Are you thinking about getting artificial grass but you have dogs? Then you’re probably wondering if your dogs will damage the fake grass. It turns out that…
Dogs don’t damage artificial grass, if the grass is good quality and installed properly. Most artificial grass brands advertise their product as 100% or nearly 100% dog-proof. This means that no dog, big or small, can tear, dig up, rip up, or destroy the artificial turf.
Before investing in artificial grass, it’s important to know what type is dog resistant and why (including their waste), and how to protect your grass from all dogs.
In this article, you’ll find out:
- Why dogs can’t really damage artificial grass
- Why dogs aren’t driven to dig up artificial grass
- How to stop a dog that wants to dig up artificial grass
- What dog pee and poop does to artificial grass
- Humane ways to keep animals off artificial grass
3 reasons why dogs can’t damage artificial grass
Dogs find it very difficult to damage artificial grass because of the durable materials the grass is made from: polyethylene plastic, rubber, and sand.
A good quality artificial grass should last for about 10 years and look good throughout those years, whether dogs use the area or not.
One of the reasons why artificial grass is much more durable to wear and tear than regular grass is because the blades and artificial “thatch layer” under the blades are made of polyethylene.
Polyethylene is a very common plastic that’s in shopping bags, bottles, and many other things. This plastic is so popular because it can absorb a high amount of energy or force without breaking.
Polymers also last a long time, resisting decomposition.
But polyethylene isn’t the only thing that makes artificial grass so tough…
The turf’s base, or cushion, is made from a mix of rubber and plastic. Both of which are strong materials.
And between the grass blades lies what’s called a synthetic infill of sand and rubber. This infill helps the blades to “spring back” after they are stepped on.
The combination of these materials makes artificial grass virtually dog-proof.
Many dogs love to dig, especially breeds like jack russells and Siberian huskies. If a dog digs, there’s usually a reason for it – the dog might be lonely, trying to escape, hunting an animal underground, or trying to make a safe space to lie in.
Most dogs won’t even try to dig up artificial grass. Real grass has a lot of smells on it from other animals, insects, and humans, which drives dogs to sniff and explore. But artificial grass is mainly made from plastic and smells like plastic, so it doesn’t trigger a dog’s natural instinct to dig.
And because there’s usually no dirt directly under the artificial turf, dogs don’t dig to get to an animal or anything buried under the artificial grass either.
[The Humane Society has a wonderful article on all the reasons why your dog might be digging and how to help your dog. Click here to open that article in a new tab.]
Artificial grass is held down by its own weight, which usually keeps it in place. If the turf is installed properly or professionally, dogs shouldn’t be able to lift the grass or dig up the edges.
Though most dogs don’t dig in artificial grass, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some dogs enjoy trying to dig through the base of fake grass or they might try to lift the borders, around the edges of the grass.
Here are some things you can do to stop a dog from digging up artificial grass:
- If there is soil or ground under the fake grass: Pin the grass to the ground underneath with galvanized landscape staples or nails [Amazon links]. These are covered in zinc, to prevent rust. Hammer the nails or pins deep into the artificial grass along the edges, so your dog can’t see them or get to them. This is the cheapest option.
- If the grass ends along a fence or border: Attach the grass boundaries to a border in your yard, such as a wooden fence or decorative timber pieces. It’s best to use galvanized nails for this, so the nails don’t rust.
- If there’s concrete or paving under the grass: Stick the artificial grass to the concrete or paved ground below it using this grass tape or this adhesive for a longer lasting option. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and keep your dog out of the area until the adhesive has dried and your dog can’t get to it.
Artificial grass, especially the brands that are marketed as dog-friendly turf, is designed to withstand active dogs and what comes out of them.
Dog pee and poop don’t damage artificial grass in any way, especially if you take care of your turf by regularly picking up solids and washing down the area with water from a garden hose.
If the fake grass starts smelling bad, use a product like this one that’s designed to remove odors from synthetic grass.
How to keep animals off artificial grass
If animals (not your pets) are coming onto your artificial grass uninvited, here are some humane things you can do and products from Amazon you can use to keep them off:
- Get a motion-activated floodlight that’s pointed at your artificial grass and switches on if animals arrive. Most animals, especially those who like to roam at dusk and at night, stay away from very bright lights that hurt their eyes.
- Get motion-activated sprinklers that spray animals with water if they come near your grass.
- Get solar-powered red eye lights that turn on at night automatically. Animals think these eyes belong to predators and stay away from the area.
- Don’t have any objects near to or against your fence, to stop animals from climbing onto these objects and jumping over the fence.
- Trim tree branches that are near to your fence or that run over your fence, so animals can’t run along the branches and enter your yard.
- Spray animal repellent on your artificial grass to deter wild animals and birds or domestic cats and dogs. These repellents have smells in them that the animals don’t like.