There is a lot to consider befogging choosing which artificial grass to in-stall. It can be difficult to wrap your head around. If you have a pet then there are even more things to consider.
Having said that, try not to focus on troubleshooting problems and con-sider all the great things pet-friendly artificial grass has to offer. After all, the purpose of an artificial grass installation is so you can get many years of fun and enjoyment out of it.
The average grass lawn can be muddy and spread germs. For dog own-ers, in particular, natural lawns tend to be easily dug up. And you can guarantee your dog and your children will paddle dirty footprints into the house.
Artificial lawns represent an ideal replacement. Astroturf is also ideal for kennels as there is much less work that needs to be done to maintain it.
Here’s an outline of everything you need to know about how installing ar-tificial grass can benefit dog owners and what to look for when picking the most suitable artificial grass for pets.
The Advantages of Artificial Grass for Dogs and Pets
Many people have more concerns than hopes when they think about re-placing their lawn and they have pets. Perhaps because, as the name says, it is artificial, and raises questions about what to do with waste and debris along with worries that your dog will tear it up.
If you have a beloved furry companion the good news is that there are so many benefits for dogs, cats and other animals too.
1. No More Muddy Puddles
Dogs love running around in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, this often results in them returning damp and with muddy paws, making pet owners everywhere shake their heads.
A key benefit of artificial lawns is there is no mud. Which means no muddy paws. This saves your carpets together with hours of cleaning kitchen floors.
2. No Burnt Grass
Dog’s urine is acidic. So acidic in fact that it can burn natural grass, permanently. This can leave unsightly brown patches that may never return to normal.
With artificial grass, this simply isn’t a problem. There is no risk of burning and discolouration which is always a major bonus. Astroturf remains green all year round no matter where your dog decides to go.
3. Low Maintenance
Not only does the low maintenance of artificial grass benefit you, but it's advantageous for your pets as well. No time is spent mowing and yet the height and cushioning stay soft and paw-friendly.
4. Avoid Wear and Tear
The endless enthusiasm of dogs can take a toll on your grass as they run, jump, and chase toys. They might even try to bury a bone or two. If you have artificial grass you won’t have to worry about holes and other wear and tear because they will be unable to dig it up.
Yes, fake grass is damage resistant enough to withstand paws and claws. If it’s looked after, it will look fresh for many years no matter how enthusiastically your dog plays on it.
It’s worth mentioning that choosing the right pile height for pets can also increase the wear and longevity of the grass. We will cover this in more detail below!
A Healthier Environment for Your Dog
Artificial grass provides a clean and healthy environment for pets.
With natural grass, there is so much work that goes into keeping it vibrant and alive. But with artificial turf, there is no need to use harmful chemicals, pesticides or fertilisers.
Not only is this a better option for the safety of your pets, but also helps to protect the environment. So, you can let dogs play without worry and still keep your garden green.
That being said, you may be questioning how pet waste can affect the lawn. Well luckily, it’s better for your pet's environment and safety too.
Dog waste contains millions of bacteria. Some people even go as far as to insist it’s a natural fertiliser. This is not true, but it isn’t harmless either! In fact, it has been classed as a hazard on the same level as pesticides. Bad for the environment and even aquatic life, but bad for your pet too.
On a normal lawn faeces easily spread diseases that could make your dog sick. From parasites such as worms, coccidia and giardia. To ill-nesses like parvovirus (and even coronavirus) and bacteria like salmonella, Campylobacteriosis, and E. coli.
Some of these sicknesses can be spread to humans, so whether you have artificial grass or not picking up dog waste is still important.
If you are considering getting an artificial lawn, their easy-cleaning nature is a blessing because the bacteria lingering in pet poop won’t spread through the soil - because there isn’t any.
However, we do recommend washing your lawn down with a hose every now and then. This will help to eliminate stains and the smell of urine. In-stalling a ZeoLite infill also helps to reduce the smell of pet urine.
As a bonus, when dogs are blissfully rolling around on the turf, they won’t be bombarded with ticks and fleas that infest natural grass lawns. So, you’ll have healthier pups all-round and making humans and dogs healthier and happier.
What Is The Best Artificial Grass for Dogs?
So, now you know all the benefits, here are some extra tips on choosing your lawn.
To get the most out of your grass it’s a good idea to look into the right one for you. When it comes to dogs, there are some things you might want to consider.
The Best Material
Nylon is generally considered to be the most durable material. But, for a more natural and softer feel, a blend of polythene and polypropylene is the best option.
It’s a great option for pets because it’s hard-wearing so they can run around to their heart's content and it will last for years. At the same time, it will be gentle on delicate paws giving you the best of both worlds.
The Best Backing
Whilst the backing may not be something you’ve thought much into, if you have a dog, it can make all the difference. Usually, a Latex backing is used, but when you have pets, this doesn’t always cut it.
Polyurethane (PU) is a pet-friendly backing that allows liquids to drain away a lot quicker than with latex backings.
Some dogs are also allergic to latex, just like humans. Plus on latex backings dog’s urine can also crystallise leaving a foul smell if not cleaned properly.
Whilst regular washing down of your artificial grass is still best, PU will aid in reducing unpleasant odours by allowing the urine to drain and be washed away by the rain.
Speaking of odours, there are other ways to avoid smells...
Use Zeolite Infill
Infill plays the role of propping up the blades of grass so they are well supported and stand upright, giving a natural lawn look. It also protects against UV rays from the sun so the backing of the grass is not damaged. However, that isn’t all it can do. For pet owners, zeolite is the infill material of choice for a very good reason.
Zeolite is a completely natural matter and when spread across an artificial lawn stops odours before they’ve even formed. It absorbs the gas that makes urine smell, ammonia, and by doing this it prevents unpleasant odours from ever arriving.
It neutralises smells and then allows the ammonia to be washed away again each time it rains or you hose down your lawn.
Zeolite also helps keep the grass cool by slowing the process of evaporation and absorbing the heat from the sun. This prevents the strands from overheating which can hurt the dog’s paws, they don’t have any shoes like us to protect them after all.
What is The Best Pile Height to Choose?
When it comes to piling height, you also want to keep cleanliness in mind. Whilst longer pile heights are good for cushioning, shorter lengths are much easier to clean. To make the process easier and ensure you don’t miss anything when doing so, a shorter or medium (23mm-29mm) pile is recommended for pet owners.
A height of about 28mm is short enough to clean, yet long enough to cushion. It also works well with the zeolite we just mentioned, as it is long enough to allow for an infill (most shorter grass is not suited to infill use) making it the ideal combo.
The Bottom Line
There are so many benefits to installing artificial grass for dog owners (or kennel owners). It is healthier, cleaner, and much less likely to be dam-aged than a normal lawn.
By following the tips outlined in this article, your furry friends will have the best garden experience possible - and you won’t waste as much time cleaning up after them.
Hopefully, these tips will help you pick the right lawn. From using zeolite to shorter pile heights, and a polythene and polypropylene material with a PU backing, we’ve got you covered.
For more advice about pet-friendly lawns and artificial grass installation, contact us today and speak to a member of our awesome team.