There’s nothing more relaxing than lounging in your patio and admiring a beautifully-trimmed lawn and garden in front of you.
For your pet, however, they don’t like just admiring those lush greens in front of them.
Those greens are the perfect peeing area and to relieve their itching paws.
From dry patches and balding to groves and muddy holes—owning a dog and having a natural lawn and garden are the perfect recipe for disaster.
To prevent any more garden disasters from happening, you can get a pet-friendly artificial turf for your four-legged buddy.
- 1 Understanding Artificial Turfs
- 2 The Benefits of Artificial Turfs
- 3 9 Tips to Choose the Best Artificial Turfs for Your Pet
- 4 Conclusion
Understanding Artificial Turfs
You’ve probably seen one in a sports stadium or that golf course you’re going to or even in your neighbors’ yard but haven’t really noticed it.
Artificial grass or turfs are materials made of synthetic, man-made fibers that look exactly like real grass. In fact, you won’t even know it’s artificial unless your look at it closely.
Artificial turfs are constructed in the same way that a carpet is made. It features solid backing where the blades are machine-stitched on.
While most synthetic grass is green, some also have weaves of brown thatch to mimic the look of dead grass and make it look like any real lawn.
The Benefits of Artificial Turfs
Artificial grass offers numerous benefits to consumers. The biggest ones are that it saves both time and money in creating a beautiful lawn.
Natural grass requires at least 55 gallons of water per square foot every year. Artificial grass doesn’t need water to survive, thereby reducing your monthly water bills.
Also, whether it’s extreme drought or the land is full of pests, real grass will eventually die. Artificial grass doesn’t—they can last up to at least 20 years.
Once installed, it will always have that green vividness, unlike real lawns that tend to develop brown spots when the weather changes.
In addition, you won’t need to worry about maintaining your lawn. Since artificial turfs don’t grow, you don’t have to trim them regularly.
In terms of pet safety, artificial turfs are a lot safer. Natural grass is commonly treated with various chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers to keep the bugs away and make it look its best.
Artificial turfs don’t need those and are your best option for rowdy pets that like to roll over your lawn or chew on grass.
9 Tips to Choose the Best Artificial Turfs for Your Pet
Artificial turfs are generally more convenient than natural grass. However, not all synthetic grass is the same.
With that said, here are some tips to ensure that your get the best and safest artificial turf for your fur baby.
1. Set a Budget
An artificial turf installation is not cheap. It can be quite a hit to your wallet. So, it’s important to set up a budget before you start looking for a pet-friendly artificial turf.
In addition to the artificial grass, you also need to consider hiring an expert to properly install your artificial grass.
The good news is that most artificial turf providers offer payment options to make it easier on your wallet.
Real and artificial lawns have almost the same upfront cost. However, you can expect long-term savings with artificial grass on maintenance and water alone.
Other financial benefits to artificial turf include less hassle for fertilizing, weeding, and mowing, boosting your curb appeal, and increasing home value.
2. Determine Grass Material and Durability
In general, there are 3 types of artificial grass, each based on the kind of material that goes into creating them.
A synthetic turf made of nylon feels and looks like natural grass. It looks pleasing to the eye because of its subtle hues and soft texture.
They are the best option for artificial landscape grass.
However, they are less durable than other materials and don’t stand up to lots of foot traffic. They can also be damaged by plant debris falling naturally from shrubs and trees.
But they’re a great option if you have an older dog or inactive pets like cats who just like to lounge outdoors thanks to its soft texture.
This artificial grass material is a great option if you need a lawn that can withstand heavy foot traffic from wild pooch romping on it daily.
Compared to nylon, polypropylene has a much higher durability rating, making it a popular choice for manufacturers of pet-friendly turfs.
Unfortunately, for their durability, artificial turfs made with polypropylene are compromised on their look and feel, making them look plastic or manufactured.
Polyethylene gives you the best of both worlds— the beautiful, natural grass-like look of nylon and the durability of polypropylene.
This kind of artificial grass is the popular choice for gardens and backyards where a natural appearance is as important as withstanding heavy foot traffic.
Plus, polyethylene is also easy to deodorize and clean, making it a great choice for yards frequented by active pets.
3. Consider Density
Density or the stitch count refers to the number of grass blades per square inch.
In general, a denser stitch count usually means a higher-quality and more durable turf, perfect for your pets.
A dense pile structure can ensure that your artificial lawn withstands foot traffic and constant body scrubbing from your pets.
Plus, they also make your lawn look more realistic.
It’s recommended that you choose a pile density of at least 16,000 to 18,000 stitches per square meter.
4. Choose a Pile Height
The pile height is how long the blades of your artificial grass are. Choosing the right one will depend on its use.
In general, if you need fake grass for your pets to run and play to their heart’s content, then it’s best to get a shorter pile height, at least 9.5mm to 15mm.
