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Artificial Turf or Real Grass if you own a dog???

June 12, 2013
I have a dog that likes to dig and romp around the yard. I was wondering if I should get artificial turf or real grass. Anyone have this dilemma?

Comments (26)

  • PRO
    Rockin' Fine Finish
    I've heard great things about artificial lots of money to install but if you are a natural grass lover then no question the real stuff but if you hate piss burned grass like I do I would have got artificial but it was super pricey
  • PRO
    If you are getting artificial grass to stop a dog digging, I would worry that its natural "functions" would cause long term damage to your artificial grass. Excrement slowly dissolves into the soil of natural grass - there is no place for that to happen on artificial. Plus not sure how long artificial grass can hold up against dog urine which is quite strong. For the sake of your dog, and your pocket, I would try to find a different solution.Would any of these tips perhaps help? http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/digging.html
    skishii thanked ASVInteriors
  • Darzy
    I think real grass for dogs. Artificial turn is now quite realistic but expensive. However, dogs are not usually allowed on artificial turf as they will spoil it. I think a special doggie area would be a better plan or training. Oh..we buy doggie tablets that we put in their food to stop the grass stain "burns". The stuff apparently neutralizes the urine to stop the staining.
    skishii thanked Darzy
  • PRO
    Rockin' Fine Finish
    beware some dogs don't take to the tablets my neighbors dog puked for a day because of the tablets. and actually the turf I looked into was made specifically for dogs it has drainage under it that and you can hose of the dog poop and piss without staining the turf it had a 15 year warranty but I couldn't pull the trigger on $ 5000 grand for turf
    skishii thanked Rockin' Fine Finish
  • Margo
    Please- real grass!
    skishii thanked Margo
  • PRO
    Barnhart Gallery
    If it's of any consequence, I've noticed that it's the females who leave grass burns. Not my beautiful boy!
    skishii thanked Barnhart Gallery
  • zennifer
    We just installed sod in our backyard with a known grass killer/burner. We are training him to go potty in other parts of the yard instead; it's working like a charm. We go down with him, shoo him away from the grass until he potties, give a treat, then let him romp. We can now let him out alone, and he goes to the treated spots first, then runs back for a treat. W are slowly phasing out the treats.
    skishii thanked zennifer
  • susu413
    I spent a day scrubbing out dog hair and dirt from glued down turf on a rental. I would go with grass. It is cheep to reseed.
    skishii thanked susu413
  • PRO
    I will strongly advise you to go with synthetic turf - but not just any synthetic turf. EasyTurf. You might think I'm biased, but sincerely, I'm not ;)
    Our HQ is in North San Diego County - and I'll tell you that all of the local animal shelters have or are installing EasyTurf. Word is spreading, and we are quickly becoming the choice of turf for animal shelters and humane societies across the U.S. That is to say, our durability, longevity, and drainage (a key factor when selecting synthetic turf especially for dogs) is unmatched.
    Here's a recent story about us in the news:

    What more can I tell you?
    skishii thanked EasyTurf
  • PRO
    Global Syn-Turf - Artificial Grass Supplier
    If you'd had a cat, or family of racoons as I do, hmm... I wonder. But with dogs there should be no dilemma. Of course, if you like to have your lawn beautiful, with no brown spots. Dog urine destroys the integrity of natural grass - you can't avoid it as you can't prevent dogs doing their "business." Artificial grass is the best option. But you need to get a type of synthetic turf that is made for pets - something with an ideal drainage, easy to maintain, no smell... How about Flo-Rite-Thru technology? http://www.globalsynturf.com/technologies/flo-rite-thru/
  • flyr4fun
    They installed artificial turf in the dog park here in Newport Beach, CA. So far it is holding up well and looks fine. Needless to say, it gets a lot of wear and tear! If you live where it rains a lot, the artificial will be much easier than dealing with muddy paws.
  • PRO
    Southwest Greens of Florida

    We also strongly recommend that you consider synthetic grass for pets. Consider just the reduction of things like fleas. Burn spots also can be costly and difficult to stop. We use it for our own pets and they romp and roll around like any other yard.

  • PRO

    skishii, Artificial grass is the way to go if you don't want holes in your backyard, muddy paws, and brown spots. We offer upgrades to ensure protection against even the most destructive dogs. Yes, it's an investment, but you have to consider the time and money spent over 15 years of maintenance, resodding, etc. Good luck!

  • PRO
    Beach Bum Turf Co.

    Dogs LOVE our System!!

  • Tammy

    I have been vacillating between real and synthetic grass for my backyard for over a year. I have a shih tzu who loves the real grass in my parents' backyard but I am concerned about ongoing maintenance and cost of real grass. I live in Phoenix and it gets very hot here. Grass has to be watered several times a day in the summer and there has to be a switch out of summer and winter grasses. My neighbors have artificial grass and their dog loves it. The downside is synthetic grass is blazing hot in the summer and it has to be hosed down to make it somewhat cool. Synthetic grass has a high upfront cost and minimal maintenance costs. Real grass is reasonably priced to install but, maintenance costs add up over time ( water, seeding, cutting, trimming, aeration and weed control).

  • mayacu

    I did a dog door leading to a small fenced in dog yard with artificial turf (made especially for dogs) and could not be happier with that decision. Instead of letting my dogs out into my yard and having them ruin the grass (which always looked terrible in the dog area of my last house) , they now have a specially designated area just for potty time. It always looks nice, doesn't need to be cut or watered, and so far no smells or issues at all, it's super low maintenance and much nicer looking than patchy pee burned grass. The dogs used it right away, no issues, and another nice thing I've noticed is no more muddy paws when they come in on a rainy day since it's almost like an outdoor carpet.

