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Fake Grass for Dogs: A Complete Guide to Pet-Friendly Synthetic Turf

Is fake grass for dogs the right choice for your pet? Learn everything you need to know about pet-friendly artificial turf in this complete buyer’s
Fake Grass for Dogs

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As pet owners, we want the best for our furry companions, and that includes providing them with a safe and comfortable outdoor space to play and relax. While natural grass looks great, it can be difficult to maintain, expensive, and requires constant watering. That’s why fake grass for dogs is becoming increasingly popular among pet owners. Pet-friendly artificial grass is designed specifically for dogs, providing them with a soft and natural-looking surface that is easy to clean, quick-draining, and odor-resistant. It’s made with non-toxic materials that are safe for dogs to play on, ensuring that your fur baby can play, run, and roll around without worry.

Fake grass for dogs is not only low-maintenance but is also environmentally friendly, saving water and reducing carbon footprint. With the benefits of fake grass for dogs, you can enjoy a beautiful, lush lawn without worrying about your pet’s health and comfort. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about this innovative landscaping solution. From understanding how it works to the pros and cons of using it, we’ll help you make an informed decision for your pet-friendly landscaping needs.

What is Fake Grass for Dogs?

Fake grass for dogs is a type of artificial grass that’s designed specifically for dogs. You may also hear it referred to as K9 grass, pet turf, artificial grass for dogs, dog turf, and pet-friendly synthetic grass to name a few. As pet owners, we want the best for our furry friends and that includes a comfortable outdoor space that they can enjoy. That’s where pet-friendly synthetic turf comes in! Not only is it low maintenance and eco-friendly, but it also provides a safe and durable surface for your pup. 

Pet-friendly artificial grass is specifically designed with dogs in mind, featuring a drainage system that allows dog urine to pass quickly and efficiently into the sub-base. In addition, the grass blades are soft and non-toxic, making it a safe and comfortable option for your four-legged friends. Plus, with an artificial grass lawn, you can say goodbye to muddy paws and lawn maintenance, and hello to more pet playtime and relaxation. 

Why Should I Install Pet Turf for My Dog(s)

Why Should I Install Pet Turf for My Dog(s)?

For most homeowners, it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to maintain a lush, green natural grass lawn. It becomes even more difficult when you add a dog or dogs to the mix. Dog urine is very high in nitrogen, which wreaks havoc on natural grass by leaving unsightly brown dog urine spots. The problem is exacerbated if your pup keeps digging holes everywhere or running back and forth over the same area wearing ruts into your lawn.

The Sysifean task of maintaining a natural grass lawn while your every effort is thwarted is too much for most busy dog owners. That is why more and more dog owners opt for a pet-friendly ground cover like fake grass for dogs to replace their natural grass.

If you’d like to enjoy more free time with your family and pup, save money on maintenance equipment or contractors, and lower your carbon footprint then read on! We’ll answer all of the questions you have about fake grass for dogs and provide you with the knowledge and information that you need to make an informed decision. To begin, let’s take a closer look at the differences between pet turf and regular artificial grass.

Pet Turf vs. Artificial Grass_ Whats the Difference

Pet Turf vs. Artificial Grass: What’s The Difference?

While you might assume that pet turf and artificial grass are pretty much the same, they are not. There are a few key differences between the two that should be taken into account when weighing your options. To help you make an educated and informed decision, we’ll now explore the differences between pet turf and regular artificial grass.

Material Quality

Material quality is a paramount consideration when selecting fake grass for dogs, and any artificial grass for that matter. The quality of the materials used to manufacture synthetic grass determines its functionality, durability, and longevity. Modern turf products are made out of one or a combination of the following three materials:

  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Nylon (PA)

Polypropylene is the least expensive material and is typically used to create the thatch fibers found on some turf products. Polyethylene is the most common material used on artificial grass. It offers a great combination of soft feel, aesthetics, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Nylon is the most expensive and durable material, but its rough texture, propensity to trap moisture, and cost make it a better option for backyard putting greens.

Here in the U.S. turf manufacturers are held to strict standards around the plastics they use to manufacture their products. The quality of the materials used is expected to meet the high industry standards. The quality of the materials used in manufacturing pet turf products is a common issue with foreign turf manufacturers that aren’t held to the same quality standards as manufacturers here in the USA. In China and other countries, manufacturers can lower costs by diluting plastics by mixing the primary plastic with lower-grade plastics and fillers.

Backing / Drainage

The backing of the artificial grass plays a significant role in its performance. The biggest difference between pet turf and regular synthetic grass is the type of backing or drainage system. Most pet turf products are equipped with a backing that drains liquids more efficiently to ensure that dog urine passes through the backing as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is known as a “Fully-Permeable Backing” that you may also hear referred to as “Flow-Through” or “Edge-to-Edge” drainage. This efficient drainage system helps prevent the accumulation of moisture and keeps your outdoor space clean and odor-free.

