If you’re looking for a new surface for your backyard, dog containment area, or kennel run, there are lots of different materials from which you can choose. One of the most popular and inexpensive options to consider is artificial dog turf. However, there are both pros and cons that should be carefully evaluated before deciding to take the plunge and go with turf.
What are the Benefits of Artificial Dog Turf?
There are many advantages to adding artificial dog turf to your backyard, dog containment area, or kennel run. However, one of the primary reasons owners cite for this purchase is that turf allows their homes to stay far cleaner since there is no dirt for their dogs to play in and later drag inside the home.
Here are some of the biggest advantages to adding artificial dog turf to your yard:
Reduces your water bill
Since artificial dog turf requires no watering to remain green, you will save money on your water bill not to mention the time that would normally be spent watering.
No mowing needed
Artificial turf never grows, making it the perfect solution for people that don’t enjoy doing yard maintenance. This type of surface requires no mowing or weeding, and it always stays green and attractive looking.
Artificial turf is designed to withstand any type of weather. It remains vibrant and green on a year-round basis though during the winter months it may spend some time covered by a blanket of snow.
Even after several years of use, artificial turf does not fade, and it is not subject to discoloration from dog urine or feces.
Dogs and houses are cleaner
Artificial turf eliminates your dog’s opportunity to play in dirt and mud. This means that your dog stays cleaner and so does your house!
Artificial turf is designed to take a beating from pet use and abuse and still remain unharmed. This means that your yard and gardens are not subject to damage from mischievous and playful pets, and your dogs can enjoy their turf to their heart’s content without it becoming destroyed or worn looking.
- Better for the environment
Since there is no lawn maintenance required for artificial turf, this equates to benefits for the environment. Fumes from the gas required to power lawnmowers is harmful for the earth.
- Less expensive to maintain
Artificial turf does not become marred by the appearance of weeds nor does it need light and water to grow. This means you save money on things like pesticides and fertilizer.
- Offers excellent drainage
Artificial turf has excellent drainage. When it rains, turf drains and dries much more quickly than grass, making it a surface dogs prefer walking on in moist or wet weather.
What are the Disadvantages of Artificial Dog Turf?
As with all products, there are disadvantages to artificial dog turf as well. The main cons you should consider are:
Artificial turf absorbs light and heat, becoming uncomfortably hot during the warmest parts of the day. This may mean its surface is too warm for dogs to walk comfortably on.
Requires regular and thorough cleaning
If not kept pristinely clean, artificial dog turf will begin to stink. Though you do not need to clean and rinse your natural grass to eliminate the smell of dog urine, this will be a vital component of keeping your artificial dog turf from becoming filled with bacteria and unpleasant smells. At least once per week, the turf should be hosed down with water then treated with a dilute solution of bleach or vinegar.
Must be replaced
Artificial turf typically only lasts from 7 to 15 years, depending on how much use and abuse it sees each year. This means it will need to be replaced several times throughout your lifetime.
What is the Cost for Artificial Dog Turf and Its Installation?
Artificial dog turf is far more economical than other options including pea gravel, pouring a cement pad, or patio stones. It is important to understand all costs involved for a project of this nature to make the best decision for your home. In general, there are four factors that will affect the final price you pay for your artificial dog turf. These are:
- Additional fees such as dump runs, fuel, and delivery of materials
As a rough estimate, most artificial turf is priced at $2 to $3 per square foot for a mid-range quality product. But this price only reflects the amount you will pay for the turf itself. There are additional expenses you will need to factor into your budget. These include:
- The installation of a base
- Weed killer and prevention
- Bender board
- Construction supplies
A conservative estimate for all of these items adds another $1000 to $1500 to your bill. But it is labor, overhead, and markup that often dramatically increases the cost. Factoring these items into the equation, your per square foot measurement increases by $2 to $3 dollars; as much as you are paying for the turf itself. In addition to this, most companies will add an additional 5-15% markup on materials and labor to cover their own additional expenses. This brings the total to approximately $7 to $9 per square foot for the finished project.
Is All Artificial Dog Turf Basically the Same?
One of the best things about artificial dog turf is you have a lot of choices, allowing you to select a turf that is the best fit for your needs. Among your choices are:
An important thing to keep in mind is that artificial turf isn’t just for dog yards. You can select a type of turf that can be as useful in a kennel run as it is in your garden, by the pool, on a rooftop terrace, or even in a play area, home office, or
gym. It is also a very practical solution for many commercial applications from restaurants to sports stadiums and much, much more.
What Quality of Artificial Dog Turf Should I Buy?
When determining what quality of turf you should purchase, this is definitely a case where the age old adage applies: you get what you pay for. Since artificial dog turf does have a “shelf life,” cheaper turf is going to wear far more quickly, requiring replacement sooner. In addition to this, cheaper turfs have a more synthetic appearance and their texture is rougher. Spending the extra money for a premium quality turf yields a product that is far more similar in look and feel to natural grass.
Another important factor to bear in mind is that cheaper grade turfs often contain chemicals that can be harmful for your pets.
Sick of devoting your life to keeping your lawn looking pristine? Are you spending most of your free time mopping your floors clean from Fido’s muddy paw prints? Artificial dog turf just may be the answer for you!