Fake Turf Vs. Real Grass: The Pros and Cons of Accessible Grass Potty Patches for Dogs
People all over the world own dogs. Some are posh apartment pets, while others spend their days running around on farms.
The common denominator of all of these dogs?…They all have to use the bathroom!
If you live in a nice suburban area with a fenced-in backyard or a rural piece of land where your pup can roam, letting your dog out to go to the bathroom is a no brainer.
But, if you live on the 14th floor of an apartment complex, getting outside every few hours to let your pup relieve himself is more of a challenge. The good news is that companies now make grass potty patches that you can place on your patio so your pup can use the bathroom whenever they need it.
When it comes to these patches, you can find them made of fake turf or real grass.
Which is better to use?
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons starting with fake turf…
Pros and Cons for Fake Turf
Fake Turf Pros
Fake Turf Pro #1 – Fake Turf Never Dies
It’s obvious that fake turf will never die. Therefore you don’t have to continuously replace the turf if it ends up getting a little too much sun or you forget to water it.
Because it’s fake, your dog’s urine also won’t discolor or kill the grass.
Fake Turf Pro #2 – Fake Turf is Cost-Effective
If you’re diligent about cleaning your dog’s fake grass potty pad, it can last for a long time.
This does require time and effort and must be done on a weekly basis, if not more frequently.
Fake Turf Pro #3 – Fake Turf is Easy to Access
Fake turf patches for dogs can be found in just about any pet store.
If you need a quick solution to provide your pup with somewhere to use the bathroom, running out and buying fake turf isn’t difficult.
Fake Turf Cons
Fake Turf Con #1 – Fake Turf Needs To Be Cleaned
Fake turf is typically made out of plastic. And plastic won’t absorb your pup’s urine.
For this reason, fake turf needs to be cleaned frequently so it doesn’t smell. If it gets too messy, your dog might refuse to use it all together.
Fake Turf Con #2 – Fake Turf Isn’t Environmentally Friendly
Producing patches of fake grass for dogs to use isn’t very environmentally friendly. During production, a number of harmful CFCs are released into the environment.
While these grass patches are reusable, they will need to be replaced from time to time. This leads to even more waste.
Fake Turf Con #3 – Unnatural Scent
Fake turf is plastic, so of course, it’s not going to smell like normal grass.
Most dogs are drawn to the scent of fresh grass and associate that smell with where they are supposed to use the bathroom. If you are potty training your pup, fake grass that smells like other synthetic materials in your home might be confusing.
And now onto using real grass turf…
Pros and Cons of Real Grass
Real Grass Pros
Real Grass Pro #1 – Real Grass Potty Patches are Self-Cleaning
Real grass potty patches are able to clean themselves.
The grassroots absorb the urine and whatever doesn’t get absorbed ends up being filtered through the dirt. Of course, any solid waste will have to be scooped up.
Real Grass Pro #2 – Real Grass Naturally Attracts Your Dog
Have you ever noticed while out on a walk that your dog waits until they find the perfect patch of grass to do their business, instead of relieving themselves on the concrete or in the dirt?
There’s something about fresh grass that naturally attracts a dog and encourages them to do their business. So, if you choose to use real grass, you may have an easier time teaching your pup how to use the bathroom on your potty patch.
Real Grass Pro #3 – Real Grass is a Safe, Natural Option for your Pup
When you’re using real grass, you don’t have to worry about your dog using the bathroom on a product filled with chemicals and toxins.
A grass potty patch is the closest thing you can give your pup to a natural backyard.
Real Grass Cons
Real Grass Con #1 – Real Grass Must be Maintained
If you want your grass patch to last for a little while, you have to water it and keep it in an area that gets adequate sunlight.
Neglect your grass patch and it will die before your dog gets full use out of it.
Real Grass Con #2 – Regular Replacement of Real Grass is Costly
Real grass patches will have to be changed at least once a month, possibly more depending on how frequently your pup does his business on it.
Most grass patches cost about $30 each, so if you replaced yours every month it would cost around $360 per year to maintain your dog’s outdoor potty area.
Real Grass Con #3 – Real Grass Patches Are More Difficult to Find in Stores
Grass is a living thing. Therefore, many pet stores don’t keep it in stock on their store shelves!
If you want a grass patch, you will likely have to order it online. This means it could take days or weeks for your potty patch to arrive at your doorstep. Although there are now (believe it or not) companies that specialize in delivering regular pieces of lawn to your door such as Doggie Lawn.
So Which Option Should You Choose?
There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to selecting the type of potty patch that will work for you.
Both options have pros and cons. What’s important is that you provide your dog with a safe place for when nature calls.
If you are interested in trying out a real grass option, I recommend a service called Doggie Lawn.
(Only available in the United States.)
Doggie Lawn is a subscription service that sends environmentally-friendly patches of grass to your door on your own schedule.
Best of Luck!
~Doggy Dan 🙂