On the other hand, general-purpose artificial grass typically does not offer the same level of drainage. The backing found on most traditional artificial grass is known as “Hole-Punched.” It consists of a series of holes every 4” to 6” that allow liquids to pass through the turf and into the sub-base. This type of backing isn’t suitable for pet applications because urine can settle in the spaces between holes. Over time, this will cause a buildup of odor-causing bacteria that’s not very pleasant.

Antimicrobial Protection

Fake grass for dogs has become increasingly popular among pet owners due to its low-maintenance and highly durable nature. But what sets pet-friendly turf products apart from traditional artificial grass is the added feature of antimicrobial protection. This provides a safer and cleaner environment for pets by inhibiting the growth of harmful microbes and bacteria. 

Antimicrobial protection ensures a hygienic area for pets to play and relieve themselves. This added protection helps to extend the life of synthetic turf products. It also keeps your turf cleaner and more hygienic, so the buildup of bacteria and microbes is less of a concern.

Pros & Cons of Fake Grass for Dogs

Pros & Cons of Fake Grass for Dogs

Now that we’ve explored the basics of fake grass for dogs and the differences between pet turf and general artificial grass, let’s take a look at the benefits of artificial turf and some of its drawbacks as a pet-friendly ground cover.

PROS: Advantages of Pet Turf

Low Maintenance: Fake grass for dogs requires minimal upkeep compared to natural grass. No mowing, weeding, or fertilizing is needed, freeing up your time for more enjoyable activities with your pets.

Durability: Pet-friendly artificial grass is designed to withstand heavy use, including playful pets. It is resistant to pet damage such as digging and scratching, ensuring your lawn remains pristine.

Cleanliness: The efficient drainage system of artificial grass prevents the accumulation of moisture and pet urine, maintaining a clean and odor-free environment for your pets. It also means dirt and mud will be a thing of the past.

Safety: Artificial grass eliminates the need for harmful pesticides and chemicals commonly used on natural grass, making it safer for your pets.

Allergen-Free: Artificial grass reduces the presence of allergens like pollen, providing a healthier environment for your family and pets, especially if someone in your household has allergies.

Pest-Free: Most of the bugs and pests found in natural grass can be eliminated with synthetic grass, so flees and ticks are much less of a concern.

CONS: Disadvantages of Pet Turf

Initial Cost: The upfront cost of installing artificial grass is typically the biggest concern of dog owners. However, the long-term savings may outweigh this initial investment.

Heat Retention: Artificial grass can become hot in direct sunlight during the summer months, potentially making it uncomfortable for your pets. Proper shading and cooling solutions can mitigate this issue.

Installation Complexity: Achieving the best results often requires professional installation, which can add to the overall cost. While some homeowners opt for DIY installation, it may not yield the same quality and longevity as a professional job.

What to Look for When Selecting Fake Grass for Dogs

What to Look for When Selecting Fake Grass for Dogs

Now that you understand the basics of fake grass for dogs and have considered the pros and cons, it’s time to delve into the crucial process of selecting the best artificial grass for your canine companions. To make an informed decision, you need to take various factors into account and be aware of the pet-friendly artificial turf features to look for.

Factors to Consider

Factors to Consider

Pet Size and Activity Level: The size and activity level of your dogs are essential factors to consider when choosing artificial grass. Larger and more active dogs may require a more durable turf that can withstand their play and activities. A larger dog will also produce more urine, so it’s even more important to ensure your pet’s turf is equipped with an efficient drainage system.

Climate: Consider your local climate when selecting artificial grass. Some turf products are better suited to specific weather conditions, so it’s essential to choose one that will perform well in your area.

Maintenance Preference: Determine how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in maintenance. While artificial grass is generally low-maintenance, some varieties require more care than others.

Budget: Set a budget for the installation, including materials and labor costs. Keep in mind that higher-quality artificial grass may have a higher upfront cost but can offer better long-term value.

Pet-Friendly Features to Look for

Pet-Friendly Features to Look For

Below we’ll explore the features and components of a pet turf system that contribute to its functionality and durability. By understanding the individual components of artificial turf and the features that make it pet-friendly, you’ll know what to look for when you begin shopping for it. You’ll know what questions to ask and what features to look for to ensure that you get the best pet turf product for you and your pup! The synthetic grass is just one piece of a pet turf system that begins with the base material and extends up to the tip of the turf fibers.

