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Experience of Astro turf (good or bad)

(36 Posts)
BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 07:52:44

So after a miserable wet winter the grass at the side of our house is now mostly moss and mud. This is the area we play ball with the dog so thinking of biting the bullet and getting artificial grass installed before the next winter.

Does anyone have any experience with it in regards to dogs? It is a shady area so won't get hot in the summer but my biggest concern is whether it would be bad for his paws when he runs and skids to get the ball.

villainousbroodmare Fri 19-Jan-18 07:59:54

I don't think it will have any appalling impact on his paws unless he is putting up huge mileage on it, but it's just a great slab of plastic and it does have an unpleasant and very prolonged environmental impact. I would look into natural solutions such as woodchip, sand, or tougher grass. Tbh grass doesn't survive the combination of wet winter conditions and heavy footfall. That's why we house cattle in the winter.

Chickoletta Fri 19-Jan-18 08:13:03

We put it in last spring for exactly the reasons you've given and it's been a life changer. Kids and dogs can use it whenever they want and no mud trailed into the house.

It's nothing like Astro turf that you play football on! That hurts because it's got sand on the surface but artificial lawn isn't like that at all. You do use sand when you lay it but it doesn't stay on the surface. My dogs love it.

You can get samples sent through the post to feel the texture etc.

We went for quite a pricey one as it's not a very big plot and it looks good. DH is very good at this sort of thing and laid it himself to save money - it was quite a big job which involved ton bags of various sands, gravels etc being delivered - kids found it v exciting!

A few people have been surprisingly snooty about it (not anyone who's seen it though actually, just at the concept) but we've never looked back.

Chickoletta Fri 19-Jan-18 08:14:30

PS - DH is a vet so there's no way we would have got it if any potential problems for the dogs.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 08:18:21

Chickoletta I have been looking at the different types online which they recommend for pets/playground areas. Is yours quite a long blade of artificial grass?

I must admit despite the eye watering expense I don't think we would be happy to lay it ourself because we did the area before in turf and it isn't level and looks rubbish so we need the professionals in grin

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 08:23:25

Oh and that's reassuring about it being safe for dogs as we have had a few injuries to his paws and this area is only to be used to play on so wanted to make sure before we shell out lots of money.

LifeBeginsNow Fri 19-Jan-18 08:24:32

My husband lays this for his business and it's fab stuff! There's not much upkeep, just hose it down now and again. Great for kids and pets and looks good all the time!

There are different grades so just pick wisely but when you ask the professionals, they will drop off samples for you to look at. While there, they can measure the plot and then give you prices on a selection of grades.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 08:26:29

villainousbroodmare to be honest the environmental aspect isn't enough to put me off. I make more of an impact to the environment going on long haul holidays.

We have looked at other surfaces but it is for the dog and he loves to chase a bouncing ball about and other types just won't work for that.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 08:27:43

LifeBeginsNow presumably when I get quotes they should be able to tell me which types are best for play/pets?

GnomeDePlume Fri 19-Jan-18 09:08:10

We have both artificial turf and a dog. It is brilliant stuff. Easy to clean, looks good all year round. We have had ours down for a couple of years now and no regrets.

LifeBeginsNow Fri 19-Jan-18 09:59:10

Yes they should. The grass my husband sells is all suitable. They offer a shock pad which can go underneath the grass and is great for kids playing but that wouldn't be suitable for pets unfortunately (same problem we have).

Elphame Fri 19-Jan-18 09:59:40

A friend of mine has it and loves it with her pug. I dislike the stuff. It's horrible for the environment and doesn't look very nice at all.

numbereightyone Fri 19-Jan-18 10:03:39

I don't like it. Unlike turf which breaks down the urine into the ground, it sits on the plastic. It absolutely stinks. I wouldn't like to have to disinfect my garden to make it sanitary.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 10:18:11

He tends to pee and poo elsewhere and I agree the stuff I have seen does look artificial but the place we are thinking off is not visible to anyone including us as it's at the side and hidden away so isn't really of use for anything else other than the dog.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 10:19:54

The stuff I looked at had drainage just like grass so I am not sure about urine sitting on top. numbereightyone have you had some then with dogs and found that was a problem?

numbereightyone Fri 19-Jan-18 10:39:16

I don't have it personally but I have been in a garden which does and it stank of urine. Even with drainage, the urine smell doesn't go away, unless you constantly disinfect it.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 10:44:01

Ok so I need to weigh up the hassle of watering with disinfectant the grass so it washes the urine away if he decides to pee on it and it stinks versus him stinking of mud and dirtying the house when he has walked and played on the current surface grin

numbereightyone Fri 19-Jan-18 10:51:12

Dogs are messy.
Personally I would prefer the smell of mud and grass than stale urine and disinfectant but everybody is different.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 11:10:20

If it was grass and mud like a playing field in the winter it wouldn't be so bad. But with it being in the shade it's now mostly moss and mud with the occasional tuft of grass and is becoming unusable for anything. Even the dog turns his nose up to walking on it when it's particularly boggy sad so we are going to have to do something with it but trying to work out the best thing to do.

numbereightyone Fri 19-Jan-18 11:18:02

That sounds tricky. What is the source of the shade? Do you need a lawn? If not, what about making the area into a woodland area with a covering of bark or other natural material with lots of woodland plants?

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 11:24:28

Shade is due to next doors house so nothing we can do there. We really want a surface that you can throw and bounce balls on as that is all my ball chasing spaniel loves. We had toyed with trying shade friendly turf but think in another year we will be back to the same problem. Wood chip won't be good for bouncing balls. We could pave it but we have had several paw injuries from him sliding on hard or sharp surfaces so that's out the window hence being concerned about how paw friendly the artificial stuff was.

Singlebutmarried Fri 19-Jan-18 11:48:22

Hi Bitey.

We just had ours done. 2 large dogs.

Dead easy to clean up. Will be hosing (or jetwashong on low) weekly with a disinfectant. No different to when I hose the patio.

BiteyShark Fri 19-Jan-18 16:30:14

Thanks everyone, I think we will go ahead and get some quotes and try not to wince about the cost as it looks like it's a workable surface for us and the dog grin

Abhorsen Fri 19-Jan-18 16:51:51

My friend did this and I was very sceptical until I saw it in real life. It was fine, didn’t smell at all (although in Scotland it rains so often that you possibly get away with not washing it down!) and looked a million times better than my mossy weedy patch of grass. If it wasn’t so expensive I’d do it in a heartbeat.

FuckyDucky Sat 27-Jan-18 09:18:52

My neighbours in our last house had it done and they had a dog. Honestly it really stank but then I don’t think they ever hosed it down.
I’m sure if it’s cleaned regularly it would be fine.

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