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Is Artificial Turf Good For Dogs?

May 30, 20233 min read

Is Artificial Turf Good For Dogs?

If you have attempted any search at all you will find people on all ends of the spectrum.

''Don't DO IT.. it smells'

''My dogs ripped up my turf''

''Best decision I ever made''

''My Dogs LOVE my Turf''

The reality is, it has a lot to do with who installed it. You as a homeowner should not be required to know all the little details on what makes a job a ''PET JOB''. Below is a basic pet job we do.

A little back story I am a Landscape Contractor and sales person for the top Artificial Turf Company in Northern CA. Heavenly Greens

Heavenly Greens dose large Humane Society installs, small and large kennels, and countless residential homes with dogs. We have a system that works for pee smells, digging up turf, pulling back turf, and discoloration.

turf for dogs

How we install a pet job

1. Dig out the area 5'' inches minimum from the level we are working off of.

  • Digging out 4-5 inches usually stops the need or want for the dogs to dig because they don't smell the organic things they are going after. The more the better!

    synthetic grass for dogs

2. install steel or aluminum edge any where there is no concrete edge.

  • we prefer some type of metal edge because it is less likely to bow out, ripple, fade, or pop up.

    edging for turf

3. Install 3 inches of Class 2 base.

  • There is bases that are cleaner then others. Basically it allows better draining.

  • NO DG or decomposed granite. ( a little bit of the blue fines is ok but only a half a inch or less to smooth the base layer out)

4. Install Air Drain Tiles

  • Air drain is a 1'' inch plastic honey comb type of material that allows for liquid to drain immediately from the turf and to the base layers.

    drainage for turf

5. Install a Turf with a Flow Thru Backing!

  • This is part is Very Important. A flow thru backing is a turf that drains like a coffee filter.

  • The last thing you want is a turf that is only hole punched for draining because it makes the pee get stuck all over the turf and cant find its way to the air drain tiles or base.

6. Infill the turf with a anti bacterial sand.

  • there is a million kinds out there and the truth is they are all the same.

  • the important thing is that it allows the water to pass thru faster.

*If you have turf with only this type of infill and a Decomposed granite base, it will still smell because the water cant escape. ( NOT A PET JOB)

Maintenance and Common Problems

You can have all the bells and whistles of a PET job but if you don't clean it it will smell!!

Think about it, if the dog pees and you don't wash it down it wont magically disappear.

If you install a bunch of Decomposed granite and try to wash it down, the water has no where to go so that means the pee just sits there. (FYI if they raise a drain system, it render that drain useless and the water wont find its way to the drain anyways when you install turf with DG)

The point of this job is high draining and lots of removal.

I always tell my clients to give it a good wash once every 2 weeks as a start and go from there. You will get a feel for how often to clean it after a while.

If the dog is sick and the poop smears, some simple green is a solid at home option to clean the turf.

If your company has a service department then a service every few years is very helpful. We brush, wash, infill a bit more, and usually disinfect the turf.

turf for dog

I hope this gives you a bit of a better understanding on how a job with pets should be installed.

A short turf with anti bacterial infill dose not mean its a pet job!!!


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