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How to Install K9 Pet Turf Artificial Grass Systems for Dogs

Learn how to install K9 pet turf artificial grass systems for dogs. Discover the best and most used approaches to proper pet turf drainage, and why it's so necessary. See the difference between pet turf materials and hear our recommendations. Find the best ways to control the odor and maintain your artificial pet turf lawn for years to come!

How to Install K9 Pet-Friendly Artificial Grass


Brief Description of Pet Turf Installation 

Beginning the installation of your new pet turf system starts like any other artificial grass project. The crew will remove 2-3 inches of soil from the base and haul it away. Then the installers will apply approximately 2 inches of class II road base material and compact the base. Next, a layer of k9 turf deodorizer will be applied. The drain core is laid out after the turf deodorizer is applied if included (this is highly recommended). Once the base is prepared it is time to lay down the artificial turf. It will be cut to size, seamed, and nailed to the base or stapled to the frame. Nail-free installation is always a primary recommendation for dog-friendly spaces. When e selected we advise to achieve the best results placing nails every 2 in. on the perimeter and every 2 ft. throughout the area. Once your artificial grass is laid, we apply sand infill to hold the turf down without wrinkles. For K9 pet-friendly turf, we always recommend using an antibacterial sand infill.  

select the right materials for k9 pet-friendly artificial grass installation

Selecting Pet Turf Material

There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the best artificial grass for k9 friendly spaces. The best artificial grass for a pet turf system is typically shorter and less dense. Shorter grass will make the cleaning and maintenance of your pet turf system easier, while a less dense option will allow for quicker drainage.

Temperature should also be a big factor when making your decision. On high-temperature days, turf can become warm to the touch. While humans can express discomfort, pets cannot. We don't advise leaving dogs unattended on the artificial grass for long periods of time.

We offer a few different k9 pet-friendly artificial grass materials: 

Short Pet Turf: This is best for commercial pet systems. It's the shortest, most dense material in our line. The low-pile height is great for easy cleaning. 

Play Pet Turf: This is a great option for front and backyards used for children and pets. It is designed with foot traffic in mind, made to survive over 20 years in moderate traffic. The balance of a natural look and a uniform surface provides a softer, more realistic look while still being easy to clean! 

Regular Pet Turf: Due to the low density of this material, it is one of the coolest artificial grasses we offer. Regular pet turf offers good ventilation and a natural look. Best for sunny areas and moderate foot traffic. 

Specifics of Pet Turf Base Preparation

  • Turf Deodorizer Layer: This is the most common base preparation. After the class II road base is compacted, a layer is applied on top of the base, right underneath the surface of your pet turf system to prevent the buildup of odor. Turf deodorizer can also be applied as an infill for the relief areas with heavy use.
  • French Drain System: French drains help control odor in heavily used pet areas. In this method, a trench is dug underneath the surface. A drainage pipe is then installed to catch the water as it absorbs into the surface and reroute it away from your lawn. The crew will use gravel to fill the trench before continuing base preparation. This option allows for faster water percolation and more waste remediation.
  • Drain Core or Air Drain: This is a standard manufacturer-recommended approach to installing pet turf systems. We will describe it in detail below.

Drain Core for artificial grass installation on K9 Pet-Friendly Turf

Installation of Drain Core

Drain core is designed with maximum drainage in mind. It is a plastic sheet with bumps and holes throughout to allow for air and water flow. Without this layer, your pet turf will inevitably begin to smell very bad. The proper drainage system is vital to preventing odors and the build-up of bacteria, especially when installing a K9 pet-friendly turf. Saturated turf pads that don't have to ability to flush out will become very problematic. The core is available as a grid (air drain) or a plastic sheet (drain core). Air drain provides faster drainage and maintains a more rigid structure, but it costs more to install. For this reason, drain core is the most popular drainage product for pet turf systems.

Frame Installation Versus Nail Installation

For pet turf systems, we must recommend a nail-free application as manufacturers recommend. In our experience, we know that dogs are prone to digging. Over time they can remove the nails from the base resulting in damage to the artificial grass. To prevent this, we install a frame made of either treated wood or plastic around the perimeter of the base and stretch and staple the artificial grass to the frame. Nail-free means top safety.

Infill Options

Turf deodorizer (Such as Zeofill): Turf deodorizer is made of lightweight and sharp volcano ash stones that absorb urine. This reduces the initial smell until the turf is hosed down. Zeofill is charged with sanitizers that help break down the ammonia smell. However, the granules are abrasive making it less than ideal on the surface. For this reason, we recommend applying it only under the turf.

Antibacterial sand (Envirofill, Durafill, etc.): This infill is made to fight bacteria and allow air to penetrate. Its antimicrobial properties are great for long-term bacteria growth prevention. This infill, however, does not absorb. Envirofill also does not compact because it has round granules that are non-abrasive making it more ideal for sports and pets. 

Installers often offer Zeofill because it's cheaper (costs less, more volume per bag). However, in our experience air circulation and the ability to hose down the turf are key to smell prevention. No matter what infill is used, without proper water flushing the area will smell. We recommend putting turf deodorizer under the turf, where absorbance is most critical, and applying antibacterial sand over the surface of the turf for air circulation and water access.

keeping the k9 pet-friendly artificial grass clean


It may sound silly, but hosing down artificial grass is often done wrong. Instead of slightly rinsing the area, try to increase the flow of water. Mix sanitizer (such as 409 cleaner or Wysiwash) with water to achieve immediate results.

Another great way to keep your area clean is to teach pets to use a localized area for relief. A fake fire hydrant or a mailbox is an easy way to shrink their relief area. This area is designed for pet use only and is usually up to 50 feet in size. Cleaning becomes fully automatic with a chlorine-enabled wash system. Relief objects such as a fake fire hydrant or mailbox will help minimize water use in this space. Using a system like this is the most hygienic way to keep your front or backyard clean, however, it will require training to use.

switch to k9 pet-friendly turf system

Why Make the Switch?

We all know there's nothing that can replace a plush natural green lawn. However, that's just not the reality for most people. Customers making the switch to pet turf systems typically have similar reasoning: Their lawn is dead and uneven. Dust, dirt, and other contaminants are then tracked into the house by their dogs and foot traffic. It can be very difficult to regrow natural grass and can sometimes turn your lawn into a swampy marsh. Eliminate the need for constant maintenance by opting into K9-friendly artificial turf. The clean and smooth surface is calling your name. Request an estimate with us and receive a response on the same day. Let's do this! 

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