Fake Grass For Dogs: Pet-Friendly Artificial Turf Your Dog Will LOVE!
Synthetic turf is a durable, low-maintenance alternative to conventional grass lawns that is increasing in popularity for use in front yards, backyards, play areas, and dog runs. People are attracted to this landscaping option for a number of reasons. In hot, dry climates – like the one we enjoy in Melbourne – artificial grass provides a gorgeous lawn in the middle of the summer. Without the watering required to keep natural grass from drying out and dying in Southern California’s heat.
If you are a dog owner and are considering using synthetic grass in a dog run or for your lawn, you are probably wondering just how pet-friendly artificial turf is or how it holds up to frequent use.
Read on to find out more about the durability, safety, maintenance requirements, and overall pet-friendliness of synthetic turf.
Is Artificial Grass Safe for Pets?
One of the biggest questions people have when considering fake grass is if there is lead exposure involved. This is because some studies conducted on early manufactured grass options showed lead levels that caused concern. Lead exposure has been linked to a variety of health concerns, including peripheral neuropathy, cognitive impairment and behavioural issues in children. Because of this, it is good that parents and pet owners ensure their ground cover is safe.
The good news is that today’s lawn alternatives not only look and feel better than older options, they also have no detectable traces of lead. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and major turf manufacturers entered agreements in 2008 to make sure synthetic turf would no longer pose this health concern.
This means that, as long as you choose an ethical, reputable synthetic grass installation company, you can rest assured that lead exposure will not be an issue for your family or pets.
This does not necessarily mean that all existing artificial turf is safe for pets – or safe for children. If you have fake grass in your yard that was installed before moving in and is of unknown origin, you should consider having the lead levels tested.
What About Chemicals and Bacteria?
Now let’s compare artificial turf and natural grass in terms of chemical exposure and the potential for bacterial buildup.
Natural Grass is Commonly Treated with Chemicals
Chemical use is abundant in the care of conventional lawns. Most natural grass requires fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides to keep it looking its best and to keep bugs at bay. There are organic options available for lawn care, but if you use a landscaping company to care for your yard, it may be difficult to ensure all-natural products are being used. If your dog likes to chew grass in your yard, using chemicals in your lawn care can be a concern.
Artificial Turf Does Not Require Chemicals
There are no chemicals required in the care of artificial grass, and overall maintenance is much simpler and less time consuming than caring for conventional options. When choosing which is the best option for you as a pet owner, you will also need to consider the potential for bacterial buildup in areas frequently used as your dog’s favourite spots to relieve himself.
Not only does pet urine tend to develop unsightly brown spots in natural lawns, but they also harbour bacteria in the soil and can be difficult to eradicate. The buildup of bacteria is usually not a concern with manufactured lawns, particularly when you choose anti-microbial, acrylic-coated infill.
If you want to go an extra step towards ensuring a bacteria-free play area for your children and pets, you can mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle to spray down areas where pets frequently urinate. If you are using this ground cover option in a larger dog run, you can also treat the entire space with this vinegar-water mixture by using a spray attachment on your garden hose.