Back to blog

Pet Turf Materials Explained

Answering commonly asked questions regarding the artificial grass materials used for pet turf systems. Understand the importance of pet-friendly turf materials in areas where dogs will be present, and decide which add-ons are right for your backyard dog run.

Artificial Grass Recycling

What’s the Difference Between K9 Turf and Pet Turf?

These two products will offer the same intended use. The only difference you'll find between k9 turf and pet turf is the name, and different manufacturers may choose to name their pet-specific turf products differently. Pet turf will feature a lower pile height and density, with durable blades for easy cleaning and wear and tear resistance. The installation steps of pet or k9 turf will be much like regular turf installation with a few additional tasks! 

What Causes Turf for Pets to Smell? 

How do you Prevent Pet Odor on Artificial grass? 

What’s the Best Artificial Turf For Dogs?

This is a difficult question and will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Some people prefer a plush or more natural-looking lawn, while others have pet turf cleaning top of mind and want as little maintenance as possible. 

Lightweight Artificial Grass for Pets

Artificial turf for dogs should be able to maintain a comfortable temperature even on warm days to keep your pets comfortable. Less dense grass with shorter blades will offer more airflow. Because you likely won't be constantly monitoring or supervising pets in this area, make sure to select turf materials and infill that offer the coolest surface. 

Fake Grass with Advanced Drainage

k9 pet turf should perform well in terms of drainage rate. Make sure to identify any drainage shortcomings within the designated turf area and address the issue before beginning your pet-friendly turf installation. Fake grass for dogs will need to be permeable, and for the best odor-preventing results, you'll want to install a drainage cell beneath the surface to accelerate water movement when sanitizing pet turf! 

Artificial Grass with a Short Pile Height and Durable Blades

For the best wear and tear resistance, pet turf should ideally be short, stiff, and durable. This will combat rough play, digging, and other natural heavy use from your pup. This type of artificial pet grass is also the easiest to keep sanitized! 

In Conclusion:

In spaces where there will be multiple dogs at play or where the area is heavily used for pet relief, artificial grass should be short, durable, and lightweight to offer a cool surface that drains quickly and is easy to clean

However, these types of grasses will not offer the most natural looks or soft feel. Often, homeowners will meet in the middle and try to find a natural-looking grass that still offers a durable blade and adequate drainage! 

Artificial K9 grass for pets

What Pet-Friendly Turf Add-ons do you Offer?

Turf Deodorizer (Zeofill)

Turf deodorizer is a fine powdery substance that traps and locks in odors from pet relief until you're able to sanitize the artificial grass. The deodorizer is commonly added during base preparation of k9 turf systems. After the road base is compacted, a layer of turf deodorizer is usually applied on top of the base, right underneath the drainage layer. Turf deodorizer can also be applied on top of fake grass as an infill in pet relief areas that experience heavy use.

Drainage Systems for Pet Turf 

We always recommend that pet owners have advanced drainage, ventilation, and potentially even wash systems installed. This will provide you with the easiest and simplest cleaning process. The extra drainage will make sure urine gets properly flushed from underneath the surface of your turf, reducing smells. The ventilation and airflow also greatly reduce any odors that may occur from regular pet usage. Drain Core is the most commonly used drainage grid underneath fake grass for pets.

Drain Core Pet Turf Material For Backyard Dog-Friendly Artificial Grass Installation

Antibacterial Sand Infill

Antibacterial infill for artificial grass is designed with the intention to fight bacteria and allow air to penetrate the surface, which is very important in pet relief areas. Its antimicrobial properties are great for long-term bacteria growth prevention. Antibacterial sand also has round and coated granules that are non-abrasive making it ideal for pets. 

Nail-Free Turf Installation for Dogs

For pet-specific turf areas, manufacturers recommend making the installation nail-free for added durability and safety. This also makes it less likely that your dog will be able to damage or detach the artificial grass along the perimeter. To install artificial turf without nails, we build a frame along the perimeter using treated wood edging boards and will use heavy-duty staples to attach the pet turf to the frame. While this will save you some money by eliminating the need for other landscape edging, opting for nail-free will usually raise the cost of turf installation

artificial grass cost calculator

What Infill is Recommended For Pet Turf?

In general, four different types of infill are used for artificial grass installation, below we'll discuss how appropriate each infill option is for pets!

Silica Sand Turf Infill

Silica sand is the most affordable infill for pet turf. Its granules are large enough to minimize compaction while also allowing air access, but will still over time clump together which can affect drainage rate. This is an okay option, but there are much better alternatives that will help keep pet turf clean and odor-free.

Antibacterial Sand Turf Infill

An antibacterial sand infill is highly recommended for spaces where pets use the restroom and children play. With Microban technology, it's one of the best options to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew on synthetic lawns. antibacterial infill provides advanced ventilation and its round granules are perfect for pet-friendly spaces. 

Antibacterial Coated Sand Infill for Pet Friendly Turf

Turf Deodorizer (Zeofill)

As mentioned above, deodorizer for turf is a clean and porous material that is designed to kill the ammonia smell stemming from pet relief. This is used beneath the surface in most residential pet turf applications. For commercial spaces, turf deodorizer can also be applied on top of turf or mixed with antibacterial sand for the best performance. Note, turf deodorizer may leave white residue on the surface that is washable, yet annoying when wet. 

Natural Artificial Grass Infills

Natural turf infills are usually made of tree bark or cork, such as Corkonut or Brockfill, and are rare to find. By its nature, natural infill should be one of the coolest options available because it’s so lightweight. It also contains and absorbs moisture, helping keep temps low. However, natural turf infills are still fairly new within the turf industry and we are unsure how they perform in terms of bacteria prevention as they create a moisture-abundant environment.

What Is a Permeable Backing?

If the backing of artificial turf is permeable, it means that liquid can pass through the turf to properly drain underneath the surface. Most artificial grass backings are permeable. There are three types currently of turf backing available on the market: cloth backing, micro-hole backing, and punched hole backing.

Artificial Turf With Cloth Backing

Artificial grass with cloth backing can be beneficial because it is completely permeable. In other words, liquids on the surface will have access to the ground in every spot of the turf. However, some cloth backings will retain moisture, like a wet cloth. Even though liquids will drain through, the cloth will capture bacteria and dirt and act like a filter letting bacteria live within the backing. Also, a completely permeable cloth backing is generally less durable. Because of this, the turf material has less chance of survival in harsh conditions caused by salt, moisture, and UV rays.

Artificial Turf With Punched Hole Backing

When fake grass backing has punched holes, it will feature holes throughout the grass backing that are spaced 4-6 inches apart along the surface. This type of backing can sometimes slow water drainage, however, it doesn't absorb and hold bacteria which makes it ideal for pet relief areas. In our experience, punched-hole backing turf works best and provides the best results. 

punched hole backing materials for pet friendly artificial turf installation in backyards

And there you have it, our recommendations when it comes to choosing materials for your pet-friendly turf installation. Request an estimate with us today to get your project started!

Request a Custom Artificial Grass Estimate