How to Choose the Best Fake Grass for Your Dogs & Pets
It’s no surprise that many homeowners who have opted to have artificial grass installed are dog and pet owners.
The advantages of artificial grass for dogs are too great to ignore.
The fact is that dogs and real grass just don’t mix well. Urine-scorched patchy grass is the hallmark of a real lawn that has had to deal with the sort of continuous, heavy use inflicted by dogs and pets.
But it’s not just the aesthetics of artificial grass that appeal to so many pet owners. Dirt trodden into the house on muddy paws can be frustrating, to say the least, and many dog owners quickly become tired of having to clean muddy paws – and the places they’ve been – several times a day.
With artificial grass, mud and mess is a thing of the past as, come rain or shine, your furry friend can bound up and down your lawn all day long without becoming caked in mud.
If, like many other pet owners, you’ve decided to take the plunge and have artificial grass installed at your home you’ve come to the right place.
If you are completely new to artificial grass you may not have realised that there is a selection of different types and not every artificial grass is suitable for every application.
However, in today’s article we are going to be looking at some of the key aspects that you’ll need to consider in order to choose the best artificial grass for your dog or pet.
We’ll be looking at everything, including recommended pile height, pile density and the best type of synthetic fibre to choose, as well as discussing best installation practices for dogs and pets.
So, let’s begin!
What is the best pile height for dogs and pets?
You may have heard that the shorter the pile, the more hard-wearing it is.
This is certainly true to an extent, particularly if the fibres are made from polyethylene or polypropylene.
If you are choosing an artificial grass made from either of these types of plastic, then you are best off with a pile height of somewhere between 22mm–30mm.
However, if you choose a fibre made from nylon, which is the hardest wearing plastic fibre used in artificial grass manufacturing, then you could choose something between 22mm–35mm; the hard-wearing fibres will cope better with the regular use it will receive from your dog or pet, so you can choose a longer pile.
Other than that, it really is a matter of personal choice.
If you like the look of freshly cut grass we recommend you choose a fake turf with a 25mm pile, such as Inverness.
Some people may prefer a slightly longer grass and therefore the Aberdeen, with its 35mm pile, would be a great choice.
What is the best pile density for dogs and pets?
The best artificial grass for dogs and pets tends to have quite a dense pile.
A dense pile structure will help your artificial lawn withstand foot traffic from dogs and pets and provide a natural looking appearance.
We recommend that you choose a pile density of somewhere between 16,000 and 18,000 stitches per square metre.
What is the best fibre material to choose for dogs and pets?
When choosing an artificial grass for dogs and pets, it’s vitally important to choose one that is hard-wearing.
The hardest wearing, most durable fibre used to manufacture artificial grass is nylon.
When looking for the best artificial grass for dogs and pets, choosing one that is made from nylon would be an excellent choice as it will be able to stand up to the heavy, regular use that it will receive.
Does artificial grass for dogs and pets need Instant Recovery Technology?
Instant Recovery Technology enables artificial fibres to recover to an upright position from foot traffic and garden furniture.
Due to the regular use artificial grass for dogs and pets will receive, choosing an artificial lawn with Instant Recovery Technology is a great idea.
Upright fibres are the key to natural looking fake grass and this technology helps to achieve this and will ensure a long-lasting, high-performing artificial lawn.
Does artificial grass for dogs and pets need Feelgood Technology?
Feelgood Technology helps to regulate the temperature of artificial grass.
By reflecting and dissipating the heat from the sun’s rays, Feelgood Technology will keep your lawn up to 12 degrees cooler than artificial grass that does not have this technology.
Without Feelgood Technology you may find that your fake lawn is uncomfortable for you to walk on barefoot, and that means it may be uncomfortable for your pets, too.
With Feelgood Technology, even during hot summer days, your artificial lawn will remain cool to touch and you and your pets will be able to continue to use your fake grass.
Choosing a lawn with Feelgood Technology for your dogs and pets is highly recommended.
Does artificial grass for dogs and pets need Natural Look Technology?
Natural Look technology reduces glare to ensure that your artificial lawn looks as natural as possible from every angle.
In the past, a drawback of artificial grass was that it could look a different shade of green depending on which angle you viewed it from.
This is because some angles cause more glare than others. This technology was developed to reduce glare and create a more ‘natural’ look.
Choosing an artificial grass with Natural Look makes perfect sense, regardless of the application, and therefore when choosing the best artificial grass for dogs and pets, look for a grass with Natural Look Technology.
Will artificial grass for my dog or pet need a foam underlay?
Installing a foam underlay is not essential for dogs and pets.
There are three main reasons for installing a foam shockpad.
The first is if you want your artificial lawn to have a soft springy feel underfoot, the second is to protect children from the impact of falls, and the final reason is if you are installing directly on to a hard surface.
If your installation will benefit from having an underlay installed, then of course it makes sense to do so, but for a normal installation, as mentioned above, it’s not essential.
If you do opt for an underlay, always choose a foam that is free-draining. The last thing you want is for the underlay to absorb nasty odours.
How should artificial grass be installed for dogs and pets?
The most important thing to remember when installing artificial grass for dogs or pets is that it is vital to install a permeable sub-base.
If liquids cannot drain directly through your artificial turf then there is a chance that bad odours may become trapped.
Therefore, when installing your fake grass for a dog or pet, install a 50-75mm sub-base consisting of either granite or limestone chippings.
Even when compacted, tiny holes will remain in the sub-base that will allow liquids, namely urine, to drain through the turf and into the ground below.
To prevent bad odours during the summer months or after long periods without rainfall, you may find that you need to hose down your artificial turf to wash away traces of urine. This is generally more than enough to prevent any nasty odours, however, if you have several dogs, we recommend that you also install a specialist dog infill that will absorb nasty odours, such as DeoFill®.
You can find further information on maintaining your artificial lawn here.
Alongside a permeable sub-base, it’s also vital to ensure that your artificial grass is properly secured at the edges. One of the best ways to do this is to install a treated timber edging, and then nail the perimeter of your fake grass to the timber.
You can also use artificial grass glue to secure the perimeter to other types of edging, such as concrete or metal edging, to prevent dogs and pets from lifting the edges.
Following these installation procedures will ensure your fake grass is installed correctly.
You may even want to seek the advice of your nearest NeoGrass approved installer.
Is there anything else to consider?
Yes; some of the standard basic buying tips should also be considered before you buy artificial grass for your dog or pet.
Another extremely important consideration is to ensure that your chosen artificial grass has been tested and certified against harmful substances.
Unfortunately, in the past, some artificial grass was shown to contain traces of lead, which of course is harmful both to humans and pets.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to ensure that your artificial grass does not contain anything that will cause any harm to you or your pets.
Ask your manufacturer for any certifications they may have from independent testing bodies, such as Oeko-Tex.
Other important considerations include locating the origin of its manufacturer (European artificial grass tends to be higher quality than Chinese, for instance), checking the length of any warranties given, and ensuring that it has been tested for fire safety.
You can find further information by reading ‘7 Important Considerations When Choosing the Best Artificial Grass’, and you can find more information on choosing the best artificial grass here.
Choosing the best artificial grass for your dog or pet isn’t too different from choosing the best artificial grass in general.
However, there are a few things you should be looking for when considering fake grass for your dog or pet to ensure you get the best performing grass for the intended purpose.
Not all products are suitable for all applications.
If you would like to find out more about fake grass for dogs and pets, you may find our guide, ‘Artificial Grass for Dogs – Everything You Need to Know’, a useful read.
If you have any questions regarding choosing the best artificial grass for your dog or pet, please leave them in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you.
We hope you’ve found this article useful and thanks for reading!