Is Laying Artificial Grass Turf Pet Friendly?

How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from Artificial Grass

Installing artificial grass in a pet owners’ home is slightly different to a regular household. Whilst the majority of artificial grass ranges contain sufficient drainage systems to deal with pet urine, excessive toiletry use may cause a lingering odour.

There are certain precautions you can take to ensure your fake grass doesn’t become a hoarder of bad smells. Urine certainly is not this years must have summer fragrance so you may want to read on for some top tips to keep your grass smelling clean and fresh.

1. Installation

Getting the installation right sets you in good stead against pet urine. You must make sure your sub-base is permeable – the liquid needs to be able to pass through the sub layer and drain away. Some pet owners have found that by laying the weed membrane beneath the foundations, instead of directly under the grass, prevents urine being trapped between the layers. However, we would advise speaking to your fitter or our grass experts for further advice on this.


2. Regular Maintenance

Depending on the area of your grass and the number of times it is used as a pet toilet, you will need to hose it down to keep on top of the smell. A routine of once a month should be suffice, however the more pets you have the more often this will need to be carried out. For regular use, it is advised to treat the grass with professional grass cleaner in addition to the hosing. Once or twice a month will help keep the smell under control, especially during peak summer when smells can be heightened.



How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from Artificial Grass
Artificial Grass Cleaner – 1ltr bottle

3. Pet Hair Treatment

If you have a furry friend who loves to cast his coat, then it’s important to keep an eye on pet hair. A blocked drainage system could cause a backup of urine as it will have nowhere to filter. The majority of pet hair will simply blow away in the wind. However giving your artificial grass a spruce up by brushing back the strands can prevent any blockages. Some people hoover the grass or use a leaf blower to treat any trapped hair between the strands and the base.


Pet Friendly St Lucia Artificial Grass
St Lucia Artificial Grass

Pet Pee Myths

It’s important to establish what will get rid of the smell of pet urine from what will mask it. There are all sorts of profession cleaners available to treat the issue. Listening to internet myths and trying home remedies can make the smell worse.


Top 3 recommended myths for pet urine:

Diluted white vinegar – Whilst the vinegar will act as a neutraliser to remove the odour, unless you want to replace the smell with the potent smell of vinegar, we advise to stay clear.


Sprinkling the grass with sand – This is a common misconception to treat pet urine. What you’re actually doing here is giving the urine a base to soak into. It will crystallise into the sand giving you a bigger problem to deal with.


Jeyes fluid or Zoflora – Disinfectants are great for eliminating pet odour. Again, unless you love the smell, you may end up with another odour to tackle.

Getting the installation right and carrying out regular hosing will prevent the lingering smell of dog pee. Adding a monthly use of grass cleaner and there you have it… problem solved!


How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from Artificial Grass
Oslo Artificial Grass

Other Pet Issues you could encounter with Artificial Grass:



Making sure your artificial grass is tightly secured will avoid your pets being able to access any loose areas to encourage chewing. Fixing pins will seal the edges whilst grass adhesive cements any joins to stop them lifting.



Whilst there isn’t much you can do in the way of digging – other than teaching your pet not to do it. There are artificial grass ranges which are robust against their digging efforts. Having a separate soil area could encourage pets to dig there rather than the lawn too.


How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from Artificial Grass
Geneva Artificial Grass


We hope this blog has helped you to treat or prevent any pet problems. If you need any further assistance our artificial grass experts are at hand to assist you. Simply call us on: 03333 205 022 or leave a reply in the comment box below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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27 thoughts to “How to get rid of the smell of dog urine from Artificial Grass”

  1. Hi we had artificial grass laid 18 mths go by forever lawns only to discover we have a dog pee problem. We clean and wash regularly but it stinks!!!! After reading your blog we require it taking up removing the membrane and refitting or replacing the grass without any membrane. Is this something that you could carry out? We live in Walton Wakefield West Yorks.

    1. Hi Maggie,

      Thank you for your question and sorry to hear of the issue you’re having with pet odour.
      We need a little more detail regarding your fitting – Is the artificial grass fitted over concrete or an existing lawn base?

      Kind Regards,
      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  2. My artificial grass stinks of urine. It’s so bad and I’ve tried everything. Its layed on soil with sand on top of that and a layer of membrane. How can I get rid of the smell? Would sand brushed on top help? Please help me

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for your question.