    Proper drainage is important, they install a layer of gravel under the turf so the urine drains away, and of course you have to scoop the poop or it'll get gross, (just like with grass or any other material for that matter). I just keep a small lidded can with a dog bag dispenser in their little
    area and take care of it right then, since their yard is small it's easy.

    The turf made for dogs has antimicrobial properties so I'd make sure you don't buy just any turf, get a turf that is made specifically for this purpose. I believe the brand I have is SYNLawn but there seem to be quite a few companies offering this type of product. Just like carpet or any manufactured product there will be a difference in quality and appearance so make sure to look at the options in person. A higher quality will cost more but last longer and have a nicer appearance, so weigh your options and find the right balance between budget and quality.

  • mayacu

    tammyblessed, had no idea it gets hot, I'll definitely be interested to see how it performs in the summer as I haven't been here long enough yet to say.

  • PRO

    Hi mayacu, so glad to hear that you're happy with your new pet-friendly SYNLawn! If you went with one of our manufacturer-recommended pet products, they (and many other turf products) include our HeatBlock Technology for lower surface temperatures. While hosing off your turf can help, this technology can lower temps by as much as 20 percent. We would be thrilled if you would write a review on our Houzz page or our website!

    P.S. Let us know how you're liking it in the summer!

  • PRO

    Hi tammyblessed, we understand the dilemmas some pet owners and homeowners face, but as you'll find out with our reviews, most are glad that they switched to artificial grass and wished they did so sooner! As mentioned to mayacu, many of our products come with HeatBlock Technology and can lower temps by as much as 20 percent compared to other turf products. Having to not hose off your turf as much is particularly beneficial in desert areas like Phoenix. You can learn more here and view infrared photos. We do have a local distributor, so if you would like more information about our products or technologies, please feel free to contact them. Good luck with your decision! We would love to know if/when you make the switch to synthetic grass!

  • Tammy

    Thank you so much for the information. I will check it out.

  • Mike Hoschett

    I have three medium sized dogs that are very active. I live in the north and we could not keep a lawn due to moisture and rock hard clay. After 8 lawns we finally decided to go with pet turf. I did all the work myself saving a few bucks. I did about 4,000 sq feet and it turned out great. Best of all I have never seen my dogs so crazy happy with joy. They are running and playing like never before. For me, I benefit by not having to install a new lawn every spring and our home being kept clean, no more muddy paws. My dogs benefit from having a perfectly comfortable space to run and play, free from worry of getting their feet wiped.

    I chose a medium price pet turf and one that was already cut to size vs. custom cut. Yes I had a few seams but once you get the hang of it seaming is quite easy. We prepared for the possible sun/heating issue by planting a few trees to shade the turf. Obviously it is not nearly as hot here as down south but we can get up to 98 with strong sun. It was hard to find a place to ship up north since turf is not really marketed or sold up here. After fighting this decision for a few years, I now wish I had just done it long ago. We are happy, the dogs are happy and it looks fantastic!

  • T Walton

    I too am thinking about installing artificial turf in my 8 x 10 kennel area because the grass does not do well now that the kennel is covered. It is very expensive if like myself, you have to hire someone. Grass only for just the 8 x 10 is app $500 plus the gravel layer, infill, deodorizer and labor. Install minimums were around $2500. They'll do the 80 sq ft job if I don't mind paying for a 250 sq ft install. I have never had difficulty with urine burn on the grass and I'm in sunny So Cal where the grass is never 100% anyway so I'm not concerned about that. The artificial grass like K9 grass is specially made and all turf can be rinsed off anyway so there shouldn't be an issue with cleanliness any more than grass.

  • shari13

    Not sure why these posts get revived from years back, but I have 2 inputs re this grass. 1. My friends dog nearly died from it. There was fill placed in it to keep it "cool" and dog tried eating it. 2. found this regarding the surface temps: Landscape surface temperature: In a comparison of
    surface temperatures including synthetic turf, xeriscape, grass, and an
    asphalt parking lot, synthetic turf was the hottest surface measured,
    registering more than 150 degrees during the peak heat of a summer day.

  • escolat

    I had a problem with my black lab burning out my yard until I decided to devote my side yard to him and create a fenced dog run with pea gravel. The gravel can be sprayed and deodorized. Easy clean up too. Now my yard is beautiful and my dog has a specific place to do his business out of sight. I planted climbing roses on the fence to conceal…the dog run is very attractive.

  • PRO
    Synthetic Turf Experts

    Artificial turf for dogs is a great way to clean up a muddy backyard. This installation is second on the importance of how the base materials are installed only to putting greens. If the base in a dog turf area is done wrong you will know it very quickly because it can smell. The urine needs the ability to get through the turf, and the base, down to the dirt to dissipate. If the wrong base is installed the urine stalls in the base and smells. Texas Turf and Pavers

  • buffedpupp

    I live in Vegas and purchased a new home last year. I have 2 male dogs so we opted to put down sod. The estimate was approx 400 sq feet of sod. Well due to the landscape company giving us bad information and setting our sprinkler clock wrong we lost the lawn. We tried reseeding what was left this spring but this time the dog urine pretty much ruined the project so we are considering artificial grass. BUT my pest control guy told me that due to the moisture involved with hosing down the urine bugs including coaches become a huge issue here. I need advice!!

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