Real Grass, Real Problems!
Do you have outdoor space at your daycare?
This is a question a lot of pet parents ask. Of course, it’s nice to have your dog get some “fresh air”* and play outside in the grass but typically that also means that they will go to the bathroom outside. That begs the question that nearly all pet parents don’t ask but is the primary one they should ask – How do you clean your outdoor space?
*Note: with Dogtopia of Edmond’s Steril-Aire appliance the outside air is significantly more polluted than the inside air. https://www.steril-aire.com/uvc-facts/ can tell you all you need about our in-room air cleanliness.
Most dog daycares have a system for cleaning up in-room eliminations but they often fall short when the dogs are outside.
While it’s one thing for your dog(s) to go to the bathroom on the grass in your backyard. It’s another issue when you have 50+ dogs going to the bathroom in the same space. Urine and feces are the most common methods of disease transport. If you’re relying on rainfall in Oklahoma to wash it away there’s something wrong with that solution.
Just look at what happens to pet urine inside your home that hasn’t been cleaned and you can translate that outside. Inside the home, you get ammonia odor, bacteria, and other microorganisms. These same elements exist outside. And while urine will evaporate over time it doesn’t immediately absorb into the Oklahoma clay, gravel, artificial turf, etc. Additionally, natural grass is a haven for bugs, requires pesticides and significant maintenance to keep it looking like more than a patch of dirt with some weeds.
These surfaces have to be cleaned more than once a day (and with more than water) if you want it to be safe for dogs to play on.
All Artificial Grass is not Equal
While many places move to artificial grass or gravel as an outdoor solution. Not all of these surfaces are created equal.
- Artificial grass does eliminate some issues: No holes from digging, easier pickup of feces, no-bugs, no-reptiles, etc. but drainage is an issue with any surface and particularly grass using plastic backings, hole drainage, etc.
- Decomposed granite or pea gravel both harbor insects which can be an issue.
- Rubber matting will inhibit draining, retain heat and foster bacteria.
At Dogtopia of Edmond we know not all artificial grasses are even close to being appropriate for your dog, more importantly, multiple dogs. We’ve installed K-9 Grass in our facility because it brings the best manufacturing techniques to bear on the drainage problem. This video shows just how profound the draining differential is between our product and other so-called “pet-friendly” grasses.
Cleaning the Grass!
Cleaning also is a vitally important part of the “safety solution.” When it’s time to clean grass at many dog daycares they just break out the hose. We do that too but we’re also spraying enzymatic cleaners on the lawn that destroys all the biologic materials. We also do that twice a day so that it never smells, doesn’t carry any diseases, bacteria, or other harmful pathogens. K-9 Grass also doesn’t have those “odor control” infills that some manufacturers use to initially make the grass smell good but actually prohibits drainage and over time cause issues.
The next time you’re looking for a daycare or boarding place. Ask the question: How do you clean your outdoor space? We think you’ll be surprised at some of the answers. Push a little harder as well and ask what chemicals they actually use to clean the outside area, etc. Fun is the goal of dog daycare but it has to start with safety.