As much as you love your new lawn of artificial grass, so do your furry friends. However, most dogs are used to using your lawn to relieve themselves, which can turn out to be problematic when you have an artificial grass lawn as dog urine, feces, vomit, and saliva can leave behind a mess of odor and stains. In this article, we cover short-term (cleaning products, methods, and tips) and long-term (buying specifically designed artificial grass) ways to clean up after your pet on artificial grass.
Short-Term Strategies to Clean Dog Waste
Cleaning Dog Poop and Urine
Just like humans, dogs also have different consistencies when it comes to their poop. Healthy dogs pass firm stools whereas puppies and even older dogs, in some cases, can suffer diarrhea.
In the case of diarrhea, your work is reduced as artificial grass sheets generally have holes in them that allow for drainage of water and other liquids. Therefore, there’s a high chance that most of the stools will flow through the layer of grass back into the soil or aggregate layer and naturally decompose, which is also the case with dog urine.
For more solid waste, a dog poop-scooper can be used as you normally would. You could do this once a week or on a daily basis depending on if you’re more particular about germs and bacteria or whether you have artificial grass that has a good antimicrobial surface.
Removing Stains and Odor
Like we said, dog waste leaves behind stains on certain brands of artificial grass that may be of a low quality. Thus, it becomes necessary to disinfect the grass and get rid of the stain and odor every few weeks or months, depending on the situation. You can use the following methods to get rid of stains and odor:
- Vacuuming: Vacuuming or using a leaf-blower on the artificial grass not only helps remove odor but also any other debris such as dirt, leaves, and dog hair.
- Water: Water is a tried and tested method of removing stains. Spraying the grass with water through a hose (so that the flow of water is at a higher pressure, which allows for easy cleaning) to remove dirt or dissolve water-soluble wastes to let them seep through the grass and naturally decompose.
- Using Disinfectants: Disinfectants help remove stains and odor, such as bacterial enzyme sprays or even natural, homemade disinfectants such as vinegar and baking soda. You can spray, mop, or wipe the surface of the grass with disinfectant to keep the area clean.
- Using Specifically Designed Cleaning Products: Today, there are many products available in the market that are specifically designed to remove stains and odor of pet waste. These products can either be diluted or sprayed in their concentrated form, depending on the instructions issued with the product. Spray these products directly from the bottle, through a garden and lawn sprayer, with a garden hose and applicator, or even manually with a bucket.
It’s important to remember to buy cleaning products that don’t damage the grass, such as products with a higher concentration of acidic elements. Also look for natural and non-toxic products to protect your pets and yourself, and remember to always read and follow the instructions issued for the products’ use.
Additionally, manufacturers of artificial grass may themselves issue specific instructions for cleaning dog waste off your lawn, so always make it a point to check with them in such situations. Most manufacturers offer a set of cleaning and maintenance instructions for the product, as well as guarantee or warranty conditions in the case of damage or wear and tear.
Long-Term Strategies for Dog Waste
There are different types of artificial grass that are specially designed to handle pet waste. These types generally may have a firm backing and good drainage features, or even no backing but artificial glass tiles and portable dog potties with a tray catchment system, instead.
High-quality grass doesn’t stain easily or catch odors easily, which is why most people prefer them for their pets. Some types of grass you could consider are:
- Specially designed antimicrobial surface grass or specifically treated grass to minimize the spread of bacteria and germs from dog waste.
- Grass with good drainage features, that is, a highly porous backing that allows liquids to flow through to the soil or aggregate layer and traps solids on the surface.
- An aggregate layer of fine sand, gravel, or crushed rock that acts as an absorber and filter.
- Add new, organic, and biodegradable infill, especially for older lawns, to reduce odors and stains.
Sometimes, dogs may also try to dig holes in your lawn, so always keep an eye on them to ensure this doesn’t happen. Additionally, pet hair can also be a problem, clogging the fine pores in the grass’ backing and interfering with drainage. Sweep and skim with a hard bristle broom or use a magnetic sweep to clean up hair. Lastly, remember to re-lift the blades of your grass after cleaning, to maintain their aesthetic appeal.