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Artificial Turf Articles


The Pet Owner’s Guide To Artificial Grass

Posted by Troy Scott on 23 March

 

The Pet Owner’s Guide To Artificial Grass http://www.heavenlygreens.com/blog/pet-owners-guide-to-artificial-grass @heavenlygreensIf you had to sum up the benefits of artificial grass for homeowners in one word, you might say “livability.” Faux grass enhances your property’s visual appearance and long-term value, and it allows you to recapture time and resources you can spend on something more pleasant than lawn care. Simply put, it’s easy to live with artificial grass. But what if your family includes pets? 

As popular as fake grass has become, some people still think it’s too “fragile” or otherwise inappropriate for households with pets, especially dogs. Not true! 

Here at Heavenly Greens, we’re pet lovers and pet parents, too. We know you want the best for your dog or cat – but you want the best yard possible, too. With artificial grass, you can have both. In fact, we like to say that pets and artificial grass are a match made in heaven. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain why. We think you’ll be impressed.  

You’re in good company

You know you’ve made a smart decision in choosing artificial grass when you look around and see how many professional and large-scale pet facilities have made that same change. You think it’s tough maintaining a great-looking yard when you have one or a couple of pets? Consider the exponential increase in difficulty when you’re responsible for dozens of busy dogs. 

Doggie day care centers, boarding kennels, humane societies, and municipalities that provide their canine citizens with dog parks all need grass that is attractive and welcoming but also pet-proof. Just as you do. But how many people would dare to claim natural grass is “pet-proof”? No one. Public and private pet care facilities all around the Bay Area have solved their problems by replacing their troublesome natural grass with the artificial alternative. 

Your space at home may be smaller, but your pet vs. grass issues are the same. A great-looking yard is a source of pride for homeowners. Commercial, rescue, and public pet facilities build their reputations on aesthetics as well as the practicalities they offer. Grass is a necessity for pets, but it requires time, hard work, and money to maintain, especially when pets are involved. Everyone -- business owners and homeowners alike -- would rather save time and money. 

Artificial grass is simply the smarter choice. In fact, 80% of our Heavenly Greens customers are dog owners and/or pet care facilities. With fake grass, dogs can romp and roll to their heart’s content. Property owners – commercial, public, or residential – can relax and enjoy the antics, knowing their investment in gorgeous grass is safe and secure. And so are the people and pets who play on it.  

Your pet can’t wreck artificial grass

One of the biggest challenges for homeowners with pets is the damage your animals can do to your natural lawn. Any or all of these may sound familiar: 

Digging

A lot of homeowners derive tremendous satisfaction from digging in the garden. Their own digging, not their pet’s. You love getting your fingers dirty when you’re planting flowers or a veggie garden. But many dogs like to dig, too. They dig for fun, because they can. They dig to bury treasures. They carve out large depressions for a cooling lie-down when it’s hot outside. 

Beyond deliberate digging, dogs can wreak havoc on your lawn just running around. Every plant-and-turn as they zoom back and forth digs into your turf. You wind up with holes or worn-down bare spots that can be frustratingly difficult to repair. Especially when they keep recurring. It’s a lost cause, really, but many people continue to hope something will magically change, if they just spend enough time and money on their lawn. 

Chewing

Sometimes pets eat grass, and your natural grass lawn provides a ready source of greens. As with digging, there can be several reasons for this, though it’s usually a sign of mild digestive distress. Whatever their motivation, your pet’s chewing damages the grass blades. It may not kill the grass plant, but it can mar the appearance of your lawn. 

Doing their business

Anyone with pets knows that the front and/or back lawn is a favorite target when it’s potty time. Urine, in particular, kills grass, leaving ugly yellow patches. Those dead patches can turn into muddy debris when it rains, not to mention every time you water your lawn. What a mess! 

And it’s not only dogs. Cats, too, have also been known to dig. They are just as likely to chew the grass, and they are just as likely to consider the lawn as “preferred facilities” for their private business. 

Happily, homeowners with artificial grass never have to worry about these issues, because dogs and cats cannot damage fake grass. It is constructed to prevent penetration by sharp claws. Pets cannot (and don’t want to) chew it. No matter how industrious your pet is, or how much she runs around on the grass, it will not develop holes or bare spots. 

