Go artificial! Fake grass for dogs - everything you need to know
Lots of keen gardeners tear their hair out in frustration when they see just how much damage a dog or two can cause to a lawn. Dogs love to bury bones and toys. Their urine kills grass before the nitrogen in it causes a growth spurt – hence the tell-tale rings on a dog owner’s lawn.
Dog faeces also damages grass. Lastly, an overactive mutt will wear away patches of lawn in time, as they tear around after toys in a fit of excitement. It’s not surprising that many pet owners who love their garden consider the benefits of artificial grass, but is it a good choice?
One of the biggest concerns pet owners have about artificial grass for dogs is whether dog faeces and urine will damage a fake lawn. They are sceptical that artificial grass can cope with all that nature throws at it.
Well, unlike real turf, artificial grass won’t die when a dog pees on it. Dog urine drains away, just like rain, so you won’t end up staring out at a yellow sea.
Dog faeces will need to be cleaned up, just as you would on a real lawn. Simply scoop the mess up and hose the area down to remove any residual grains.
Rest assured, artificial grass is 100% animal-friendly. This coupled with the fact that it is very easy to maintain; no staining, lingering odours or digging disasters, makes perfect sense for pet owners.
Why spend time trying to repair a run-down lawn when you could replace it with effortless artificial grass?
Here are many reasons pet owners should go artificial:
Manufactured from only the highest quality eco-materials, your new lawn is free from lead and cadmium; causing no harm to our furry friends. Daisy and Max were wagging their tails with delight when their owner replaced their run-down lawn with a welcoming area to run, play and do their business!
No more digging disasters for pet owners
Digging holes are a pet owner’s nightmare. Artificial turf is resilient against the relentless attempts to destroy your lawn. The polypropylene fibres and robust backing will withstand the excessive scratching and digging our dogs love to do.
Although you may want to break the habit, your pets will soon become discouraged when they realise with artificial turf their efforts are in vain.
No reaction to pet urine
Unsightly balding patches and colour defects are no longer subsequent of pet urine. The synthetic blades will not discolour whilst ample drainage holes make quick work of hosing away the excess. With no lingering odours or lasting effects, your pets are free to do their business without causing any havoc. If you have multiple pets then it is important to keep on top of your cleaning routine.
Say goodbye to muddy mayhem in pet owners homes
You no longer need to quarantine the garden in fear of those muddy puddles natural lawns develop after heavy rainfall. A permeable base quickly disperses of any surplus water, speeding up the drying process. Whilst your sub-sand layer acts as a shield over the underlying mud, meaning no more pesky paw prints covering the kitchen floor!
Play time curfew is lifted
Your perfect lawn will maintain its natural green appearance all year round regardless of weather conditions. There’s no need for chemicals such as fertiliser and weed killer so you can rest assured you turf is 100% safe for your pets to roam.
How do you maintain artificial grass when you have dogs?
Despite it being so much easier to maintain, you may be unsure as to whether or not artificial grass is an option for you if you have pets. After all, how do you maintain artificial grass when you have dogs that seem to poop around the clock? The answer might surprise you. In fact, artificial grass and dogs mix quite well.
Can dogs pee and poop on artificial grass?
Yes, dogs can pee and poop on artificial grass – just like they would on natural grass. The good news is that you will not have to clean urine from your artificial grass. It drains away in the same way as rainwater. However, you will need to scoop up and dispose of dog poop just as you would do when your furry friend makes a mess on regular grass. It is also recommended to hose down the poop-affected area to completely eliminate any residual mess.
Can you jet wash artificial grass?
Yes, you can jet wash artificial grass. But, it can be costly and is not necessary, even if you have pets. A high-quality artificial turf cleaner will usually do the trick.
How to clean artificial lawns
The wonderful thing about fake grass for dogs is the easy maintenance. The pile is maintained by regular brushing with a soft-medium bristled brush to ensure the fibres stay upright and the grass remains soft and bouncy for delicate paws.
Surface leaves and debris should be removed immediately to prevent the build-up of organic matter which can damage the drainage system. Picking up poop, swilling away any residue and cleaning are easily done. If you have an area where your dog urinates more often can be cleaned effectively with white vinegar or baking soda.
A weekly hose down with tap water or mild detergent should be enough to keep your lawn looking great. You can also purchase specialised de-odourisers to keep it smelling fresh too. Most find that because the lawn holds very little natural smells the majority of house-trained dogs wait till they go for a walk to do their business.
Where can I buy dog friendly grass?
It is important when purchasing dog-friendly fake grass, to buy from an established reputable company, Many DIY and bargain stores sell imported grass which comes from the far-east.