Face Weight

Face Weight

Face weight refers to the amount of synthetic fibers per square yard. The number of ounces for the face weight does not include the turf backing. Face weights can range from 40 oz to 90 oz,  but we recommend sticking to around 60 oz for most dogs. A higher face weight generally indicates better quality. 

Pile Height

Pile Height

Pile height refers to the length of the grass blades. This is also one of the most important features of pet-friendly turf products. Artificial grass with a long pile height may offer a lush and soft surface, but will also be a lot more difficult to clean. A shorter pile height will provide plenty of cushion for your dog and makes picking up solid waste a lot easier. The shorter turf fibers stay upright allowing most solid waste to simply sit on top of the artificial grass. For pet-friendly artificial turf installations, a pile height of ¾” to 1 ¼” is the ideal range.

Base Material

Base Material

The right base layer makes all the difference when installing artificial grass. The base material provides stability and proper drainage for your artificial grass. Soil expands and contracts with changes in temperature, making the surface inconsistent. Artificial grass needs a non-expansive, consistent surface that won’t introduce wrinkles or wobbly gaps into the surface. A properly prepared base layer is compact, solid, and smooth: the ideal surface for laying down pet-friendly artificial turf.

The most common base materials are crushed miscellaneous base (CMB), class II road base, decomposed granite (DG), and crushed aggregate base. Let’s take a quick look at each of these base materials.

Crushed Miscellaneous Base (CMB)

Crushed Miscellaneous Base, often referred to as CMB, is a blend of crushed rock and gravel that is commonly used in the construction industry as a base material for laying roads, driveways, and parking lots. It’s more affordable than granite while still offering good compaction and long-term reliability. A popular option for homeowners operating on a budget, it can be made from recycled materials for those interested in a sustainable option.

Class II Road Base

Class II Road Base is an aggregate made of a specific recipe of different sizes and quality of rock ranging from fine dust to ¾”. Used as a foundation for various road and pavement projects, it is the preferred base material for many turf installers. It is typically made up of crushed rocks, gravel, and sand, which are mixed together to create a stable and durable base layer. The base is permeable, ensuring excellent drainage, and stays compact, even with heavy foot traffic.  According to manufacturers, the best and most effective base layer for artificial turf is a class II road base.

Crushed Aggregate Base

Crushed aggregate base refers to a specific type of construction material that is typically used as a foundation for roads, driveways, and other construction projects. It is made from crushed stone or gravel and compacted to create a strong and durable surface. The particles range in size from dust particulates to rocks 3/4″ across. This mix of sizes and rough edges helps the material compact into a long-lasting, reliable surface. Homeowners can also choose between finer or larger grades of aggregate material. 

Decomposed Granite (DG)

Decomposed granite is a type of material that is commonly used as a foundation or base layer for various outdoor projects such as driveways, pathways, or patios. It is made up of granulated pieces of granite that have been broken down and weathered over time, creating a compact and stable surface. Decomposed granite creates a smooth underlying surface, compacts very well, and is permeable enough to offer efficient drainage. 

Fully-Permeable Backing

Fully-Permeable Backing

When it comes to the pet-friendliness of artificial grass, the most important feature is the turf’s drainage system. Efficient drainage is crucial to prevent the buildup of odors and bacteria. A backing that drains water and dog urine quickly and efficiently is essential to a long-lasting pet-friendly artificial grass installation.

The best type of backing for pet turf is fully permeable or non-perforated. A 100% permeable backing allows liquids to pass through any point in the turf so it can drain into the sub-base below. This is also commonly referred to as a “Flow-Through” backing or “Edge-to-Edge” drainage.

The drainage rate on fully permeable backings is a lot more efficient, draining at a rate of 500+ inches of water per hour. This is also a much better choice for pet owners as urine will drain away quicker and more completely than it does in a hole-punched product. Fully permeable backing allows for optimal drainage, preventing moisture buildup and reducing the risk of odors. It’s an excellent choice for pet owners.

Infill Material

Infill Material

Infill helps maintain the turf’s shape and provides cushioning for your pets. Common infill materials include sand, zeolite, organic, and rubber. The infill plays a few important roles in turf installations:

  • Acts as a ballast, keeping turf in place,
  • Mimicks the soil between grass blades, keeping them upright and springy.
  • Facilitates drainage by preventing fibers from matting.
  • Helps to prevent the growth of microbes, bacteria, and odors.

For applications involving dogs and pets, we recommend infills that offer antimicrobial protection or an alternative means of combating odors. A few of the most popular infill options here in the U.S. for pets are:

Envirofill is a non-toxic, pet-safe turf infill solution that’s designed to prevent bacterial growth and odors. It’s the only synthetic turf infill with Microban® antimicrobial protection, which works continuously to help inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause odors. Choosing Envirofill ensures your artificial lawn or dog park will be long-lasting, attractive, and odor-free.

