Does anyone here have experience with artificial sod in their dog's potty area?

After we got our pool our "dog" area is much smaller (L shaped area with each "wing" of the L maybe 15x10).  The dogs really destroy the grass there (mostly due to pee burn) so we have been trying to grow clover with mixed success.  DH is fed up and wants to put artificial turf (the "grassy" type that looks a bit more natural) but I really want to keep plants growing there, both just because I like it better and for the bees.  I also think with the dogs doing their business there the artificial stuff would need a lot of regular cleaning to stay looking nice.

Any thoughts on this?

DH says we can give the clover a try for a few more years but if I know him as well as I think I do he'll push for the turf next Summer...


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  • I got an estimate once for artificial turf, along with the info on it. 
    The cost was astronomical. And it gets really really hot. And I think there are issues with the smell, which I can't remember now, but it sounded like a lot more work than I wanted. I decided against it.
    The clover is fine much of the year, but it dies back in winter, and then you have nothing but dirt. I know because my entire yard is clover and weeds, lol. It's definitely a problem. It's fine in winter when there is snow covering most of the yard, but the spring is a nightmare until the clover finally grows in. Mud, as far as the eye can see. :(
    What worked best for me was fescue grass. It's tougher than regular grass and seemed to hold up well when I had it. Unfortunately, Jackdoodle's skin testing came back high positive for fescue, so I had it all ripped out and resodded with blue grass, which did not affect his allergies but also didn't stand up to his 80 lbs running over it daily. I gave up. I keep towels by the back door and take Jasper out on leash when the yard is muddy. 
    The whole thing is definitely frustrating and there doesn't seem to be any good solution.

    • That's an issue for me too, the heat from the astroturf vs having some grass.  Most of our back yard is either pool or deck (the deck does have a shady pergola though).  The grassy area is noticeably cooler in the Summer.

      We haven't gotten a quote but I imagine it's crazy expensive.  This is our "forever" home so we are willing to invest if we are absolutely sure about something.. but I'm not sure lol.  I like plants and living stuff way more than artificial.

      • And the artificial turf is terrible for the environment. 

        • It is.  I do have quite a few garden planters around the pool but "losing" the rest of the back yard to artificial landscaping doesn't sit right with me.  

          I don't know why DH cares so much about having a "nice" lawn area back there anyway, it's basically just an area for the dogs to do their business and play sometimes.  Us 2-legged ones have the pool area and a big deck to use.

  • It's SO FRUSTRATING.  I wouldn't care SO much about a gorgeous lawn if it wasn't for dogs and mud.  But dang it I do and have no skills in growing things effectively.  Every single one of my dogs brought in a new set of lawn destruction skills.  Between running hard, digging, divots from tight turns and stops, and now, Milo who just pulls out a chunk of sod (grass, roots, dirt) to try to eat...OMW!  There's no hope.  I still have dreams of astroturf.  Some people with dogs SWEAR by it in various Facebook groups and claim it is a dream and easy to keep clean.  But no personal experience.  

    Worth trying a super hardy grass and since the main destruction is pee burns, if you can wet the area as soon as they go, that helps dilute the nitrogen instead of leaving it concentrated in one spot.  


    • Toby does the SAME thing with grass clumps!  Little stinkers.

      I've thought about putting a rain barrel near the pee area since we do have a downspout right there, it might be a good solution for the burn marks at least.  Clover definitely does better than grass but it can't quite withstand Riley's astronomical amounts of pee all in one spot lol.

      • Our new pup, Jinkxy, grazes like a cow (maybe she has cow in her) and pulls up huge clumps of grass on a daily basis. I live in a totally different climate so this may not work for you but we've had luck with St. Augustine grass. You have to sod it in rather than plant seeds, but if it takes it is fairly dog proof. We have a small yard and there is a spot that simply does not grow so I have to redo that section right off the patio every year. But that section is not enough to create much mud. It dies back in winter but it's still there- no mud. 

        • Looks like that type of grass wouldn't survive here.  We are zone 5a/5b so anything that can't take staying dormant for 6+ months of sub-zero temperatures doesn't make it through the winter.  

          There are only a few types of grass that work in lawns here and I don't think any of them are dog-resistant sadly, clover is the only solution I've found and it's taking a few years to get it well-established from seed.

  • We got artificial turf to replace an area of backyard lawn about 10 x12 feet that the dogs always have pottied on. The area always was gross.  They adapted fine to using it.  We use a Simple Green cleaner that attaches to a hose sprayer a few times a year. I really only notice a smell of urine in the hot summer months.  Also during the summer we cover the area with a Sun Shade as the sun does make the turf hot.  My dogs have always been grass eaters so it helps in that area also.  For a small area such as this the cost was not too bad.  I am really happy with it.

    • 9667006689?profile=RESIZE_930xWe did this little portion because we had company with kids coming and I just needed something other than rocks for them to play on.  It has worked out well and we are going to take up the rocks and tile and turf the rest of the yard soon.  We make sure there are shaded spots for potty in the Summer and we hose it down with Angry Orange and the hose when we notice a urine smell.  It smells the most in the Summer with the heat.  We like it alot, hard to grow grass and use so much water to try and keep it green and healthy in a desert. 


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