This grass is not of the same high quality and could be destroyed by the heavy wear and tear of larger dogs and could also contain chemicals that could potentially be harmful to your pet.
This is one product where scrimping is not cost-effective. The reduced costs of maintaining a fully manicured lawn mean purchasing artificial turf can be a real money saver in the long run so it is worth investing in quality.
What about cost?
Like carpets you can pay anything from £5-£50 a square metre for artificial turf for pets. The choice can be mind-boggling but most reputable companies are happy to discuss your requirements and will be able to offer a dog-friendly product that complements both your needs and budget.
In the case of fake grass, you really do get what you pay for and with most companies offering long-term guarantees it can work out more cost-effective in the long run to pay a little extra for the best you can afford.
If you have a small area to cover offcuts may be a cheaper option. Professional installation adds to the cost but unless you are confident in your abilities it really is best to have your artificial lawn laid by an expert.
What is the best synthetic turf for dogs?
There are so many options available, different thicknesses, lengths, sand infills, luxury grasses. The choice can be confusing. Most companies are happy to discuss what products would suit your lifestyle and family. The best option for artificial grass if you have dogs is a hard-wearing, durable turf with good drainage.
Shorter pile is best as some dogs don’t like the sensation of the fibres between their paws. Most companies have a range of pet-friendly options and testimonials from other satisfied dog owners. It’s worth doing a little bit of research before you buy.
Where to buy
Here are some great options of pet friendly artificial grass from the companies listed below.
Easigrass Artificial Grass Company – www.easigrass.com
Suppliers of award winning artificial grasses, Easigrass have been around for over 30 years and are the first and only artificial grass company to be awarded gold by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) at the iconic Chelsea Flower Show.
They supply and fit exceptional quality natural looking alternatives to the real thing, recently developing a grass with manicured stripes to give that professionally mown look. With a network of quality in-house trained installers throughout the UK.
Their artificial grass range and installation system for pet owners last up to 20 years even with heavy use. British made and covered by a 10-year guarantee Easigrass have supplied councils, universities, and schools throughout the UK and abroad.
Artificial Grass Ltd – www.buzzgrass.com
Manufacturing and suppling their own artificial grasses from the longest established grass factory in the UK based in Cumbria. Artificial Grass Ltd use only the highest quality raw materials to produce their range.
Along with their sister company sispitches.com who have worked with and supplied to some of the top sports teams around the world, they have years of experience. Products can be purchased online or through their UK wide network of distributors.
As of August 2017 this company is now called Buzzgrass www.buzzgrass.com. They provide a detailed guide to DIY installation on the website or can put you in touch with a local recommended landscaper to do the job.
Great Grass – www.greatgrass.co
One of the UKs largest suppliers of artificial grasses Manchester based Great Grass offers a selection of value for money, hardwearing solutions with a range of 6 different grasses all of them hardwearing and suitable for pets.
All of them are covered by a 10-year guarantee and they offer a full installation service in the North-west of England and Greater London areas. They have worked with the London Olympic 2012 venues, Chester Racecourse and numerous schools, councils and businesses throughout the UK.
Express Grass – www.expressgrass.com
An independent family business that has been established for over 30 years Express Grass is based in Sittingbourne, Kent they have a huge warehouse and supply one of the largest ranges available either online or on-site.
They are one of the few companies to offer coloured grass that can be used to brighten up balconies, hot tub areas or to fit in with the theme for an event such as a wedding, dog show, or party.
They even offer an AstroTurf hiring service. Their value for money range is only available online or by visiting the showroom and they don’t offer an installation service.
Artificial Lawn Company – www.artificiallawn.co.uk
Relative newbies The Artificial Lawn company has over 10-years’ experience supplying and fitting fake lawns.
Their range includes several options when it comes to artificial lawns for dogs, including the premier curl grass which is recommended for agility courses and kennel runs as it extremely hard-wearing and can handle the heavy traffic by lots of dogs.
It has been previously used in the main show ring both at Crufts and the Discover Dogs Exhibition. All their products are covered by an 8-year guarantee and they offer a full installation service throughout the UK.
Artificial Grass-Direct.com – www.artificialgrass-direct.com
At Artificial Grass Direct Limited they have been supplying both the public and trade customers for over 15 years.
They pride themselves on searching the world for new innovations within the industry and offer a wide range of artificial grass at competitive prices. They offer opportunities for landscape gardeners to become resellers and nationwide delivery on all their products.
Although they do not offer an installation service they have a comprehensive fitting guide on the website along with a planning tool and the offer to answer any questions you may have by telephone to ensure your lawn fits perfectly and is laid correctly.
(Article source: Various)