Hello, my name is Valerie and I have a Clumberdoodle named Bentley. Fortunately, now that Bentley is trained he does not pee in the house anymore, although we had several occasions where I had to go out and came home to puddles, or worse- poop.
As I said, Bentley is now trained to wait until I get home, and luckily, we have a decent outside area where he can have his own pee and poop park.
My friend does not have this luxury and often comes home to puddles. We got talking about a better way to leave her dog indoors when she needs to go out. I decided to do a little research about indoor dog potties and have found out some really interesting facts about them.
What is an Indoor Dog Potty?
Brace yourself, but indoor dog potties don’t look anything like a toilet. In fact, they could not be more different. Another thing they don’t need is plumbing. Most indoor dog potties actually resemble grass!
The reason for them looking like grass is to fool your dog into thinking that he is in the outside world and it is acceptable for him to pee and poop there.
No, in my opinion dogs don’t really fall for that stuff, they are far smarter than that. But – and this is important – they can be trained to use the indoor dog potty as if it was their own piece of grass outside. Now that is worth thinking about, isn’t it?
Why do you Need an Indoor Dog Potty?
Well, if you live in an apartment and have a puppy, it is an awful long way to go to get an acceptable place for it to pee.
By the time you have got the poor thing downstairs and outside it will already have wet you or peed in the corridor.
I think this also goes for older dogs who don’t have very good bladder control any longer.
Another reason may be that you work and really don’t appreciate coming home to puddles all around your house.
There are many reasons why we may need to leave our pooches at home for a few hours, and it may be a better option for him to have his own special pee area – an indoor dog potty.
Yet another reason I came up with for one of these inventions is that sometimes you simply do not feel well enough to take your dog for a walk, or it’s too hot and he will burn his feet. Similarly, it may be far too cold to take a small dog out.
I think that all these reasons are perfectly valid for setting up an indoor dog potty area in your own home, or out on the patio.
What to Consider When Buying an Indoor Dog Potty
I’ve come up with several points to think about before buying an indoor dog potty. I am sure you will have other things that you want to consider but these are my thoughts.
Your Dog’s Privacy
Your dog will need a bit of privacy if you want him to use an indoor potty. You would not like having to pee in front of visitors, would you?
Neither should your dog be made to do this in the open, even though he may do it out in the yard in full view.
So, try to find an area where he can at least go to the toilet in private. If you can place the potty out on a patio, that’s even better. At the very least you could erect a decorative screen around his poop patch.
Space for the Potty
The potty is going to take up some space, the amount, depends on the size of the dog and the size of the potty, so make sure you have an area that you can devote to it.
Also, keep it away from any area where you prepare food or entertain guests. If your dog is anything like Bentley, when he decides it is time for a poop and I am standing downwind, it can be quite revolting. Not fair to put guests through that!
The Cost of a Dog Potty
This may or may not be an issue, but real grass is better as it naturally absorbs smells. Fake grass may not do this as well. I also find that a cheaper potty may need more work to keep it smelling fresh.
As with all things, I have learned that to buy really cheap will only mean that you have to buy the same thing again when it breaks. It’s up to you how much you want to spend, but whatever god potty you buy, I would avoid the bottom of the range.
What are the Types of Dog Potties?
There are several different types of indoor dog potty, from very basic ones like pieces of waterproof lines paper right up to little toilets which look like tiny dog kennels.
Here are some that I’ve found.
Dog Training Papers
These are often used for puppies to train them. They can vary in size but are always waterproof.
You just lay them out where you want your dog to pee and hopefully that’s where he will go when you leave him on his own. When you come home, you just wrap the paper up and dispose of it.
Some of them are made of several layers of material so can take more than one use and be successfully used for larger dogs who pee a lot more than tiny ones.
The Doggie Lawn Area
This can be made of either fake grass or a real grass. The real grass has a root system just as your outside grass has, and it helps to absorb smells.
This almost looks like something in a pizza box, you simply open the box and let your dog use it. After anything between one and three weeks (depending on how often it is used) you simply shut the box and get rid of it, then open a new one.
The lawns normally come in sizes for all dogs, and you can buy the lawn pieces on their own when you need to replace them.
The Dog Loo
This a similar type although you will see that there is a waste tray underneath where the waste falls and is held until you empty it. This is done by sliding out the waste tray, emptying and cleaning it, and pushing it back in again.
This type will normally have less smells because the waste is sealed but it is still important to empty it often.
The Indoor Potty Patch
This is very basic and is a piece of artificial turf in a square. The turf side is perforated so pee goes down into a receptor which you clean out daily.
The good thing with this type is that your dog’s paws will stay dry while he pees, so your furniture will stay sweet-smelling when he goes back to sleep on your sofa or chair.
Finally There’s the ‘Little Dog House’
This is just a pee patch with a little house built over the top of it. The house is removable, so you can get in and clean and it looks quite cute, but I would think that you would still need to place it away from view as you could still get smells.
This type would be great if you went camping or took trips in your RV and did not want your pooch to wander off. It would also not attract other animals by the smell, which you may not even be aware of.
Which one to buy?
Well, as every dog owner knows, that decision will be made by your pooch.
Unfortunately, you may end up trying one or two, or even three before your dog lets you know he is happy with one.
Once he has decided, then it’s up to you to make sure that it is well stocked with grass or turf, so you never run out.
One thing I will say is that if you have made up your mind that you need an indoor dog potty, then stick by this and persevere.