T°Cool® Infill is an innovative antimicrobial infill with evaporative cooling technology that reduces synthetic turf surface temperatures up to 50 degrees without compromising the performance benefits. TºCool is the only proven and patented cooling agent specifically designed to extend the effects of evaporative cooling on synthetic turf. T°Cool® is an eco-friendly solution that cools synthetic turf up to 50ºF by coating the turf’s infill to combat the heat and make the synthetic turf surfaces cooler, safer, and more playable. 

ZeoFill is especially useful for pet owners because our key ingredient, zeolite, traps odor molecules and controls the growth of bacteria that cause odor, reducing unpleasant smells. Additionally, ZeoFill is made from a natural mineral that absorbs water and releases it slowly, which helps keep your turf cool and prevents it from becoming waterlogged or dried out.

Look for varieties that are non-toxic to pets, in case of accidental ingestion. Avoid using regular sand infill on your installation, as the particles tend to clump together, causing a buildup of odors from dog urine. Choose an infill that suits your pet’s comfort and safety.

Antimicrobial Protection

Antimicrobial Protection

Some pet-friendly artificial grass products come with built-in antimicrobial protection. This feature inhibits the growth of bacteria and reduces odors caused by pet urine. The antimicrobial additives are incorporated into the fibers and occasionally the backing of turf products during the manufacturing process. Because the antimicrobial additives are melted down with the plastic pellets, the antimicrobial protection is infused into the turf product. It’s a valuable addition to maintaining a hygienic outdoor space.

UV Protection

UV-Protection

UV protection is an essential feature of artificial grass and is essential to ensure the longevity and vibrant appearance of your turf. Over time, prolonged sun exposure can cause fading and deterioration as a result of a process called “photooxidative degradation.” To counter these effects, modern turf products incorporate UV stabilizers that are incorporated into the fibers and backing during the manufacturing process. These additives, included in the resin before the synthetic blades are formed become a part of the molecular structure of the turf fibers. By selecting a pet turf with UV protection, you will prolong the life of your artificial grass lawn.

Warranty

Warranty

There are two types of warranties you’ll come across for artificial grass. The manufacturer’s warranty and the installation or service warranty. Most manufacturer warranties cover the artificial grass itself and is usually limited to UV degradation, fade resistance, quality assurance, stain, pet urine, texture, and abrasive wear. It is not going to cover improper installation, improper care, or maintenance. The installation/service warranty is handled by the company or subcontractors who install your artificial pet turf. Ask your installer what type of installation warranty they offer.

A good warranty is an indicator of a manufacturer’s willingness to stand behind its product. Be careful of warranties that sound too good to be true, like a “Lifetime Warranty.” It may sound great, but if you think about it, how can a manufacturer offer a lifetime warranty on a product that’s marketed as having a lifespan of 15 – 20 years? Offering a lifetime warranty on a product that wasn’t designed to last a lifetime is questionable. Just keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true—it probably is.

Pet Turf Installation Process

Pet Turf Installation Process

Installing pet-friendly artificial grass for your dogs is a crucial step in creating a functional and appealing outdoor space. While some homeowners may opt for a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, others prefer professional installation to ensure optimal results. In this section, we will explore both options and provide a step-by-step guide for those who choose to tackle the installation themselves.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

Deciding between a DIY installation and hiring a professional installer is a significant consideration when it comes to artificial grass. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision.

DIY Installation:

Pros:

Cost Savings: DIY installation can save you money on labor costs.

Flexibility: You have control over the installation timeline.

Personal Satisfaction: Completing the project yourself can be rewarding.

Cons:

Skill and Knowledge: Installing artificial grass requires specific skills and knowledge, along with a lot of specialty tools and equipment.

Quality: DIY results may not match the quality of professional installation.

Time-Consuming: The installation process can be time-consuming, especially for beginners.

No Warranty: Check with the manufacturer of your turf product to make sure that it will still be covered after a DIY installation.

Professional Installation:

Pros:

Expertise: Professionals have the experience and knowledge to ensure a high-quality installation.

Time-Saving: Installation is typically quicker when done by experts.

Warranty: Professional installations often come with installation warranties for added peace of mind.

Cons:

Cost: Professional installation comes with labor costs that DIY projects avoid.

Scheduling: You may need to coordinate with the installer’s schedule.

Step-By-Step Installation Guide

For those who choose the DIY route, we’ll walk you through the installation process. We’ll assume that you’ve already measured and calculated the square footage. We’re also going to assume you’ve purchased a pet-friendly artificial grass and have all of the necessary materials, tools, and equipment. 

