Many people with pets who are pondering whether to use natural or artificial turf in their yard weigh the options based on what’s better for their pet, as well as for them. While it might seem like a sensible choice, there are several reasons why it may not be the best one.

1. Artificial turf can be up to 86  hotter than natural turf. In states with warmer climates, Southern California and Arizona chief among them, summer temperatures are already hot and with even higher temps on artificial turf, dogs and cats can burn the pads of their paws when walking on it. Plants and natural sod transpires – or gives off water vapor. This process helps to passively cool the environment around it. This is one reason why even in the hottest direct sunlight, natural grass is much more bearable to the touch than cement, asphalt, or artificial turf. The pores plants have on their leaves, or blades of grass as is the case, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen and water molecules. Those water molecules immediately evaporate and cool the environment around them. This cooling effect is great for people, pets, and other plants. Artificial grass doesn’t have the ability to create a cooling effect.

2. One of the benefits touted by artificial turf enthusiasts is its easy cleanup. In reality, like any other synthetic material, fluids, pet waste, and other debris will collect on it and some aren’t easily washed away. Natural grass can be cut and regrow and is easier to clean.

3. Artificial turf isn’t soft like a natural sod lawn. The blades of “grass” are hard and can hurt if a person or pet falls on it. This can be especially unsafe for kids who are playing. Sliding on the artificial turf can create a sort of “rug burn” and cause minor injuries.

4. It’s expensive! Artificial turf can have a life expectancy of anywhere from 8-20 years, depending on the manufacturer. After that, it will need to be replaced. At anywhere from $5-$20+  per square foot, this is a big investment to make, particularly when you will need to replace it in fewer than 10 years. 

5. Natural sod is environmentally-friendly, artificial turf is not. Part of the draw to artificial turf is that it’s supposedly water-wise, which helps in times of drought and conserving water. However, artificial turf is made of plastic, rubber, and other materials that are not biodegradable, and cleaning or cooling it requires water. Eventually, it will end up in a landfill. As its components break down, it’s possible for the chemicals in its materials to leak into the environment. Many states are researching and making claims about its toxicity and more research still needs to be done. 

For more information on why our natural turf grass sod is the right choice for you, visit our website: https://www.westcoastturf.com/

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