Have you ever wondered if artificial grass was better for your dog than a real grass lawn? Or have you always wanted artificial grass but weren’t sure if it was dog friendly? Today we’ll run you through our list of pros and cons for installing fake grass in your dog’s garden.
First things first, let’s look at the basic differences between artificial grass and real grass…
- Real grass is made from the growth of planting grass seeds or sod. “What’s sod?”, I hear you ask… it’s a rug-like roll of grass and a soil layer which is held together by netting that is spread out and grows into your lawn area.
- Artificial grass is a surface of synthetic grass blades to replicate the look of a natural lawn.
Now we know the difference between the two, let’s work out which one is more beneficial for your furry friends.
The pros of having artificial grass in your dog garden
Unlike a real grass lawn, which requires regular maintenance in the form of mowing, watering, and aerating – an artificial lawn is very low-maintenance. No more weekends taken up with cutting the grass, leaving you more time for adventures with your dog.
Cleaning up after your dog
Artificial grass makes cleaning up after your dog much easier – poops are easy to spot so you’ll be able to scoop up their ‘deposits’ quickly. And no more worrying about extra housework on rainy days – there’s no such thing as muddy paws when it comes to fake grass.
Artificial grass is designed to be tough – it’s strong enough to deter even the most enthusiastic of diggers who like to cause a mess in your garden. It is designed for running on and playing hard – with the durability to not rip or be dug up.
The cons of having artificial grass in your dog garden
You lose that summer grass scent
There’s nothing like the delicious summer scent of freshly mowed grass, which you wouldn’t get with artificial grass. Not only do we miss out – but having fake grass also limits your dog’s own sniffing opportunities. Artificial grass can also have an odor (especially if it’s used as your dog’s pee station) if the fake lawn is not cleaned regularly.
Limited foraging opportunities for your dog
Many dogs enjoy a regular munch of grass. Whether it’s for enjoyment, to help a poorly tummy, or to introduce new bacteria into their guts – grass chomping can be great for our dogs. By removing this natural area for your dogs, you could be impacting their overall wellbeing.
While artificial grass looks good, it can be dangerous for your dogs during warm summer weather. The temperature of a fake lawn can get very hot quickly – sometimes double the heat of a real grass lawn. This could lead to burnt paws, your dog wanting to avoid your garden, and even heatstroke.
The environmental impact
Artificial grass has quite a disturbing environmental impact. Fake grass blocks access to the soil beneath it – which can disturb habitats for burrowing insects and soil dwellers, such as worms. This impact on insect populations will in-turn deplete the number of birds we see frequenting our gardens – as they’ll lose their food supply. Many artificial lawn providers now use sand instead of soil beneath the turf which is also not great for the environment. There are also concerns about carcinogens from the plastic materials and chemicals getting into solid from the run-off of water from fake lawns. And sadly, these lawns do not last as many years as a real lawn and the materials are very difficult to recycle.
The cost of laying an artificial lawn can be prohibitive for many budgets. Not only is it a large outlay to get your lawn installed, but you will need to replace it every 10-15 years.
So, what’s the verdict? Does fake grass work for my dogs?
Having considered the pros and cons of having natural turf or an artificial lawn, we’d always recommend sticking with real grass to keep your garden dog friendly. Although the artificial grass may look nice and might be easier to maintain, when it comes to our canine friends real grass is much more beneficial.
Just one last thing, we have a (Free) Facebook group where we share lots of regular tips and tricks. Come and join fellow doggy guardians who are as committed to their dogs’ welfare and happiness as you are – we look forward to seeing you over there! facebook.com/groups/connectwithyourdog