Of course, if your dear dog is foiled from digging up your artificial lawn, she may still target other areas around your yard. There are ingenious ways you can put a stop to that, too. You just have to use a little doggie psychology. 

Fake grass won’t fade or stain from dog urine or feces, and it’s easy to clean, too. With our Heavenly Greens MaxxFlow system, artificial grass actually drains more efficiently than natural grass. Urine, rain, or other liquids drain right through. Pet clean-up is simply a matter of a quick pick-up, if needed, and an equally quick rinse with the hose. No muss, no fuss, just that consistently gorgeous grass, ready for more play.  

Artificial grass is allergen-free

It’s not Pet-Owners-Guide-AG-Blog-Int-Image-1.jpgunusual for adults or children to suffer from grass allergies. In fact, medical professionals note that allergies are on the rise. Grass allergy turns your natural grass lawn into a source of misery during pollen season. Dogs and cats can also be allergic to grass pollen, making the lawn a health hazard for them as well. 

Your beloved pet can develop a wide range of symptoms that are all too familiar if you’re an allergy sufferer yourself. The watery eyes, itchy or inflamed skin, sneezing, coughing and other signs of upper respiratory problems. Dogs and cats can also develop symptoms you probably don’t have to contend with, such as patchy hair loss. Ugh. 

You and your pets can all take medications to alleviate those awful symptoms. But of course you also have to avoid your yard during one of the Bay Area’s most wonderful outdoor living seasons. Some experts even recommend you stay indoors with the windows closed. Why have a lawn at all, if it’s just going to make you sick? 

Faux grass is not a living plant, so it never produces pollen. It offers another allergy-related advantage as well. Natural grass tends to harbor moisture, which encourages growth of mold and mildew, especially in cooler months. A growing number of people are allergic to mold and/or mildew as well as pollen. And that goes for dogs and cats, too. 

Clearly, artificial grass is the healthier alternative – for pets and people who suffer from allergies.  

Fake grass is free of toxins and pests

With a natural grass lawn, you have to fight an ongoing battle against weeds, insects, and bacterial and fungal diseases that can kill your lawn or damage its appearance. The grass needs nutrients beyond what is naturally available in the soil, if you expect it to remain green and healthy. Your weapons of war? An arsenal of chemicals. These products can sicken pets and people that touch or breathe them, and they can cause allergic reactions as well. 

Lawn care chemicals leach into the soil, making their way into our aquifers. When you water your lawn, chemicals can also run down the street and into storm drains, where they make their way into streams and, eventually, into San Francisco Bay. All along the way, native plants and wildlife are endangered. Increasingly, California homeowners have decided this is not the legacy they want to leave future generations. 

Artificial grass is environmentally-friendly. It is the more sustainable alternative at home, for pets and the rest of your family. And it is the more sustainable choice for Mother Nature as well. The turf itself is made from 100% non-toxic materials, so it brings no dangerous chemicals into your yard. And since it doesn’t grow, there is no need to apply poisonous fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. 

Whereas living grass offers a hospitable environment for insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, and mites that can pester and infect your pets, fake grass is pest-free. And on a microbial level, fake grass includes components that discourage bacterial growth. Just like mud and visible debris, bacteria can make their way into your home on your pet’s paws and your own shoes. 

But what about the infill? Myths abound regarding the materials used to support and cushion artificial grass. The truth is, they are only myths. Specific infill composition varies according to the type of synthetic turf being installed and its purpose. However, the bottom line is that sand and crumb rubber are non-toxic. 

After 40 years of studies, scientists around the world still agree that quality artificial grass poses no threat to pets or kids, no matter how often they play on it. As a homeowner, you can rest assured you’ve made a healthy choice for your family and neighborhood.  

Cleaner dog, cleaner house

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Not only is your home’s outdoor environment healthier once you switch to artificial grass, it’s easier to keep your house clean on the inside, too. That’s a practical benefit every homeowner can readily appreciate. For most of us, housecleaning is right up there with lawn care when it comes to most-hated chores. 

