Why And How To Choose Artificial Grass For Your Outdoor Dog Run

Posted on: 12 May 2015

If you're a homeowner with one or more canine pets, you probably recognize the importance of keeping a pet-friendly yard with high-blade grass for comfortable play. While a natural grass lawn requires much maintenance and may cause issues for dog owners, a sensible solution is to install a dog run made from artificial or "fake" grass. There are several advantages to choosing synthetic grass for a dog run, including low maintenance and chemical free use. When in the market for artificial turf, it helps to know what to look for to ensure high quality and proper drainage.

Why You Should Choose "Fake" Grass for Your Dog

These days, dog owners are choosing artificial grass for their yard or dog run in place of a natural landscape, and hiring a professional to have it installed properly. Here are a few reasons to choose artificial grass for your dog's run:

  • Low Maintenance: Natural turf requires frequent watering, trimming, fertilization and pesticide applications. This is not only time consuming, but it can be hazardous to your pet, especially if the dog has allergies or sensitivities to chemicals. Artificial grass requires nothing more than an occasional wash down with a garden hose, as well as removal of debris with a leaf blower if necessary. Also, because there is no need for watering, you'll save on your water bills. When your dog relieves itself on the artificial turf, you'll simply remove the droppings with a "pooper scooper" or wash it off with a hose. Liquids will drain right through and not retain odors if it is of quality materials.

  • No More Muddy Paws: As a dog owner, you may be tired of your pet tracking in mud from playing on the grass after a soaking rain. Because artificial turf doesn't require soil, there is no mud to adhere to your pet's paws or coat. If muddy paw prints on your carpeting and floors are a problem, synthetic grass may be an ideal solution. It may mean less grooming for Fido as well.

  • Better for the Environment: Unlike natural grass that requires the use of gas-powered equipment for maintenance, artificial turf will not contribute to air pollution.

  • Less Pest Infestation Problems: With natural grass, dogs are more prone to picking up fleas and ticks. Artificial grass will not attract insects and pests, as there are no organic compounds for these pests to feed on. Also, if you've had problems with gophers digging through your landscape in the past, this won't be an issue.

What to Look for When Choosing Artificial Grass

You may be surprised to learn that not all grass synthetics are alike. Before you decide on what to buy, make a checklist and be sure it includes the following features:

  • Material With a Permeable Backing for Better Drainage: The synthetic latex backing should have a sub-base made of crushed aggregate, that will be durable yet allow liquid and moisture to seep through. Better still, look for tiny drilled holes in the backing to provide ultimate drainage.

  • Antimicrobial Coating: This additive will make the turf more resistant to bacterial growth. It's an important feature, especially when the grass is intended for pets.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) Protection: This is a solution that is adhered to the material, intended to prevent UV damage from the sun. Without the added protection, your artificial grass may be prone to fading or warping over time.

  • Soft Texture: Some synthetic grass feels softer than others, and when used for a dog run, you'll want to choose the softest available. The soft texture will offer your dog the best comfort and no abrasion on the paws. For this reason, you should avoid the "economy" turf and opt for the mid-range or superior quality, made with a padded underlay.

    As a final thought, you might request samples before making your selection. 

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