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Is Artificial Grass Safe for Dogs? What You Need To Know!

man holding artificial grass

Artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular because its appearance continues to get closer to that of genuine grass. It is easier to maintain and doesn’t require mowing, feeding, or weeding. It has a uniform look throughout the year and doesn’t suffer brown spots, either.

However, artificial grass is often overlooked by pet owners because of the fear that it can be easily damaged by dogs urinating and pooping on it. Some people question whether it is safe for dogs.

Artificial turf is considered generally safe for dogs, and, because it doesn’t require fertilizer or other chemicals that might be used on real grass, it may actually be safer for pets in some instances.

Read on for more information on the safety considerations for pet owners that are considering an artificial lawn.

garden flower divider

What Is Artificial Grass?

Artificial grass is made of man-made fibers that are designed to mimic the appearance of natural grass. It is typically made of polyethylene, although different manufacturers may use different formulas and alternative materials. UV-resistant treatment is added to the polyethylene, which should ensure that the grass does not get discolored from the sun’s rays.

Artificial lawns have drainage holes that allow rainwater and pet urine to pass through and into the soil beneath. Dog feces does need to be picked up, but this is something many people with real grass lawns also do.

With artificial grass, it is also recommended that you hose the area down after removing solids, which may be inconvenient for owners with multiple dogs.

artificial grass
Image Credit: ET Tisomboon, Shutterstock

Dog Safety

Artificial grass is made from polyethylene and when fitted correctly, it will have the proper foundation underneath to ensure that your dog won’t be able to dig it up. There are no protrusions to hurt your dog, and the plastic is considered safe for pets, although you should discourage your dog if they try to eat the synthetic greenery.

Another area of concern is the heat of the artificial surface. A quality lawn has an additional layer that is designed to dissipate heat, and the lawn should never get dangerously hot. So, your dog won’t burn their paws when walking on the fake turf.

Do Dogs Destroy Artificial Grass?

Some dogs love to dig, and if your dog is one such pet, you may want to avoid artificial grass. With that said, professional installers ensure that the lawn is securely and firmly fitted, which means that there are no frayed areas or spots that are easy to dig up.

Is Artificial Grass Too Hot for Dogs?

Artificial grass is made from treated polyethylene and usually has a thatched layer that helps draw heat away from the surface and down to the base before passing into the soil below. As a result, the surface of the grass should never get so hot that it causes burns on your dog. It should be perfectly safe for your dog to walk on, lay on, and run around on, even in hot summer temperatures.

artificial grass
Image Credit: red mango, Shutterstock

Can Dogs Pee and Poop on Artificial Grass?

Artificial lawns include drainage holes. These holes not only allow rainwater to pass through into the soil below, but they also allow dog and cat urine to drain through in the same way. You should not need to clean the area afterward. While natural grass can become discolored as a result of dog urine, a quality synthetic lawn should not.

However, if your dog poops on artificial grass, it does require a little more work. You will need to scoop the solids in the same way you would with a natural lawn. However, unlike with natural grass, you should also hose down or spray the area after picking up the poop.

How Do I Stop My Artificial Grass From Smelling?

Over time, and with regular soakings with dog urine, artificial turf can start to smell. Fortunately, you can wash synthetic grass down with a hose or even a jet spray. If this doesn’t prove to be enough to get rid of the smell, you can also buy enzymatic cleaners that are designed specifically to clean and deodorize artificial grass.garden flower divider

Conclusion

Artificial grass is a low-maintenance alternative to natural grass. It has less maintenance requirements, and it won’t change color in the sun or become worn over time. It is also considered safe for dogs and cats, although you should ensure that it is fitted properly to prevent your dog from digging it up. You will also need to hose the surface down after picking up dog poop, and you may want to invest in a dedicated artificial grass cleaner that will help neutralize and remove pet odors and urine smells.


Featured Image Credit: Nipol Plobmuang, Shutterstock

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