Can Dogs Pee On Turf? #1 Way How To Protect It

luxury backyard with dark green turf, a small brown dog and an inground swimming pool

If you have a dog and you are considering replacing your lawn with artificial turf, you probably have a lot of questions.  Will the dog be able to dig through the turf?  Can the turf withstand the running and claws of the dog?  Will you be left with a frumpy green rug after a few months, or will the artificial turf withstand the impact?  And last but not least, can dogs pee on turf?

Can Dogs Pee On Turf?

Let’s start by making a quick observation about the last question above.  It’s not a question of ‘can dogs pee on turf’, it’s more a question of ‘when dogs pee on turf’. Many homeowners fear that their dog’s pee will affect how long backyard turf lasts. If you have a dog and you have artificial turf, unless you put up a fence your dog will inevitably do their business on the turf.  Because of this, it’s best to plan ahead and purchase turf intended to be used by dogs.

Dog friendly artificial turf is available from nearly every artificial turf manufacturer out there.  The important part is the turf is slightly rougher to the touch, and each blade of grass is less prone to crimping or bending over.  Pet friendly turf will not be as soft and fine as other artificial turf.  This is to withstand the running and path making tendency of dogs. 

Dogs tend to run from one place to another in the fastest possible way.  This leads to dogs creating dirt pathways in the traditional yard because they just don’t like to take the long way.  That is unless there’s something interesting to sniff or a squirrel to chase.

Turf designed to be dog friendly will also be designed with a reinforced woven substrate. This reduces the ability of even the most determined dogs from digging through it.  Is it possible for a dog to dig through the turf?  Anything is possible, but in nearly every case, the dog will become frustrated and move on to another place in the yard, like a flower bed or natural grass if they have digging tendencies which need to be satisfied.  

How To Protect Your Turf From Dog Pee

Also, there’s the infill.  Infill is what weighs down the artificial turf, keeping it in place.  There are specific dog friendly infills which are designed to neutralize pet odors.  One brand which you ought to consider is Biofill Pet Deodorizer

BioFill Pet Deodorizer Granular Infill for Artificial Grass Turf, All Natural Dog Urine Neutralizer, Outdoor Use, 40 lb…

This infill will help neutralize the odor of your dog’s urine and keep you from needing to hose off the lawn every day.  It’s not a bad idea to hose off the lawn on a regular basis anyhow though.  This prevents dust from building up and washes any urine residue down into the drainage bed below the turf.  The deodorizing infill will help with the days in between measurably.

How To Install Turf That Is Dog Pee Friendly

When designing an artificial turf area and faced with the question can dogs pee on turf, you need to take in a few other considerations.  To start with, as we’ve already stated, you need the pet friendly turf.  Not only is the pet friendly turf more durable, but it’s also designed to drain well. This means you need to prepare your substrate such that you allow for the pee to drain through the turf and not sit in a puddle if it rains.  This would be just about the worst case scenario of an improper installation.

As with nearly every backyard project, you must begin by building a proper foundation.  The key with any well draining lawn or athletic field whether artificial or natural is to ensure you have proper drainage.  If you have well draining sandy soils, you simply need to install geo-textile fabric and 4-6” of 1/4” to 3/8” crushed stone base under the artificial turf. With sand, the water will drain immediately through the turf. Then it will go into the voids between the crushed stone then percolate through the sand into the ground.  

large black dog showing the answer to can dogs pee on turf as being yes in a small backyard with a wooden fence in the backyard

If you have less than well draining soils, you’ll need to make sure you have a deeper crushed stone base. That way the rainwater has more time to percolate into the soil.  Also, you may want to introduce a dry well where larger amounts of rainwater can build up.  If you are building a large lawn, it’s not a bad idea to consider using a landscape architect or civil engineer.  They can help you with the grading and drainage of the lawn in areas with poorly draining soil especially.

Can Dogs Pee On Turf Summary

Ultimately, can dogs pee on turf?  Absolutely, they can and they will.  Just make sure you’ve prepared yourself with a well draining dog friendly installation.  If you keep these basics in mind when designing for your yard you’ll find artificial turf a welcome change.