With natural grass, the inevitable follow-up to watering or rainy weather is mud. Over time, lawns tend to settle in spots, developing depressions where water can accumulate. This is an especially prominent problem in areas with poorly-draining soils such as the clay present in many South Bay yards. 

Romping dogs and kids grind up the grassy surface, breaking off green and dead grass blades. And even the most efficient lawn mowers leave some clippings behind. So now, in addition to mud, you have debris that will cling to your pet’s fur and feet. And you know what happens next. 

Mud in the yard becomes tracked-in crud on your floors. Over the years, desperate pet owners have dreamed up no end of creative “cures” for muddy paws. Perhaps you keep a towel by the door to wipe off paws. Maybe you have a pan of water, too, to dip your pet’s paws before wiping. Perhaps you’ve tried wrestling with your dog in a (probably futile) attempt to con her into wearing booties. Your kids have probably posted the hilarious photos of these escapades on Facebook.    

The sad reality is, no matter how imaginative and well-intended your efforts, they don’t work very well. You still have to mop or get down on your hands and knees to wipe down the floor every time your dog or cat comes in. (And let’s not forget the messy mud and debris that clings to shoes, too.) There are numerous products that will help you clean and disinfect the area, but the cost adds up. And you’re still cleaning up after your pet. 

Of course your first line of defense is a cleaner dog. If she can’t pick up grass clippings or mud on her coat and paws as she frolics on your lawn, she can’t track all that stuff into the house. Artificial grass is the key to keeping Man’s Best Friend clean. We think that makes your faux lawn Man’s Other Best Friend. Woman’s, too. 

No mowing means no clippings. No dead or bare spots means no other debris, including dirt or mud. Not only that, if your pup is a shedder, consider the fact that every time she rolls on the grass she is brushing off fur she might otherwise shake off in the house. Nice.  

Dogs and cats just want to play

Artificial grass allows you to give your dog or cat the outdoor space of their dreams. A place they can call their own, to hang out or run around as they like, safe and secure yet separated from the rest of your backyard. Instead of the traditional gravel pit with a fence – and maybe a utilitarian dog house – your dear girl’s personal yard can be comfortable and pretty. (She may not care about the pretty part, but we know you do.) 

Fake grass is the perfect surface for any dog run or play area. That’s why, as we noted at the beginning, so many private and public pet care facilities have switched to artificial grass. 

No self-respecting dog wants concrete underfoot. It’s hard as a rock. It’s cold in winter and it gets hot in summer. Gravel can get hot, too, and its sharp corners can cut your pup’s feet. Bark dust is softer, but it never seems to stay where you put it (talk about debris to track into the house!). And neither one is conducive to cleaning up after your dog. Feces gets mashed in, and urine soaks in. Need we say more? 

Artificial turf is not only pretty for dog runs, it is eminently practical. It quickly drains away fluids. Scooping poop takes seconds. A brief rinse a couple of times a week, and your dog’s run is good to go. Fake grass even dries fast. As we also mentioned earlier, even the busiest dog can’t damage the turf, so it remains comfortably fluffy and gorgeously green – a lovely addition to your yard for years to come. With nothing to track indoors. 

But you don’t have to stop there. With fake grass you can really show off your pet parenting creativity. Use smaller pieces of faux lawn to cover the floor of your pooch’s outdoor abode. Or cover the roof – it will blend in with the rest of your yard, and if her dog house has a flat roof, she’ll have an elevated, grassy deck for snoozing and surveying her universe. 

And Miss Kitty? Build her an outdoor play structure (featuring artificial grass, of course), and she’ll have so much fun she’ll never get stuck in a tree again. For that matter, you can cut sections of faux grass to use indoors for your pet – for instance, a mat to lie on, or a fun placemat under food and water dishes. Ask our Heavenly Greens customer service team about remnants you can acquire for fun small projects.   

Artificial grass gives you more time to play, too

Your Pet-Owners-Guide-AG-Blog-Int-Image-2.jpgdog or cat is certainly capable of entertaining herself – especially if you’ve gone the extra mile in providing fun, fake grass play opportunities. But what your pet wants more than anything else is more time with you. You’ll have more for her as soon as you switch to artificial grass, because you can say farewell to tedious, time-consuming lawn care. 

