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It is amazing to think that artificial grass was first developed in the 1960s; it has certainly come a long way since then, with technological advances producing turf that is almost identical to the real thing in terms of appearance and feel. Artificial turf is most popular in the field of contact sports, though it is gaining ground in homes as well. It currently covers around 50 million acres in the U.S., and the industry is predicted to grow over the next decade. If you are interested in fitting your yard with artificial grass and you are wondering how your dogs will be affected, read on and make sure you find the perfect match for your pooch, so that his time in the garden is as entertaining and safe as ever.

Is Artificial Grass the Answer to a Current Problem?

The first consideration to make is whether or not you need this product. When it comes to dogs, there are three features that make it particularly attractive. Firstly, your dog will not dig up artificial turf as he would if you had real grass, since soil can be particularly tempting to a pooch. Secondly, you won’t need to worry about ‘grass burns’ caused by nitrogen in your dog’s urine. Poop and pee actually clean up much better on artificial turf, which can simply be hosed down and even scrubbed with a sponge or mop and soap if required. Your yard will also be bug- and insect-free, which is good news for little kids and dogs who may be subject to bug bites.

Which Type of Artificial Grass Works Best for Dogs?

Most artificial grass is completely safe for dogs and families, but you need to make sure that the grass you opt for does not contain lead. Older, imported fake grass can be treated with this chemical, so make sure the product you buy is made or inspected in the U.S. To keep the grass surface as clean as possible, look for grass with antimicrobial technology, to ensure the surface is safe for kids and pets. You should opt for blades that are structurally built in such a way that poop sits on top of blades rather than falling in between them. This will make waste easy to spot and to pick up with just one ‘scoop’.

Comfy Grass for Your Pup

When choosing synthetic turf, ask if stockists have Y-shaped grass blades with HeatBlock technology. This ensures that the grass has low temperatures consistently, which is a relief for your pet’s paws, especially on hot days. Also, test various brands for softness; the blades should be soft enough to enable your dog to roll around without being scratched.

Cleanliness is Key

Check how easy the grass is to clean. Top quality systems have specially designed backing which allows for complete drainage. If the system isn’t optimal, you will have to put up with foul odors for days. Finally, be aware of toxic features such as ‘odor control’ infills, which clog the turf and prevent proper drainage. Dog poop isn’t always solid and easy to pick up, so drainage should be an absolute priority as far as hygiene and safety are concerned.

Artificial grass will allow your dog to enjoy the best of the great outdoors, without being bitten by insects or soiled by the ground. However, before making the switch, it is vital to carefully consider if this type of turf is right for you. To make the change worth it, you will need to factor in a generous enough budget that will enable you to purchase top quality grass that is soft, cool, and that provides optimal drainage features.

Bringing the outdoors indoors

Another alternative if you’re considering this type of grass would be to get a small plot of it and testing it out on a patio or on an eco-pee pad container.  Some dogs that are potty training or transitioning from suburban or country living might find this switch more natural than going outside on the concrete or relieving themselves not the occasional Manhattan tree.  Always keep in mind that dogs truly love taking a walk outside and that exercise and that is no substitute for fresh air and smelling the roses.

This article was contributed by Jane Wood.

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