This feature helps inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and odors promoting a cleaner and safer environment. It also helps to extend the lifespan of turf products by preventing premature product degradation. 

Antimicrobial protection is especially effective in combatting the buildup of odors from dog urine. 

That said, not all turf products with antimicrobial protection are created equally. How antimicrobial protection is applied to artificial grass makes a significant difference in its efficacy. For example, antimicrobial coatings added to finished artificial grass products don’t last very long.

The most effective type of antimicrobial protection is incorporated into the materials during manufacturing. This will ensure that antimicrobial protection lasts the lifetime of your turf product. The protection is infused into the product via additives that are melted down with the plastics during the manufacturing process. 

This infuses antimicrobial protection into the materials, making them a part of the physical makeup of the fibers or backing. Using this method, the antimicrobial properties become a part of the turf product and not a coating that will wear out over time. Antimicrobial protection can be incorporated into the turf fibers, the backing, or both.

Good Warranty

5. Good Warranty

A solid warranty is extremely important, especially for a big investment like artificial grass. Strong warranties are a sign of confidence in the product’s quality. Federal law requires that warranties be available for you to read before you make your purchase. The majority of turf manufacturers here in the U.S. offer warranties ranging from 8 to 15 years.

Keep in mind that while your artificial grass may stay put, it will be exposed to the elements day in and day out. The length of the warranty is a valuable indicator of the manufacturer’s expectations for the turf’s lifespan. Remember, synthetic grass isn’t designed to last forever, so be cautious of offers claiming a “Lifetime Warranty” as these are unlikely to be upheld by the manufacturer.

Read the Fine Print & Ask Questions

Take time to read the fine print and ask questions about the warranty. To fully understand your coverages, ask questions such as:

  • Is it a third-party warranty? If so, why doesn’t the turf company offer its own warranty?
  • What is considered normal wear and tear?
  • Who is responsible for honoring the warranty?
  • Are the materials and installation covered?
  • What isn’t covered under the warranty?
  • What do you do if something is wrong with the turf?
  • What maintenance is required to be covered?
  • How will I know when my synthetic turf has reached its end of life?

Warranties are a way to assure the customer that your investment will do its duty. As the purchaser, it’s your job to make sure you understand the warranty and how it works.

DIY vs. Professional Turf Installer

DIY vs. Professional Turf Installer

As established multiple times throughout this rather extensive guide, not all artificial grass is the same. Different manufacturers have their own standards of quality, which isn’t a bad thing! If you’ve spent some time researching artificial grass online, you’re probably familiar with the volume of contradictory and conflicting information that’s out there. 

When it comes to installing artificial grass, the temptation to buy online and attempt a DIY installation can be alluring due to the potential cost savings. However, it’s essential to understand that buying online and DIY installing artificial turf is not as simple or straightforward as it sounds. Here are some crucial considerations when deciding between a DIY approach and hiring a professional artificial turf company:

  • Proper Tools & Equipment: Professional installers come equipped with the right tools and equipment for a smooth and efficient installation process, whereas DIYers may lack the necessary gear, leading to frustration and subpar results.
  • Landscaping Knowledge & Skills: Installing artificial grass requires landscaping expertise to prepare the sub-base, ensure proper drainage, and achieve a seamless finish. Professionals have the necessary knowledge and skills, while DIYers may struggle to achieve precision.
  • Longevity & Quality: Professionally installed turf lasts longer and maintains better quality compared to DIY installations. A well-executed professional installation ensures a durable and attractive outdoor space, whereas DIY projects may require frequent repairs and replacements.
  • Risk of Mistakes: DIY installations carry the risk of costly mistakes. Errors in installation may require hiring a professional to fix, ultimately costing more than hiring a professional from the start.
  • Quality Assurance: Professional turf companies offer high-quality products with guarantees, unlike buying online where there’s a risk of receiving inferior turf. Professionals also provide warranties on both product and installation, ensuring peace of mind for the customer.

While the idea of purchasing artificial grass online and attempting a DIY installation may seem like a cost-effective approach, it often comes with hidden challenges and risks. To ensure a successful, long-lasting installation, it’s highly recommended to work with a professional artificial turf company. Their expertise, proper equipment, and commitment to quality will ensure that your investment in artificial grass yields the best results for your space.

What is the Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

What is the Best Artificial Grass for Dogs?

Dogs are notoriously hard on grass. Trying to maintain a natural grass lawn with dogs is pretty much impossible. Artificial grass eliminates the dead patches of grass that are often seen at pet owner’s homes and also increases the safety and cleanliness of your pet. 

Backyards, boarding facilities, doggy daycares, veterinary offices, and dog parks have all started installing fake grass for dogs due to the many advantages it has over natural grass. Some choose to replace their entire lawn with fake grass, while others build a dog run or designated pet area with artificial grass.

