Is Turf Good For Dogs?
Artificial turf has gained significant popularity to save on lawn maintenance and keep dogs active. Turf is easy to clean up messes, doesn’t collect mud, and keeps fleas, ticks, deer, and rabbits away from your yard.
Look for pet-friendly artificial turf with polypropylene or polyethylene fibers and evaporative cooling infill. This infill has a permeable backing to allow drainage and prevent lingering odors. Is Turf Good For Dogs? Read more below.
Many homeowners choose to install artificial turf because it looks more natural than sod and saves time, money, water, and effort on yard maintenance. However, it’s important to note that some turf products are not created equal when it comes to pet safety. Ensure your pet’s safety by choosing a high-quality, safe synthetic grass product.
Synthetic grass for pets can feature a variety of different blade lengths and colors, thicknesses, and textures, which make it more attractive than traditional lawns. It is also available with UV protection and antimicrobial properties that are beneficial for dogs. Adding an infill layer to your turf will make it even more durable and comfortable for pets. The infill can come in a variety of forms, such as crumb rubber, sand, silica granules, and more. Most pet owners opt for the silica granules because they are non-toxic, safe for pets to ingest, and provide added cushioning that can help protect against injuries, especially when children or pets play rough.
The most common infill for pet turf is sand, but some products are designed with different types of infills to suit specific applications. In general, the infill is used to add weight to the turf and mimic the soil between grass blades. The infill also acts as a barrier to prevent the turf from fading in outdoor conditions. In addition to sand, some pet-friendly turf is built with a permeable backing to allow urine and other liquids to pass through.
It’s easy to clean up after your dog on pet turf, as it typically features drainage perforations and an antibacterial turf material that is easy to wash. If you do notice an odor, most turf products will recommend spraying the surface with a non-toxic and bacterial-killing cleaner.
Another benefit of turf is that it will reduce the number of fleas, ticks, grubs, and other pests that can harm your dog. Since these pests won’t be drawn to the turf, they won’t be able to find your dog and cause itching and red, scaly skin, which can lead to infections like tapeworm and anemia.
Today’s synthetic turf is made of petrochemical products and, in many cases, crumb rubber that’s derived from recycled tires. Some 40,000 shredded tires can be used to make just one field, and these rubber pellets contain chemicals that are harmful if ingested or touched, especially by young children who play on the fields. The Children’s Environmental Health Center of the School of Medicine at has urged a moratorium on the installation of new artificial turf, calling the chemicals in the rubber “toxic.”
The most dangerous chemicals in synthetic grass are the PFAS compounds that are used to create the plastic polymers. These are known to be toxic to humans and pets, including dogs, at extremely low levels of exposure. When absorbed through the skin, they can cause hormone disruption and interfere with development, fertility and immunity. They are also persistent, meaning they don’t break down in the environment.
PFAS leach out of the turf and into soil and water. They can be absorbed by drinking water or by rainwater that runs off the surface, contaminating groundwater. Some contaminated soil has even been found in homes and businesses near abandoned synthetic turf fields. The contamination can result in health effects, such as lowered immune function and cancer.
Another danger is the herbicides and pesticides sprayed on the grass to kill weeds and insects. These can irritate a dog’s skin and feet, and can cause gastrointestinal obstruction if ingested. They can also damage the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Other chemicals in the turf include a variety of household toxins, such as paints, varnishes, glues and cleaners. These can irritate the skin, mucous membranes and eyes, or pose a risk of gastrointestinal obstruction if ingested. These products can also damage the lungs, liver and other organs if inhaled or swallowed.
In addition to the toxins from turf, kids who play on these fields often pick up germs from other players or from the dirt that’s blown into the air during play. They can then transfer these contaminants to their own homes, where they can cause illness. To protect children from this, parents should encourage their kids to shake and remove their shoes and coats as soon as possible after playing on a sports field, and before entering the house. They should also wash their hands and hair after going outside, and vacuum the car and other rooms regularly to get rid of contaminants that migrate from the lawn to the home.
Odors are a major concern for dog owners when it comes to their turf. Urine is a smelly substance, and whether it’s on natural grass lawns, bare dirt, concrete patios, or paving stone walkways, almost all types of landscape surfaces can become unpleasant smelling when used as restrooms by dogs.
A few simple steps can help to manage odors in pet-friendly artificial turf, even in yards with heavy use of the potty area. First, a proper drainage system is important. Without it, dog urine will sit on the surface and dry. This can lead to a buildup of odors and bacteria that can make your backyard less appealing.
Choosing the right infill is also crucial. Silica sand, which is commonly used in low-quality artificial turf, soaks up liquid well, but doesn’t drain through the turf, leaving it to absorb the odors and contributing to the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. A reputable turf company should be able to provide you with an infill designed specifically for pets that doesn’t contain silica sand and has superior drainage capabilities.
Regularly rinsing the turf with an enzyme-based cleaning solution is also important. This helps to remove odors from the surface of the turf, as well as the filler and base substrate. For the best results, it’s recommended that you rinse your turf at least once a month, and possibly more frequently depending on the amount of use it gets from your dogs.
Another way to reduce odors in your yard is by using the ATE Pet Turf System, which is made with an eco-friendly infill that is hypoallergenic and supports faster drainage. This will keep your turf looking good and smelling fresh while reducing the time and effort it takes to maintain your pet-friendly backyard.
Finally, using baking soda as a spot cleaner is an effective and inexpensive way to remove odors from your pet’s urine. It is also highly effective against other odor sources such as spilled food and drink. Simply sprinkle the baking soda and allow it to work for a few minutes before sweeping or vacuuming.
If you’re a pet owner who is looking to invest in artificial turf for your yard, it’s important to consider how pets may use the space. Dogs tend to dig, roll around, and play on the grass to have fun and relax. This can cause significant wear and tear on any field materials and even affect the quality of your turf. This is why it’s essential to find the right type of synthetic lawn for your pet, which is specially made to resist heavy use from dogs.
You’ll also want to look for a specialized infill that is non-toxic and antimicrobial. This will help reduce odors and maintain the quality of your turf. Most pet-friendly turf products have a permeable sub-base that allows water and urine to pass through the material into the ground below. Additionally, these turf systems feature a weed membrane to prevent weed growth and an infill with cooling properties.
For a more convenient cleaning, look for pet turf with a drainage backing that mitigates odors by draining liquid waste. It should also have a lower pile height that makes it easier to clean up solid waste. Finally, you’ll want to hose down your pet’s favorite toilet spots once or twice a week to ensure the best cleanliness and minimize odors.
One of the main advantages of artificial grass for dogs is that it doesn’t absorb moisture from urine like natural lawns do, which means less of a smell and fewer bacteria. Additionally, a pet turf lawn won’t retain heat like pavement or rock and can be up to 10 degrees cooler than a traditional lawn.
Artificial lawns also require a lot less maintenance than regular landscaped areas, making them an excellent choice for pet owners who don’t have the time to keep up with a regular yard. This includes mowing, watering, fertilizing, weed control, insect control, and fungus control. A turf yard can save you weeks of weekends spent mowing and watering, while still providing your family with a safe area for kids and dogs to play on.