Natural grass or synthetic grass for outdoor dog runs?

January 4, 2018

A panel of veterinary design experts weighs in on this important choice.

Enclosed outdoor dog runs are excellent for getting a pack of pooches some fresh air-but how fresh will the area remain when they do their business? The potential for absorbed urine smell is one prime concern voiced by Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Conference speakers Dave Gasser, AIA, Wayne Usiak, AIA, and Scott Learned, MS, MBA, PE. They expressed the need for proper airflow, drainage and maintenance to address this issue, regardless of the surface choice.

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Other concerns include the need to shade synthetic grass installations to protect paws: Wayne Usiak related temperature readings of 170°F on the synthetic surface at his office.

"If dogs are on it, you see them high-stepping," he says, "So, the key is to shade it."

Click the audio clip above to hear much more discussion.