Below are some guidelines for selecting the best artificial grass for dogs:

  • Yarn/Fiber: Polyethylene Monofilament
  • Blade Shape: M, W, S, Omega, etc.
  • Density: 60+ oz. per sq. yard
  • Pile Height: 1” – 1.25”
  • Face Weight: 50 – 80 oz. per sq. yard
  • Total Weight: 80 – 100+ oz. per. sq. yard
  • Backing Weight: 20-30 oz per sq. yard
  • Drainage: Fully Permeable
  • Color: Lighter Green
  • Sub-Base Material: Class II Road Base and/or Decomposed Granite (DG)
  • Infill: T°Cool Infill, Envirofill, HydroChill, ZeoLite
Wrapping Up Our Pet Turf Buyers Guide

Wrapping Up Our Buyer’s Guide on How to Choose The Best Artificial Grass for Dogs

Choosing the best artificial grass for dogs requires careful consideration of factors such as materials, construction, features, and installation methods. By understanding the key terminology and features of pet turf, conducting thorough research, and working with a reputable turf installer, you can create a safe, comfortable, and durable outdoor space for your furry companion to enjoy for years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about artificial grass for dogs, or artificial grass in general, then you’ve come to the right place. The Turf Network is not only a directory of artificial turf companies in the U.S., but an artificial turf information hub. 

We’re proudly 100% independent and are not beholden to any artificial turf installer, turf supplier, or turf manufacturer. Our aim is to educate consumers about all things artificial grass. We want to empower you with the information needed to make the best and most informed decision for you, your family and pets.

FAQ

FAQ

Now, let’s address some common questions that home and business owners often have about artificial grass for dogs.

Where Can I Install Fake Grass for Dogs?

Artificial grass for dogs can be installed in a variety of outdoor and indoor spaces to create a safe and comfortable environment for pets. Common applications for fake grass for dogs include:

  • Residential Properties (Front Yards, Sideyards & Backyards)
  • Dog Runs & Dog Potty Areas
  • Dog Parks
  • Kennels & Boarding Facilities
  • Vet Clinics & Pet Care Facilities
  • Doggy Daycares & Training Facilities
  • Outdoor Living Areas (Rooftops, Balconies, Patios, Terraces, etc.)
  • Commercial Properties (Airports, Hotels, Apartment Complexes, Condos, etc.)

Is Synthetic Turf Safe for Dogs?

Yes! Most artificial grass on the market today is safe for dogs. In fact, many manufacturers specifically design their products to be pet-friendly. Synthetic turf is made from non-toxic materials, and it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or fertilizers, making it safer and healthier for your furry friends. Plus, artificial grass eliminates the need for pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, ensuring that your outdoor environment remains free from potentially dangerous chemicals. 

Is Artificial Grass Eco-Friendly?

Yes, artificial grass is eco-friendly, especially compared to natural grass due to its water-saving benefits, reduced pesticide and fertilizer use, and minimal maintenance requirements. Additionally, many artificial grass products are made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan, further reducing their environmental impact.

How Long Does Artificial Grass Last With Dogs?

The lifespan of artificial grass for dogs depends on factors such as quality, turf maintenance and care, and usage. High-quality pet turf products installed correctly and maintained properly can last 15-20+ years or more, providing a durable and long-lasting outdoor solution for pet owners.

How Do I Maintain Fake Grass for Dogs?

Here are some pet turf maintenance & care tips to help maintain fake grass for dogs:

  • Remove debris like twigs, leaves, pine needles, etc. regularly
  • Rinse dog urine spots regularly with a hose to prevent odor and bacteria buildup.
  • Remove solid waste once it dries using a plastic bag or scoop.
  • Apply a turf deodorizer/enzyme cleaner to thoroughly clean the turf, 
  • Hire professional turf cleaning and odor removal services if needed. These services can be found through the Turf Network directory.

Tools the help with pet turf maintenance:

  • Leaf Blower
  • Garden Hose
  • Hose Nozzle Attachment
  • Push Broom (Stiff Bristle)
  • Turf Rake or Plastic Rake

Can Dogs Dig Through Synthetic Grass?

High-quality synthetic grass designed specifically for pet use is constructed with strong, resilient materials. It’s extremely unlikely that a dog would be capable of digging through artificial turf. The durability and resilience of pet turf combined with a well-compacted sub-base material, such as compacted gravel or concrete, can help deter digging behavior by providing a solid foundation for the turf. 

That said, no synthetic grass is completely impervious to determined digging dogs. If your dog is prone to digging, consider implementing training and deterrent techniques to discourage this behavior. Additionally, regular supervision and maintenance of your artificial grass can help identify and address any areas that may have been damaged by digging.

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