By following these steps, you can successfully install pet-friendly artificial grass in your outdoor space. However, if you prefer to leave it to the professionals, they will have the expertise to ensure a flawless result. Either way, your dogs will soon have a beautiful and safe place to enjoy outdoor playtime. Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing pet-friendly artificial grass:

1. Ground Preparation:
  • Clear the area of any debris, rocks, or existing vegetation.
  • Remove the grass and top few inches of soil to make room for the base material.
  • Cap or move sprinkler heads and irrigation boxes.
2. Base Installation:
  • Install edging material around the perimeter to hold the base and turf in place and prevent it from shifting.
  • Spread a layer of your chosen base material over the installation area, typically 3-5 inches deep.
  • Use a plate compactor or heavy roller to compact the base material thoroughly to create a stable foundation.
3. Lay Out Turf & Glue Seams:
  • Roll out the artificial grass over the prepared base.
  • Position the turf, leaving excess material around the edges.
  • If your installation is wider than the turf you purchased, then you’ll have to join two pieces together with seam tape and seam glue.
  • Cut the excess material away from the perimeter of your lawn, leaving approximately half an inch extra along the border.
4. Stretch & Secure the Turf:
  • Stretch the turf over the installation to get it as tight as possible.
  • Secure the turf in place with landscape staples or nails, ensuring it’s taut and smooth.
  • Ensure the nails are driven into the base all the way to avoid tripping hazards.
5. Infill Application:
  • Using a drop-spreader, spread the chosen infill material evenly across the turf.
  • Follow the manufacturers’ recommendation for how much infill to distribute.
  • It’s important to distribute the infill evenly across your turf to prevent any lumps of infill material.
  • Use a power broom or stiff bristle broom and brush against the grain of the fibers to work the infill into the grass blades.
6. Enjoy With Your Pup:
  • After you’ve successfully installed your pet-friendly artificial grass, test it out with your pup by playing a game of fetch.
  • Remember to regularly rinse your pet turf with a hose and remove solid waste
Cleaning & Maintaining Fake Grass for Dogs

Cleaning & Maintaining Fake Grass for Dogs

We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth emphasizing: one of the biggest benefits of artificial grass is how easy it is to maintain. While pet turf does need a little extra care to ensure a safe and hygienic space for your furry friend, it’s a small investment for a clean and worry-free environment.

Once installed, artificial turf maintenance is a breeze – think rinsing and tidying up, rather than mowing, edging, fertilizing, or watering. You’ll still enjoy a beautiful, lush, and natural-looking lawn without the hassle! So, what exactly do you need to do to keep your fake grass clean and pet-friendly? We’ve broken it up into daily, weekly & monthly, and annual cleaning and maintenance tasks. Read on to find out!

Daily Cleaning & Maintenance

Keeping your pet turf clean is easy and hassle-free. Just check for solid waste daily and remove it as needed. Unlike natural grass, pet-friendly turf makes waste removal even simpler. With its short pile height and dense fibers, solid waste sits on the surface, making it easier to clean. Use a plastic bag or pooper scooper for quick cleanup. If waste does get trapped in the blades, simply spray with a mild detergent cleaner, let it sit briefly, and wipe it away. While inspecting for waste, also look out for any debris or objects that could harm your dog or damage the turf. 

PRO TIP: let solid waste dry a bit before cleaning to prevent it from sticking to the turf fibers.

Weekly & Monthly Cleaning & Maintenance 

To keep your pet turf installation in top shape, the frequency of cleaning and maintenance tasks will depend on several factors, such as the size of your installation, and the number and size of dogs using the area. If you have multiple large dogs, you’ll want to be extra attentive to maintaining your pet-friendly artificial grass.

Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your pet turf:

  • Regularly spray down the turf with a hose to prevent the buildup of ammonia from pet urine, which can cause odors.
  • Use a commercial or homemade urine odor deodorizer to spray the entire backyard or dog run. You can easily make an effective deodorizer at home by mixing equal parts vinegar and water.
  • Allow the deodorizer to dry on the surface without rinsing it off.
  • Once it has dried, use a stiff-bristled push broom to fluff up the turf fibers. This will help keep it looking naturally beautiful.
  • Avoid using acidic or alcohol-based cleaners on your synthetic grass, as they can harm the fibers.

Following these simple steps will help ensure that your pet turf stays fresh, odor-free, and attractive for years to come.

Annual Cleaning & Maintenance

Spring cleaning or a yearly refresh is a great way to think about the annual cleaning and maintenance of your pet turf. As long as you stay on top of the weekly and monthly tasks, there’s really only one thing you need to do each year – replenish the infill material. Depending on the activity and foot traffic your faux dog turf gets, you may only need to replenish the infill every 18 to 24 months. Reach out to your pet turf installer to have your infill level checked and get advice on when to replenish it.