      The problem is the urine is going into the sand on your sub-layer.

      If you refresh the grass with copious amounts of water to dilute the urine, then freshen this up with the artificial grass cleaner this should treat the problem.

      We would recommend rinsing at last 5 times before applying the cleaner to really flush it through.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if there is anything further we can assist you with.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  3. Good Afternoon. I love the new yard, and it is time to clean it up. Is it okay/preferred to use high pressure water or just a regular hose spray to clean? Thanks so much!
    Mickey Huckestein

    1. Hello Mickey,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can use either – as long as the high-pressure washer is a good distance away from the grass this will be fine.

      If there is anything else we can help you with, just let us know.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  4. Hello I’ve constantly got urine odour issues with my artificial lawn. There seems to be a drain away issue due to the ground being very clayie. We was advised to take away the membrane and we renewed the type 1 as suggested but still the urine sits on top and smells like a public toilet especially when the weather is warm. I hate my girls playing on the grass as their clothes end up smelling of the urine. We clean the grass on a regular bases and when possible I hose as soon as he wees.
    Please can you advise anything different?

    Thank you


    1. Hello Louise,

      Thank you for your question. Sorry to hear of the issues you are having with your turf. Generally speaking, urine is not an issue if it is able to drain away sufficiently.

      If you have installed your grass over what was a lawn then usually the urine will drain through the membrane, sub base & into the soil below. From what you have advised I believe the issue is with the clay-like soil, this is less porous then your usual silt-based soils which means the urine will be sitting & not absorbing into the base & this will cause the smell.

      Unfortunately, as it is not absorbing the only way to fix this issue would be to change the nature of the soil, you can do this by adding a layer of top soil, around 50mm plus. I hope this helps & if you need any further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  5. My yard stinks of pet urine so bad. I am not sure if its the dirt and rocks where we attempted to train her or the artificial grass. She does go in the grass now. We live inPhoenix, AZ and the hotter it gets the worse it stinks. 🙁 HELP!

    1. Hello Angelica,

      Sorry to hear of your issue, If you can provide a little more information I will do my best to get this resolved for you.

      Can you confirm what the grass is installed over & also what you use to clean the area?

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  6. Hi our grass is layered on terrace with is concrete or felt it has good drainage but smells of urine I hose it regularly and use grass cleaner but it still smells straight after

    1. Hello Mark,

      Firstly, we are sorry to hear you are having an issue with pet urine. We know how unpleasant this can be and will do our utmost to get this resolved for you.

      With your artificial grass being laid over a terrace, there are numerous factors which could be causing the issue.

      The initial install, for example, we would advise securing the grass using artificial grass adhesive sporadically over the surface area. This would avoid causing pockets for the urine to sit in.

      Artificial grass cannot hold urine itself, it is non-absorbent so that any liquids simply filter through. Did you use an artificial grass underlay?

      We would advise testing the drainage to make sure no areas at all are holding liquid. We would also advise rising thoroughly straight after your pet to dilute the urine, then a regular application of artificial grass cleanser will deal with any lingering odours.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  7. my grass is layed over rubble and rocks etc and ive cleaned it wqith multiple different products and still get the urine smell!!! what can I do to shift this smell?????

    1. Good morning David,

      Thank you for your comment.

      We need a little more information regarding the installation, what type of sub-base have you used?

      If your garden suffers poor drainage or you have pets, we advise our customers to use limestone chippings as this is much better for filtering as opposed to MOT type 1.

      We’d also advise using dust granite rather than sharp sand as this less likely to harbour odours.

      In addition to this, we advise regular cleaning maintenance and rinsing thoroughly after pet usage.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  8. The grass is layed over the concrete and has a drain at the end if I leave a hose running eventually you will see water going to the drain but if I lift up or roll back the grass on a dry sunny day the underneath surface can still be wet or damp as it obviously takes a lot longer for the sun to dry out completely. We did remove the original underlay as the water wasn’t draining away at all I think the underlay was a rubbish quality, do you think it would be better to put a underlay back under and if so do you have one you would recommend

    1. Good morning Mark,

      Thank you for the additional information.

      We would advise not having underlay in this installation at all.

