Considering Artificial Turf for Your Yard and Own a Dog? 5 Critical Things to Know

Written by Sam Hindman
Published: October 17, 2023
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News flash: Artificial turf isn’t just for football fields anymore! Getting it installed in place of your typical residential grass yard has become a popular trend. But, as a homeowner, an additional element that makes the choice tough. Is it a good idea to get artificial turf if you own a dog? Let’s face it, dogs love the great outdoors. Digging holes and making messes is their forte. At the same time, however, artificial turf offers numerous benefits. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the concerns you might have about choosing turf. Once you have a better understanding of this commitment, you can make the most well-informed decision for you and your family!

Why Consider Artificial Turf, Anyway?

Man using gas powered aerating machine to aerate residential grass yard. Groundskeeper using lawn aeration equipment for turf maintenance.

Once you install artificial turf, you can say goodbye to the old days of constantly mowing your lawn. Upkeep has never been this simple!

©The Toidi/

There are a number of reasons why installing artificial turf has become so popular. For starters, it’s effortlessly aesthetic. The days of worrying about patches of mud, dirt, or yellowed grass are in the past. Neither your pets nor the weather will compromise the appearance of your bright green lawn.

Turf, of course, doesn’t grow. So, that means that you can retire that old lawnmower for good! This will save you a pretty penny over time, and it will also allow you to dedicate less precious energy toward lawn care. The upkeep that comes with having a real lawn can be daunting, especially with your dog constantly taking their toll on the area. But artificial turf with a dog makes things clean and simple.

Perhaps the best part of having artificial turf is that you no longer need to fret about the creepy crawlers that used to inhabit your yard. Checking your dogs for ticks and fleas won’t have to be part of your routine! They’ll be out of your hair (literally and metaphorically) and off somewhere else looking for a meal.

1. If You Do Get It, Get It Done Right

A close-up image of Bermuda grass.

Want your artificial turf to be beautiful


safe? Well, you better make sure that you aren’t skimping out on it, then!


The first piece of advice that you should note when getting artificial turf with a dog is that you need the job to be done correctly. This means that, above all else, you choose a professional that is credible and uses quality materials. Having turf that is durable also means having turf that is safe. Let’s face it, most dogs don’t play gently. If your turf is not properly installed, you run the risk of it becoming damaged and sharp at its edges. Not to mention, if there are any uplifted corners, you and your pooch both run the risk of tripping or falling and even injury.

Essentially, you have to pay the price for turf. This price can leave you with sticker shock as upfront installation costs can be pricy. However, this cost pales in comparison to the amount of money that you would’ve spent on lawn care. It’s simply a matter of being able to afford quality turf that won’t get ruined over time.

2. Consider Maintenance

man with water hose watering the grass

You might not have to mow the lawn anymore, but you still need to put in the work and spray it down!


Even though the maintenance that comes with regular grass is substantial, that doesn’t mean you’re free from responsibility with turf. It needs, most notably, a weekly washdown. This means hosing away any dust, pollen, or debris that might have built up throughout the week. There are turf deodorizers on the market precisely for this purpose, but there are also ways to make homemade solutions to keep things sanitized. These are usually combinations of water and vinegar, which help to combat any bacteria buildup. But always make sure that whatever cleaning solution you buy is pet-safe! This isn’t as large of a commitment, but you might also need to give the turf a brush down semi-regularly, as it can get matted in areas that you’re constantly moving through.

3. Things Can Get Hot

Heatwave hot sun. Climate Change. Global Warming. Thermometer high temperatures.

If you live in a particularly hot area, then artificial turf might not be the best choice for you and your pets.

©Ed Connor/

Unfortunately, artificial grass is made of plastic. As you may or may not know, plastic gets very hot very quickly! So, when you have artificial turf with dogs, you have to exercise extreme caution so they don’t accidentally burn their precious paws. Even if you don’t live in a sunny area that will induce burn-level heat, it can still get uncomfortable. That’s why it’s recommended you get short and less dense turf because that lets more air pass through to cool it down. Another quicker solution is to give it a spray down before taking your pet outside! In the end, whether to get turf is greatly determined by your location and climate.

4. It’s Not Environmentally Friendly

Garbage pile in trash dump or landfill. Pollution concept.

Artificial turf is not biodegradable, so keep in mind that, eventually, it will end up in the landfill!


Though this is not a major concern to everyone, the fact is that artificial turf is not biodegradable. Regardless of whether you live in your home for five years or five decades, this turf will likely someday end up in a landfill and contribute to pollution. But, that said, you save a lot of water and energy in the meantime by no longer having to continually maintain your yard. Everything is a give-and-take, and you simply have to make the choice that best suits your needs and values!

5. Dogs on Artificial Turf Can Bring Interesting Smells

A young woman reacts to stinky dog

If you don’t regularly clean your artificial turf, then expect to be faced with some nasty smells!


Smell is something that you have to really consider when getting artificial turf with a dog. That’s because, unlike regular grass, urine doesn’t get absorbed back into Mother Nature. Instead, it sits on top and festers. This can lead to some pretty gnarly smells over time. While some of it does wash away due to the porous nature of the turf, the majority of it is going to stay right where it is. That’s where the maintenance of regularly rinsing down the yard comes in. If you aren’t diligent about this and leave the urine to sit, it can have some bad consequences!

The same warning goes for feces, though this problem isn’t as prominent if your dog is getting fiber in their diet (if you know what I mean.) Besides, you can decide to install little patches in the yard for feces. These lift up and allow you to get down and dirty with your cleaning. It’s up to your needs and your budget!

Final Considerations in Artificial Turf with a Dog

Dog Park Series - Astroturf with Dog

Every home, pet, and yard is different! Always make the best choice for your personal needs.

©Tara Lynn and Co/

In the end, the choice of whether or not to get artificial turf with a dog on the property is one that varies for every home and every family. There isn’t, unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all solution. But, here is a final thought to leave you with: How long do you plan on living at this home? If you see the home you’re in as your permanent, forever home, then it could potentially be advisable to make this financial and ecological commitment. However, if your stay on this property isn’t one you see as permanent, take some time to consider whether or not you truly want to make that kind of investment.

This isn’t a decision you should make on the flip of a dime, but rather one that you should put a critical amount of thought and consideration into. Once you’ve done the research and you’re confident in your choice, then you know what’s the best decision for your home.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tara Lynn and Co/

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About the Author

Sam Hindman is a writer at A-Z animals covering a range of topics, including pet care, plant care, pest control and travel destinations. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Multimedia Studies at Point Park University, set to graduate in the spring of 2024. A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when she isn't writing, she's spending time with her beloved cat Archie.

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