It’s also worth considering having an annual or bi-annual cleaning and refresh of your pet turf. Some companies specialize in cleaning and refreshing turf installations. Two of the most well-known companies offering turf cleaning services and odor removal services are TurFresh and Dirty Turf.

Comparing Pet Turf to Other Landscaping Options

Comparing Pet Turf to Other Landscaping Options

Artificial turf is just one of several landscaping options available to pet owners. Let’s compare artificial turf vs. natural grass and other pet-friendly landscaping alternatives to help you make an informed decision for your outdoor space.

Artificial Pet Turf vs. Natural Grass

Artificial Pet Turf vs. Natural Grass

Maintenance: Artificial turf requires significantly less maintenance than natural grass. There’s no mowing, weeding, or fertilizing involved, saving you time and effort. You’ll have to regularly mow and edge your lawn using gas-powered equipment that spews more carbon emissions in one hour than eleven cars.

Durability: Artificial turf is more durable and resistant to pet damage compared to natural grass. It won’t develop patches from heavy foot traffic or digging. Natural grass also tends to develop brown dog urine spots, which pet turf eliminates.

Cleanliness: The efficient drainage system of artificial turf prevents puddles and minimizes mud, keeping your pets cleaner after playtime. You’ll no longer have to worry about your pup tracking muddy paw prints throughout your house.

Allergens: Artificial turf reduces the presence of allergens like pollen, providing a healthier environment for your family and pets.

Water Usage: Artificial turf conserves water, making it an eco-friendly choice compared to the water-intensive nature of natural grass.

Pet Turf vs. Other Pet-Friendly Landscaping Options

Artificial Pet Turf vs. Other Pet-Friendly Landscaping Options

Pea Gravel

While low-maintenance and relatively inexpensive, pea gravel can be uncomfortable for pets to walk or play on. On larger dogs small rocks and pebbles can get stuck between the pads on their paws. You’ll also need to pay attention to how much sun is hitting the gravel, as it can heat up quite a bit and cause significant discomfort to your dog’s paws. It also doesn’t offer the same aesthetic appeal as artificial turf.

Mulch or Wood Chips

Finding a ground cover that is both dog-friendly and cost-effective can be challenging. Mulch or wood chips are a decent option for homeowners who fit both criteria. Mulch provides good drainage and is relatively comfortable for pets. Cedar mulch is a natural bug repellent that can help battle fleas and ticks naturally. This can ensure that your dog stays healthy and protected without the use of harmful chemicals. 

Not all mulch is safe for dogs. Stay away from “Cocoa Bean” mulch, as it can pose a significant risk to your dog’s health if ingested. With proper attention to detail, you can provide a safe and playful outdoor environment for you and your furry companion to enjoy.

Pavers

Pavers offer a stable surface but can become hot in the sun and are less forgiving for pets’ joints and paws. Stone or concrete pavers may offer some great aesthetic benefits but aren’t the most dog-friendly ground cover material.

Cost Analysis (Installation & Long-Term)

Cost Analysis (Installation & Long-Term)

When considering the installation of pet-friendly artificial grass, it’s essential to assess the long-term costs and potential savings associated with this investment. Let’s break down the costs and benefits to help you make an informed decision.

How Much Does Fake Grass for Dogs Cost

How Much Does Fake Grass for Dogs Cost?

Installing pet turf requires an upfront investment, but it will pay for itself in a few years and save you money on watering and maintenance. On average, artificial grass installation costs anywhere from $6 to $18 per square foot. The cost of installing pet-friendly synthetic grass is influenced by a number of factors: 

  • Project/Installation Size
  • Pre-Installation Site Prep
  • Turf Product 
  • Type of Infill 
  • Materials
  • Accessibility

While there are other factors that will influence how much fake grass for dogs costs, the above are the most significant factors. For a quality pet turf installation, you can expect the price to start around $8 – $12 per sq. ft. Generally, larger spaces will have a lower cost per square foot, as there is less material waste. If you’d like to learn more about the cost of artificial grass or find out how much your installation will cost, we published a detailed guide about artificial grass costs.

Water Savings Infographic

Water Savings

Did you know that landscape irrigation in the US alone accounts for almost one-third of all residential water use, which adds up to around 9 billion gallons per day? That’s a staggering amount! Luckily, there’s a solution that not only saves water but also benefits our furry friends – pet-friendly artificial grass.

Traditional lawns require constant watering, especially in dry regions, which can be quite expensive. In fact, the average American household uses about 320 gallons of water per day, with outdoor use, including lawn irrigation, accounting for 30-60% of that. By making the switch to artificial grass, you can significantly reduce your water consumption and see substantial savings on your water bill.

