Not all artificial grass products are perfectly suited to dogs and other pets. If you’re considering installing synthetic turf then you’ll want to make sure you choose a product that will not only stand the rigors of highly active pets but ensure the health and safety of your furry friends. With that in mind, let’s consider a few of the characteristics that are prevalent among the most popular artificial grass surfaces on the market, not just for pet-specific areas but residential use where pets must also be taken into consideration.
What commercial dog areas are using
If you want to get a good idea about what pet professionals, such as vets and trainers, think about artificial turf, it can help immensely to look at the choices that they are making. One thing we do know is that more and more professionals are not only choosing turf in areas where grass is impractical but choosing it over natural lawn full stop. It also helps to look at a couple of the specific characteristics that are being targeted by:
These locations are choosing synthetic lawn products because of benefits such as:
- Dog parks
- Doggy daycares
- Veterinary clinics
- Boarding facilities
- Airport pet relief areas
- Less fleas and bugs
- Easier mess pickup
- Less bathing required
- No more digging
- Fewer odors indoors and out
Lasting durable products are obviously a top consideration. After all, if the focus is on an area for pets then it’s a fairly safe bet that it’s going to get a lot of use, whatever turf you choose, your dog is going to put it through its paces. The larger and heavier the dog, the greater the durability required; wider blade, commercial grade grass products are readily available. Whilst looking the part they must also have a texture that feels natural to dogs and which is able to withstand the wear and tear of running around as well as any attempts to dig, chew and so forth.
Toughness and longevity can’t come at the cost of potential risk to the animals. Ensure your grass selection is free of lead and any other potentially harmful materials. Most reputable grass manufacturers these days use non-toxic materials, which means that they don’t present inhalation and ingestion risks to pets. Turf made from non-toxic materials is safe for children’s play areas as well, which is often a joint consideration.
Urine, particularly from frequent urination, can cause issues over time. So, the inherent durability of the turf is a significant factor as it helps prevents staining and limits the negative effect of urine. Pet-friendly turf should also feature a high-quality backing that allows for fast and thorough drainage. Artificial turf that allows urine to persist at the blade level isn’t likely to hold up over time.
Superior drainage is arguably among the most important characteristics of any synthetic turf, regardless of whether or not pets will be present. Whilst we’ve already pointed out the importance of drainage in regard to pet urine, it’s also essential that rain and melting snow and ice also drain quickly so that the animals have a safe surface upon which to walk, run and play. The best products will have not only a high-quality multi-layered backing but a specific drainage layer that allows for aggressive drainage through absorption or other means such as flow off.
Infill is material separate from the grass itself that’s designed to provide the artificial turf
body, and its presence can be quite important over time when, for instance, it’s subject to heavy foot traffic. Many manufacturers have worked to limit infill as well as make it safer, for example, granulated rubber is being used far less.