For a luxurious, realistic look on your lawn that won’t be getting too much foot traffic from pets, then you can go with a longer pile height, at least 31mm to 63mm.
Other than that, it’s really a matter of personal choice. If you want the look of freshly cut grass, then you can go with fake turfs with a 25mm pile.
Some people simply like the look of slightly longer grass, therefore a 35mm pile should be a great choice.
5. Check the Backing
The backing on artificial turfs has two parts:
- Primary Backing
This is usually comprised of woven polypropylene fabrics for tufting the artificial grass fibers into the materials in rows and creating seaming between the artificial grass panels.
In simpler terms, primary backing is the durable material where the grass blades or fibers are stitched on. Any good primary backing should resist stretching.
- Secondary Backing
This is usually referred to as the coating. Applied to the reversed side of primary backing, the secondary backing permanently locks the tufted fibers in place.
Both the primary and secondary backings make up the back weight and work together to offer dimensional stability to the whole turf system.
You can expect to find a back weight above 26 ounces. In general, a decent back weight can withstand the heaviest traffic from your pets.
6. Look for Good Drainage System
In addition to the primary and secondary backing, you also need to look for a backing option with a good drainage system.
Although you might not see it well in the showroom, a quality turf with a good drainage system is an important consideration when choosing the best turf for your pet.
It’s important that pet urine and water are able to pass through the turf and into the sub-base below. To do that, the liquids should pass through the artificial grass’ backing.
In general, there are 2 types of turf drainage backing:
This type of drainage features holes every few inches and is most suitable for dry areas that rarely see excess runoff.
- 100% Permeable
Often used in pet-friendly turfs or wet areas prone to pooling water or flooding, a fully permeable backing system allows pet urine and water to pass directly through any point in the turf.
Take note that some turfs also offer a proprietary hybrid drainage system that’s both hole-punched and fully permeable for the best drainage process.
7. Always Remember the Infill
Infill plays a huge role in keeping your artificial turf pristine. It helps keep your artificial grass feel and look more realistic.
Aside from that, it also keeps the artificial grass fibers or blades upright and acts as a stabilizer to prevent the turf from shifting.
It has the added benefit of cushioning your pet’s paws, preventing injuries as well as protecting the turf’s backing from sun damage.
Without a good infill, the turf fibers would quickly become matted or flat.
Infill is usually made from a variety of materials including crumb rubber and silica sand.
Some brands even come with anti-odor or antimicrobial properties, which is an important add-on to pet-friendly turfs.
In these artificial turfs, antimicrobial additives are added during the manufacturing process, which helps prevent odor buildup from pet urine.
It also prevents the growth of bacteria and germs, keeping your lawn clean and healthy.
8. Consider Appearance
Appearance is another huge factor when choosing the best grass for your garden.
And while your pet may not notice the difference, you still want artificial grass that doesn’t look “artificial” at all.
As mentioned before, nylon and polyethylene are the best options for natural-looking grass. However, you should also consider the color you want.
Just as natural grass comes in various colors, fake grass also offers you several options.
High-quality artificial grass includes a number of colors to mirror the look and feel of real, live grass.
Consider choosing a color that closely mirrors the natural grass species in your area.
In addition to choosing the right color, you can also look for grass with thatch. This is the additional fiber in varying weight, texture, and color, mimicking the inconsistencies found on natural grass.
Thatch often features brown fibers to replicate the dying underlayers of grass beneath the growing green ones.
So, if you’re looking for an artificial turf that will get you the most natural and closest look to the real thing, consider turfs with thatch.
9. Look for Convenient Technology
Fake grass has come a long way. Specific brands have come up with innovative technology to make their artificial turfs more durable and natural-looking.
Some of the most well-known technology include:
- Recovery Technology
Upright fibers are key to natural-looking fake grass. And this technology allows artificial fibers to recover to an upright position from heavy foot traffic or garden furniture.
Because your pet will most likely play around in your artificial turf, a technology that allows quick recovery can ensure a high-performing and long-lasting artificial lawn that doesn’t look flat.
- Cooling Technology
Some artificial grass has cooling technology that helps regulate its temperature.
By dissipating and reflecting the heat from the sun’s rays, cooling technology can help keep your lawn up to 12 degrees cooler than turfs that don’t have this technology.
Without this, you may find your artificial turn to be uncomfortable to walk on barefoot, especially for your pets to play around.
Cooling technology allows your pet to play and lounge on your artificial turf even during hot summer days.
- Natural Look Technology
In the past, the main drawback of artificial turfs was that they would look a different color or shade of green depending on which angle you looked.
This is because some angles can create more glare than others.
However, modern brands use technology that helps reduce glare and create a more natural-looking lawn.
This ensures that your artificial turf won’t look manufactured and plastic-like.
And there you have it!
As you can see, choosing the best artificial grass for your pet might not be as complicated as it seems.
As long as you know where to look, you should be able to find the best performing grass that can withstand the energy levels and habits of your four-legged family member.