But it gets even better. Did you know that over half of the water used outdoors goes towards watering lawns and gardens? Shockingly, up to 50% of that water is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or inefficient irrigation systems. With artificial grass, you won’t have to waste water struggling to maintain a lush, green lawn. Instead, you can save hundreds of dollars each year and play your part in conserving this increasingly scarce resource. Let’s take action before it’s too late!

Installation & Maintenance Cost Comparison

Maintenance Cost Savings

Artificial grass requires minimal maintenance compared to natural grass. You’ll eliminate the need for expenses like lawnmowers, fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation systems. Over time, these savings can add up significantly. A well-maintained natural grass lawn can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per year in maintenance, including mowing, edging, fertilizing, weeding, watering, etc. 

Adding up the costs over time, it can be pretty surprising how expensive natural grass is to maintain. To maintain consistency, we used the metrics outlined in our detailed guide on artificial grass costs to compare artificial grass vs. natural grass. The table below compares the ongoing maintenance costs of artificial grass vs. natural grass for a 1,000-square-foot yard. To make the comparison less dramatically one-sided in favor of pet turf, we’ve included a professional “turf refresh” service as part of the pet turf’s annual maintenance costs.

Pet TurfNatural Grass (SOD)
Installation (1,000 sq. ft. yard)$12.00 per sq. ft.$1.50 per sq. ft.
Installation Total$12,000$3,111 (Sod + Sprinkler + Water)
Mowing (26x annually)N/A$1,222
AerationN/A$145
Fertilizing & HerbicideN/A$435
Sprinkler RepairN/A$180
Water (annual cost)$71$567
Power Broom (1x annually)$110N/A
Replenish Infill (1x annually)$100N/A
Professional Turf Refresh (1x Annually)$400N/A
Yearly Maintenance Total$681$3,114
Total After 4 Years$14,724$15,567
Total After 8 Years$17,448$28,023
Total After 12 Years$20,172$40,479
Total After 25 Years$29,025$80,961

The initial cost of fake grass for dogs far exceeds the cost of having natural grass sod installed. However, when looking at the combined installation and maintenance costs, it doesn’t take long for the situation to reverse. In the table above, you can see an ROI in under 4 years and the disparity in the numbers continues to grow the longer we project out. After 25 years, which is the upper end of the life expectancy of quality turf products, natural grass has cost $80,961 to install and maintain.

Time Savings

Time Savings

Did you know that the average American spends over 70 hours each year taking care of their lawn and garden? That’s almost two full work weeks! But with pet-friendly artificial grass, you can reclaim that time for yourself and your loved ones. Imagine having an extra two weeks of free time to spend with your family, friends, or Fido! No more mowing, weeding, or fertilizing is required. Instead, you can enjoy quality time with your pets and indulge in activities you truly love.

Picture yourself sitting on your porch, waving to your neighbors as they struggle with their lawns. Meanwhile, you can relax and make the most of your weekends. Time is precious – why waste it on lawn care when you can have the freedom to do what you enjoy most?

Return on Investment (ROI) for Pet Turf

Return on Investment (ROI)

The return on investment for pet-friendly artificial grass is evident not only in cost savings but also in the increased value and aesthetic appeal of your property. According to the costs in the table above, you’ll see an ROI in under 4 years. The table also doesn’t take into account the possibility that you’ll need to have natural grass sod installed or resodded multiple times over the years. 

Alternatively, artificial grass lasts 15 – 25+ years when properly installed and cared for. That means you’ll be able to enjoy the time, money, water, and energy savings for a decade or two! While ROI can vary based on location and other factors, homeowners often find that the initial investment pays off over time. Additionally, artificial grass can increase the curb appeal of your home, potentially enhancing its resale value.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the best intentions and care, pet-friendly artificial grass can encounter some common issues. Understanding how to troubleshoot and address these problems is essential for maintaining a clean and comfortable environment for your pets.

Dealing With Pet Odors

While pet-friendly artificial grass is designed to resist odors, it’s not entirely immune to them. To address pet odors effectively:

Remove Solid Waste: Promptly pick up and dispose of pet waste from the turf. Regular cleanup is essential.

Rinse with Water: Hose down the affected area to dilute and remove urine. Frequent rinsing can prevent odors from becoming deeply ingrained.

Use Pet-Safe Cleaners: Apply pet-safe cleaners or enzymatic cleaners specifically designed to eliminate odors caused by pet urine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. Stubborn odors may require multiple treatments.

Hire Professionals: To give your pet turf the best chance of lasting its full expected lifetime, it’s worth considering professional turf cleaning services or odor removal services to perform an annual refresh of your turf installation.

