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Is Rubber Mulch Pet-Friendly?

May 29, 2015

Having a pet is a commitment. Preparing your home for your animal companion means providing a safe shelter, food source, and other things that will keep them healthy and happy.

Understandably, if you have a garden or a yard where your pet is allowed to run around and explore, doing research about what you put on it is vital. For instance, the concern about whether using rubber mulch is truly pet-friendly has been a topic of some discussion.

It’s best to weigh its pros and cons before deciding if rubber mulch presents more advantages over other mulching options for your pets. Below are some of the benefits of using rubber mulch for your furry friends.

Gentle on paws

dog with a heart

As a base for them to run and walk on, rubber mulch is definitely a softer and gentler material than rocks or wood, which could splinter and cause pain to your pet’s paws. For utmost safety, be sure to look for rubber mulch that is certified steel-free iso that no small metal parts can potentially hurt your pets’ paws.   

Easier to clean

Unlike organic mulch which can get muddy and gritty, rubber mulch is easier to clean and causes less of a mess. It doesn’t soak up moisture from rain or snow, and won’t absorb offensive outdoor odor. Any dirt or refuse left by your animal companions will prove easier to scoop up and clean with water. the non-porous rubber nuggets also provide rapid draining so a quick hosing or rainfall is all that is needed to clean the surface. Pets will also be hard-pressed to track muddy footprints into your home after walking over it.

Safe and eco-friendly

Rubber mulch is recycled from old tires and designed to last for over ten years. This frees up landfills and provides an alternative use that addresses both gardening and animal maintenance needs.

Despite concerns, the EPA has determined that the chemicals present in rubber mulch are not harmful to pets. However, this does not include dogs that chew on non-edible things, such as rubber. It is best to determine first if your pet has a habit or history of eating objects that are not food, before deciding to use rubber mulch in your home.

Used by an award-winning dog park

In Lowell, Indiana, there is a dog park called The Freedom Bark Park which uses rubber mulch. Because of this, it was the recipient of the 2009 America’s Best Dog Park award in recognition of its eco-friendly initiative. If a dog park that uses rubber mulch is recognized by experts as pet-friendly, then it presents a good argument for pet owners to consider the same materials for their homes.

Of course, testing if rubber mulch is compatible with your pets and lifestyle is a must. One way to do this is to do a “patch” test. You can request for a rubber mulch sample from a reputable company and designate an area to test how your pet reacts to it. Or, you can bring your pets to a park that uses it, like the one in Indiana.   

Shop rubber mulch for your playground today!