Whether you're using it for potty training or a play area, the best artificial grass for dogs is a sanitary and low-maintenance solution. That said, you'll want to make sure it's nontoxic, self-draining, and durable enough to withstand both your dog and the elements. Turf is an investment, so you want to make sure it's a worthy one.
A study found that artificial turf is typically a safe option for humans and could even be more eco-friendly than real grass, but you should still ensure that your brand of choice is labeled nontoxic and pet-friendly. (Most popular options are made from polypropylene, which is a versatile plastic that's considered one of the safer ones.)
You'll also want turf that has built-in drainage holes — and a lot of them. This will not only allow rainwater to flow through when placed outside (which will prevent mud puddles), but it'll also ensure that your dog's urine passes through the mat and can be rinsed clean. Luckily, pet-friendly artificial grass tends to have more drainage and permeability than standard turf.
Finally, look for features that make the artificial grass more durable, especially if you plan on placing it outside. This could mean UV-resistance, sturdy backing, bound edges, or non-fraying construction. No matter what, you'll want to make sure it can stand up to the weather as well as traffic and waste from your dog.
These five options come in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses, and styles, but they're all pet-safe and convenient.
1. The Overall Best Artificial Grass For Dogs
Goasis Lawn's artificial turf has over a thousand ratings on Amazon, not to mention an overall 4.3 stars. It's one of the most popular options because it's affordable, weather-resistant, low-maintenance, self-draining, and available in a huge range of different shapes and sizes. It's also easy to install and can be cut to your preferred size without fraying. Since it's pet-friendly and made to withstand moisture, UV, and flames, it's a great pick for training, dog runs, kennels, and mud-prevention. However, it doesn't come with a mat under it so it's not super portable.
- Material: Polypropylene
- Available sizes: 2 x 8 feet — 13 x 82 feet
One reviewer wrote: "Used it to help potty train my dogs, it worked WONDERS. I would recommend this to anyone. I like that I could choose the size of the artificial grass so I could cover my whole balcony. It surprised me how the artificial grass was very similar to actual grass. All in all it worked well for what I need it for."
2. The Best Artificial Grass Mat
Because it's a portable pad rather than a more permanent turf lining, the PETMAKER bathroom mat is a number-one best-seller in dog litter boxes on Amazon. It's available in two options depending on the size of your pet, and each one has three distinct layers that resist odors, prevent the growth of bacteria, and allow liquids to collect on the bottom to make for an easy clean-up. (While the manufacturer states that the top layer is made of soft "synthetic plastic," the actual material is not disclosed — but it's non-toxic and pet-friendly.) Finally, since the top layer is nontoxic and looks and feels just like real grass, this mat is a helpful tool for house-training your dog, whether it's placed inside or out.
- Material: Synthetic plastic
- Available sizes: Small — Medium
One reviewer wrote: "I could not be happier with this purchase! I have a smaller than average Pomeranian, with a bladder to match. [...] It was used within 24 hours of initial set-up! Also worth noting, we were able to move this potty to a more convenient location [...] the dog was unbothered and has continued using his new bathroom, even in its new location."
3. The Most Realistic-Looking Fake Grass
If you're going for realism in your yard or deck, opt for SunVilla's artificial grass turf. Yes, it's more expensive, but the blades are longer and thicker than most other options, plus they have a mix of green tones for the most natural-looking turf possible. In addition to the appearance, this option is also durable: It's UV-resistant, self-draining, nontoxic, fire-resistant, and pet-friendly. It also comes in over a dozen different size options to suit your space.
- Material: Yarn, polyethylene, latex
- Available sizes: 28 x 40 inches — 13 x 25 feet
One reviewer wrote: "I can’t grow grass in my back yard. It always looked messy and my dog would get muddy when it rained. This is a perfect solution for my dog and my family. It looks so much like the real thing!"
4. The Best Interlocking Turf Tiles
Interlocking tiles are a great solution for those who don't want to deal with the installation of turf strips. These from GOLDEN MOON have more than 400 ratings because they lock into place with ease, no tools or adhesives required. They're also high-pile for a realistic appearance, self-draining for easy cleanup, and durable and non-fading for placement inside the house or out in the yard. Each order comes with six 1-by-1-foot tiles.
- Material: Polypropylene
- Available sizes: 6 1-by-1 foot tiles
One reviewer wrote: "I love this turf, and so does Harley, my dog. When we travel to the desert, I can set up her little patch of lawn in about 15 minutes. The pieces are strong and lock together easily, very but securely."
5. The Most Customizable Turf
Finally, if you're looking for options, look no further than iCustomRug's indoor-outdoor turf. These artificial grass rugs come in dozens of sizes and five different colors: black gray, brown tan, espresso, green, and emerald. They're all made from 100% polypropylene, which is resistant to stains, UV damage, weather, and fading. They're also thin, lightweight, and foldable for easy transferring and installation, but since they're finished all around with bound edges, they won't fray or shed.
- Material: Polypropylene
- Available sizes: 4 x 6 feet — 12 x 26 feet
One reviewer wrote: "We don't have a fenced in yard but we have a large deck. We laid this on the deck for the puppies to do their business on and they took right to it. I really like that the edges are bound so there is no fraying plus it gets cleaned every time it rains which has been a lot lately. Good product and great price."
Cheng H, Hu Y, Reinhard M. (2014) Environmental and health impacts of artificial turf: a review. Environ Sci Technol, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24467230/