This is a Big Deal Benefit here in the Bay Area. We have such great weather most of the year, it’s a shame so many homeowners are still saddled week in and week out with lawn maintenance. We certainly understand the desire to achieve the prettiest landscape possible, and we know your lawn is likely the central feature of your yard, front and back. But we know artificial grass is better. We thought so from the start, and our many years in business have proven us right. 

Instead of dreading the weekend chores associated with mowing, trimming, raking, fertilizing, reseeding worn spots, etc. etc., you can get out there on your faux grass and play with your pooch. Or your kitty. Yes, your dog may be disappointed she can no longer lunge and bark at the mower, but she’ll get over it. Especially when she sees you coming her way, ball in hand. 

The two of you can even enjoy a good romp on the grass when it’s rainy, if you’re so inclined. Artificial grass doesn’t puddle up, and it’s not slippery when it gets wet, so you won’t have to worry about splashing or turning an ankle. And of course you won’t have to cap off your play time with a fight over cleaning muddy paws before your dear dog can come back in the house. If you aren’t into doggie play in the rain, there are plenty of other ways to exercise your dog when it’s wet outdoors.  

And what if your pet is a feline? She’ll be thrilled to see the end of that mower, too. The noise is so annoying when she’s trying to catch a cat nap on your cushy patio furniture. Besides, she is also looking forward to spending more time with you now that the mower has moved on. More time for playing fetch with her favorite catnip mouse. More lap time for petting when the day is done. Or you’re trying to use your computer. 

There’s an artificial grass just for dogs

Many homeowners don’t realize that there are so many different types of artificial grass. In fact, here at Heavenly Greens we sell over two dozen styles. They vary in terms of manufacturing materials, blade height and thickness, type of infill, even the shade of green. 

Why so many choices? Because details matter. Artificial grass can do a lot of things, but you wouldn’t want the same grass for your lawn as you would on your backyard putting green. Different purposes require different performance and aesthetic characteristics -- therefore, different types of turf. Among all those options there is artificial grass made specifically for dogs. 

How do you know which fake grass is best for your pup? Well, if you’re building a dog run – a place where she will be the only occupant – you should look for a style that has low cut pile and a lower face weight. 

Pile (the grass blades) that is just 1 to 1.25 inches tall and densely packed will give your girl the most comfortable footing. And it will bounce back nicely, whether she’s been zooming around or snoozing in the same spot for quite a while. In a lower face weight turf, blades are coarser and stiffer, which enhances durability under heavy use conditions. And – good news – this type of artificial grass tends to be less expensive. 

Artificial grass formulated for dogs incorporates silver ions that serve as an anti-bacterial agent. The silver ions are gradually released over time, helping to reduce odor. Using the proper infill also helps to reduce potential odors. Infill is used to separate and support artificial grass blades, but it can be composed of different materials depending on how the grass will be used. At Heavenly Greens, we use a combination of rubber and sand for dogs. 

Grass for dogs also incorporates our MaxxFlow drainage system. This ensures your pet’s grassy flooring will always stay as dry as possible, even when it rains. And it’s fast and easy to keep it clean. If it needs re-fluffing from time to time, that’s easy, too. All it takes is a few strokes with a rake or stiff, natural bristle broom. This is also a simple way to remove the inevitable hair your dog sheds while inside her dog run.  

Pets give artificial grass a resounding “four paws up”

All homeowners want a beautiful lawn. Homeowners with pets want a lawn their dog and cat can frolic on, along with the rest of the family, without destroying its aesthetic beauty. Unfortunately, with natural grass, these two simple goals are incompatible, no matter how hard you try. With artificial grass, you can have it all. 

Scheduling an in-person consultation brings you one paw closer to your goal. A member of our expert Heavenly Greens team will visit your home, to review your space, discuss your preferences and concerns, and meet your pet. We’ll explain your options and help you design grassy areas that will be a dream come true for you and your four-legged friend. 

While we’re there, you might want to ask about other types of artificial grass installations as well. For example, a bocce court or backyard putting green might be just what the humans in your family need to round out their outdoor play space. 

If you still have questions about pets and artificial grass, give us a bark. Meanwhile, that’s it for now, so we’ll just say over and snout.

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Topics: Residential Artificial Grass, grass for pets

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