      All the underlay will do is create another layer to potentially trap the urine in this instance. When initially purchasing your artificial grass, we would have advised going for a thicker range to compensate for the additional cushioning underlay provides rather than creating layers.

      It seems the issue here is with your drainage, the water should be free-flowing as opposed to holding underneath – which is what you’re identifying when pulling it back.

      We would advise addressing the drainage. A common method would be to drill holes into the ground to give the water a suitable place to drain. They don’t need to be very big, 16mm would suffice. After the holes are made, they should be filled with pea gravel to ensure that the water can escape and be properly absorbed.

      If you would like to speak to one of our artificial grass experts regarding this, I can arrange that for you.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

    1. Hi Mark,

      Unfortunately, there is not much you can do here.

      Sufficient drainage is extremely important, especially where pets are concerned.

      As your roof is a flat concrete surface the liquid will lie stagnant, which is what you are experiencing.

      We would advise speaking with a roofing expert to identify how you can improve your drainage. It could be that the surface of your roof is uneven, causing the water to congregate or it could be that the actual drain needs addressing.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  9. We have 2 areas of artificial turf that have been installed two year ago. Both areas are turf over gravel with decomposed granite over it, then the turf that they worked sand into the turf (I guess helps keep it upright?)

    In Nor Cal, the summer sun is hot and no rain for months. even with” treating” with a spray enzyme cleaner every 2 weeks, the smell is still bad in the heat. What is the best solution to use? I we don’t have time to spend an hour spraying grass every week- but I am seriously at my whits end! Do we have to rip this out and start over? In an ideal world, what would turf installation look like when you have dogs (wishing they would have told us to do something different or have a recommendation when they installed >: I ?

    Any insight is appreciated!

    1. Hi Dani,

      Thank you for your question and sorry to hear of the issue you are having.

      As you are situated in North California, the excessive temperature will intensify the urine smell so we fully understand your concern to get this rectified asap.

      Is your artificial grass fitted over a previous lawn? The subfloor is very important for installs where pets will be using the grass. We advise using limestone chippings and granite dust for the base layers, as this is less likely to harbour odours. We also advise, for yard installs, that the drainage is 100% efficient and tested thoroughly before installing the grass.

      By working sand into the turf, this can lead to the urine being trapped between the layers. The sand crystalises with the urine which causes that lingering odour.

      If you can confirm your subfloor, we can look into the best solution for you.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  10. Hello, I am about to lay my new lawn, my order from your site will arrive soon. I really want to get this right the first time around. I have a dog and two cats so definitely want to make sure urine drains properly. My soil Is chalky, what would you suggest for sub layers? Also how deep should each layer be? I ordered weed membrane but now wondering if this isn’t too good of an idea?
    All the best,

    1. Hi Rose,

      Thank you for your question.

      My sincerest apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

      As you have pets I would advise having a 75mm layer of Limestone Chipping & a 50mm layer of Granite Dust.

      These are much more absorbent than the normal MOT Type 1 & Sharp Sand & will also help to naturalise odours.

      As you are installing over an existing turf we would always recommend a weed membrane.

      These are permeable & will ensure that no damage happens to your turf through weeds.

      I hope this helps & if you have any further questions please come back to me.

      Kind Regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

  11. I am about to have a small area of , I hope , dog friendly artificial grass laid. After reading the comments I’m a little worried! I have two small dogs and look after a friends small dog during the week. At the moment I have large concrete slabs on a sub base of sand and concrete directly on a clay soil. I expect this to be excavated before laying the new artificial grass. Is there anything I need to consider at this point to ensure good drainage.

    Kind regards Dee
    Ps. I have a very good sense of smell !!

    1. Hi Dee,

      Thank you for getting in touch!

      All of our grasses are dog friendly, however, I would advise going for a pile no longer than 30mm as it’s easier to clean. All of our grasses have a permeable backing so provided the area drains well now you shouldn’t have an issue. Before making a decision though, I would advise speaking to a fitter. As you have clay soil drainage can sometimes be a problem and I would always seek professional advice. In terms of smells a few little changes can help, regular cleaning and swapping the base materials for Limestone Chippings & Granite Dust instead of MOT Type 1 & Sharp Sand. These are more absorbent & will help to neutralise odours.

      I hope this helps and of you have any further questions, please come back to us.

      Kind regards,

      Grass Direct – Customer Service Team

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