The Synthetic Turf “Heat Issue”

During hot summer months, artificial grass can become uncomfortably hot for your pets to walk or lie on. To mitigate the synthetic turf heat issue:

Watering: Spray the turf with water to cool it down before your pet plays on it. This can significantly reduce surface temperature.

Shade: Create shaded areas in your outdoor space or provide a cooling mat for your pets to rest on when the turf is too hot. 

Water Feature: You could also add a small swimming pool or water feature, like a fountain or sprinkler to offer your pup some relief from high temperatures.

Cooling Infill: There are several infills that are designed to help lower the surface temperature of artificial grass. T°Cool Infill and HydroChill Infill are two of the most popular options that work through the process of evaporative cooling. 

Turf Product Feature: SYNLawn offers turf products with what they call “DualChill™” Thermal Shield. What is that? DualChill™ Technology lowers grass temperatures by reflecting the sun’s rays away with the use of infrared reflective pigments that help to dissipate heat build-up and reduce fiber emissivity. This means, that when applied to synthetic turf it can make it up to 20% cooler than similar artificial grass.

Wrapping Up Our Complete Guide to Fake Grass for Dogs

Wrapping Up Our Complete Guide To Fake Grass for Dogs

Fake grass for dogs, or pet-friendly artificial turf, offers numerous advantages for pet owners looking to create a safe and low-maintenance outdoor space for their furry companions. While it comes with some initial costs and considerations, the long-term benefits in terms of time saved on maintenance and a clean, comfortable environment for your pets make it a compelling option. By selecting high-quality materials and understanding the differences between pet turf and general artificial grass, you can ensure that both you and your dogs enjoy the benefits of a beautiful and pet-friendly lawn.

If you are ready to get started on your pet-friendly turf journey, explore our website a bit. There are a lot of specifics to understand about fake grass for dogs. We want to provide you with information and resources to educate yourself on the many features and options available.

Learn about: 

If you’re interested in learning more about artificial grass in general or pet turf specifically, 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 your pets.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fake Grass for Dogs

FAQ

Is Artificial Grass Safe for Dogs & Kids?

Yes, artificial grass is safe for dogs and kids. Made from non-toxic materials, synthetic turf eliminates the need for harmful pesticides and chemicals that are commonly used on natural grass. In fact, it’s even safer than natural grass, which is why it’s widely used in schools, daycares, and children’s play areas.

It’s a common misconception that artificial grass contains lead and harmful chemicals. However, modern turf manufacturers have made significant advancements to ensure the safety of their products. They have eliminated lead and other harmful materials from the manufacturing process. With improvements in technology and materials, synthetic grass products are now safer than ever before, surpassing chemically treated natural grass.

In fact, in 2008, major artificial turf manufacturers made agreements with the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) to address any health concerns. They realized the importance of prioritizing safety for their customers. In 2016, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) of American turf manufacturers voluntarily complied with the standards set by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) to eliminate heavy metals from their products, providing additional protection for young athletes.

Choose pet-friendly artificial grass for a safer and greener alternative to traditional lawns. Your dogs and kids will love it, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ve made a healthy choice for your family.

Is Fake Grass for Dogs Eco-Friendly?

Contrary to popular belief, synthetic turf is not harmful to our planet. In fact, by installing a pet-friendly artificial grass lawn, you can save time, money, and reduce your carbon footprint. Unlike natural grass, artificial grass doesn’t need to be constantly mowed, eliminating the need for gas-powered equipment that harms the environment.

According to the Department of Transportation, American lawn-care equipment consumes nearly 3 billion gallons of gas every year. Shockingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that homeowners spill around 17 million gallons of gas annually. That’s just while refueling their lawnmowers, which leads to contaminated groundwater. On top of that, the chemicals used to maintain natural grass can be harmful to your loved ones, including children and pets. Synthetic dog turf, on the other hand, doesn’t require any of these chemicals and will stay green, lush, and full all year round. So if you want an eco-friendly alternative to natural grass, artificial grass is the way to go.

Where Can I Install Fake Grass for Dogs?

You can install pet-friendly artificial grass in various areas, including your backyard, rooftop, balconies, and pet play areas. It’s versatile and can transform various spaces into pet-friendly environments. When considering where to install synthetic grass, you’re imagination might be the most limiting facor. The most popular places to install fake grass for dogs in both residential and commercial applications are:

  • Dog Runs
  • Side Yards & Backyards
  • Patios, Decks & Porches
  • Dog Parks
  • Designated Pet Areas (Apartment Complexes)
  • Doggy Daycares & Dog Training Facilities

How Long Does Artificial Grass Last With Dogs?

The lifespan of artificial grass with dogs depends on the quality of the turf, the level of pet activity, and maintenance. High-quality turf can last up to 15 – 25 years or more with proper care, making it a durable and worthwhile investment.

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