One of the biggest questions people have when considering this landscaping idea is whether or not it will increase lead exposure for their family or pets. This is because some studies conducted on early manufactured grass options showed lead levels that caused concern regarding the potential for increased lead exposure for those who spent time on synthetic turf. Lead exposure has been linked to a variety of health concerns. Because of this, it is good that parents and pet owners are quick to ask whether or not current ground cover options pose this threat. The good news is that today’s synthetic turf not only looks and feels better than older options but they also have no detectable traces of lead.
Aside from being a safe, low-maintenance option that is easy to clean and requires no chemicals, there are plenty of other reasons to choose synthetic turf for your pet’s playing area. For example, pet owners who have ever had to scrub muddy paw prints out of their carpet, mop their floors multiple times during wet weather or take the time to wipe your dog’s paws every time they come inside are sure to appreciate the mud-free environment of synthetic turf. You can also wash your dog right on your lawn or in your dog run without getting muddy. Plus, you may find that your dog’s coat also stays cleaner when he is not rolling around in natural grass with exposed soil. Another benefit of using synthetic turf in your pet areas is that you will never have to lug your lawnmower into your enclosed dog run to cut the grass. Unlike conventional grass that can become inundated with ticks and fleas just waiting to jump on your pet, synthetic landscaping turf is not an inviting home for these disease-carrying parasites. Part of your overall satisfaction with adding this beautiful, durable feature to your garden will be the installation process used to ensure that your pet area is prepared for heavy use by your pets.
Moreover synthetic turf offers significant advantages for drainage with pets. Since synthetic turf drains better than natural grass urine will drain away more effectively on turf. Also dog and cat urine can burn and kill normal sod lawns due to the high acidity of the urine whilst with synthetic turf this is not an issue.
Synthetic turf options are used for pets in both residential and commercial applications such as dog runs, gardens, animal training facilities and dog parks.
The reasons of using synthetic turf in those environments are:
– No more tracking mud, grass and dirt Inside
– Virtually impossible for dogs to dig through
– No more yellow spots in the garden
– No need for fertilizers and weed killers that are dangerous to pets
– Pets stay cleaner
– Fleas and ticks are deterred
Other surfacing options have their own pros and cons. Pea gravel, for instance, can harbour insects and sharp objects. Dust is an issue with both pea gravel and decomposed granite. Rubber matting is difficult to drain, and may foster bacteria. Mulch posed a number of similar issues for Schuylkill and New York City dog parks—the periodic excavation of mulch endangers tree roots, and fungus spores flourishing in mulch can damage a dog’s liver if ingested.
There are a number of factors to consider when surfacing a dog park—park size, traffic concentration, park drainage, to name a few. Choosing the better fit between safe options means balancing cost, maintenance, and long-term durability and depends on individual park circumstances.