I’m in Toronto and have a small, partially shaded yard with very high traffic from dogs chasing each other – what is the best one for me?
This question is actually fairly similar to some of the others we have answered, though it does throw a bit of a curveball in one important respect: climate. As it turns out, most of the people who request further information live somewhere in the contiguous US which generally has a vastly different climate than Toronto except for the most northern reaches of the American Midwest. As such, your particular combination of circumstance – specifically that you live in what is known as a sub-continental climate zone and that your local environment in incredibly active.
From these two primary considerations, we can identify which artificial grass will best serve your individual needs. First, let us cover the climate as that is actually a bit easier to consider than what you will need from dogs. One of the things that makes this part of the world a bit unusual when choosing artificial grass is the sheer range of weather that Toronto can receive. In fact, these days Toronto’s weather is a bit more similar to some of the midwestern states a couple of hundred miles south – though the Great Lakes region definitely keeps the climate a bit more similar over larger distances.
Regardless, the semi-continental climate zone is noted for two major qualities that might not seem obvious at first glance. The first distinction with the semi-continental climate zone that stands out compared to the various parts of the southern United States we have covered – from east coast to west – is the fact that Toronto receives a significant amount of rain. While it may seem that the low temperatures of Toronto are more notable, the sheer amount of rain Toronto receives is Something we have not yet covered. On average, between one quarter to one third out of the days in a year drop rain over Toronto.
This copious amount of precipitation is not too terribly big of a deal in the colder months when the water drops to the ground as snow. While this must be addressed, it is not inherently as big of a concern when choosing your artificial grass for the product’s resilience against water. The reason for this is that while the average amount of rain will remain consistent throughout the year, those frigid winter months will eventually thaw into a warm, humid summer. As such, while the cold months can present some structural issues for certain artificial grasses, the warm, wet summer months present mildew, mold, and other microbial problems if you do not keep up with the maintenance.
Generally, the maintenance of artificial grass is not that big of a deal and is often a big part of the reason to choose artificial grass in the first place. While that is all well and good, the consideration begins to shift a bit when you include the kind of stress that dogs can put of the artificial grass. You did not specify the number, but you did use the plural ‘dogS’, so we can safely assume you have at least two pups. On top of that, you noted that the area where you need the grass is small. This means that the dogs will use the restroom multiple times a day on the artificial grass.
While artificial grass is designed to be more resilient in general than natural grass, one area where artificial grass falls a bit short is in terms of waste removal. Natural grass is itself its own small ecosystem with a food chain of microorganisms that break down the waste and turn it into usable nutrients for the plants. Without this natural decomposition, you will have to regularly clean up after the dogs. You can look for artificial grass that helps protect against microbes to reduce the regularity of the artificial grass’ maintenance, but multiple dogs will still require likely twice weekly cleanings.
The other obvious issue relating to dogs, which your question properly identified, is the amount of physical abuse the artificial grass will endure. One thing to keep in mind is that there is not an artificial grass made, even for professional sports, that can withstand the abuse of a dedicated dog. If a dog decides that it is going to destroy artificial grass, it will only be a matter of time before it does. With this being the case, while some artificial grass will stand up to the rigors of dog’s general use and play, consider if you have dogs that like to dig or chew carpet that they will likely destroy the artificial grass before too long.
In terms of which product is the best for your needs, we think two possibilities really shine. First is the iCustomrug which is easily the most all-around durable artificial grass on our list. Even better, the iCustomrug is also the only product on our list that has mildew and microbial resistance which will prevent you from having to clean the grass quite so much – though a weekly cleaning will likely be the necessary minimum. The other suggestion is the Synturfmats which is likely the best for the physical abuse from the dogs, but it will require more regular cleaning.