Your dog will get used to idea and it won’t be long before he happily pees on it.
One word here about male dogs, and I know this from Bentley. They like to pee against or on something, which is why fire hydrants and trees are so popular when you go for a walk.
Bentley has his own personal fire hydrant to pee on, and I am pleased to say that he uses it almost all of the time. They are readily available online and well worth getting for your dog.
Taking Care of the Indoor Dog Potty
It stands to reason that this must be kept clean – very clean. Just like a cat litter tray stinks after a day or two of not being cleaned, so you will find the indoor potty starts to smell. Even if you think it is not too bad, don’t be fooled. You may have become ‘nose blind’ to that smell!
So, make sure that you factor in some time to give it a daily clean, and then perhaps at the weekends a really good scrub and disinfect to keep it sweet-smelling.
I would make sure to keep a bottle of good sanitiser around to disinfect the soiled area and keep germs away. Of course, if you have children you will need to make sure that they know to never get their hands in the base or even on the grass. It would be a case of having eyes in the back of your head at the times when the dogs and kids were together!
If you have wooden floors you may want to line the area around the tray with waterproof liners in case your male dog misses and gets the floor instead. It’s easier to pick these up than it is to get pee stains of a wooden floor.
Don’t be tempted to keep the soiled trays in the house until you have a chance to dump them, they will start to fester in the bag and the smell will permeate into your home. Get rid of them right away to wherever you normally dump your rubbish.
It’s a nice idea to have a smell absorbing candle burning when you empty the tray, this will eliminate odours and keep the whole area fresh.
The Advantages of the Indoor Dog Potty
Yes, there are very definite advantages to having this area. For anyone who lives in an apartment and still wants a dog, not a goldfish (sorry, fish people, but some of us prefer dogs) then this is a good option.
You can live in a tower block and have a dog. You just may need to train him differently.
This is also a great way to train a puppy. While normally you start with puppy training sheets and then move to the garden, now you simply move onto the indoor area.
There’s also, less chance of accidents because you have to get the pup down flights of stairs.
I think this would be a perfect solution if you have an older dog who simply cannot get outside in time. Older dogs often have less bladder and bowel control, and this is a great way to preserve your old boy’s dignity.
Disadvantages of Using an Indoor Dog Potty
Well, yes there are some, this is true. Some dogs will not be able to tell the difference between the fake grass and your favourite rug. To them there may be no reason why they cannot pee on either surface.
I think you would have to make sure that you only place the grass area in one particular spot otherwise your dog may keep peeing in the spot but on the floor instead. So, make sure that you are happy with where you put it while you train your dog as it may have to stay there.
If you are only using training papers I think you may have to accentuate the area, so that your dog sees that it is different than on your bedside rug.
If you opt for the grass, you may even want to place a small white fence around it (ask a handyman to make this) so your dog recognises it as a yard to pee in.
How to Train Your Dog to Use an Indoor Dog Potty?
Well, as with any training you do with your dog, you have to start as you mean to go on. If you want your pooch to pee inside, then keep her inside.
Set up the area and then set the alarm clock. Feed your dog at exactly the same time. A dog will develop a pee and poop habit and normally wants to toilet about 15 minutes after a meal. Each dog differs here but take a note of when he wants to go, it will be the same after a meal.
At first you should lead the dog to the area every fifteen minutes and wait for her to pee. I have always found that having a command for what you want your dog to do, works well.
Bentley knows when I say ‘go pee’ to head off and pee. He also knows ‘go poop’ and will, unless he has done it before, head off to poop. This worked wonders when he was a pup and still gets his attention today.
So, take your dog to the area and stay there with him while you say your command. Eventually your dog will pee! Joy! Much praise from you! Treats and cuddles, and another treat, and the next time you head there – voila!
It is important to remember that there is never any punishment for not going or missing the mat. Your pooch must never feel scared of this process, otherwise it will never happen, or not happen very well.
Also, remember to keep your sense of humour – after all, it was your idea to get an indoor dog potty, wasn’t it?
So, I’ve had a look at some indoor potties and picked out a few for you.
The 5 Best Indoor Dog Potties
1. Lyss Pets Klean Paws Indoor Dog Potty
The grate is perforated here so the pee drains away from your dog’s feet, and they are left clean.
It is easy to open the grate and close it after you remove the newspaper or training pads.
What is nice is that the dog will not be able to get into the grate to chew the newspaper or pads, so your home will not be littered when you get home.
This is a great way to start training puppies, in fact it is good for all sizes of dogs.
This is not suitable for large to extra-large dogs but for the smaller breeds and older dogs this makes a great indoor toilet.
2. Fresh Patch Disposable Dog Potty with Real Grass
Yes, this really does come with real grass!
It is hydroponically grown and will be a natural attractant for your dog.
Because dogs are attracted to grass, it will make training your dog easy. It is also excellent for older dogs.
It’s not too high for small or older dogs to get onto and is also an odour neutraliser so less chance of smells.
What amused me is that the potty comes with a FREE dog training consultation, if you want to take advantage of that!
They must be pretty sure of their product if they offer that, don’t you agree?
3. Simple Solution Training Puppy Pads
These are extra-large dog training pads and they are 100% more absorbent than most others on the market.
The giant size means that even large dogs can use them without missing.
What is quite amazing is that the training pads hold up to 7 cups of water, so you don’t have to change them after every use.
This makes them perfect for when you need to go out and leave your pooch on his own.
The pads come with a wetness indicator which tells you when it is time to get rid of it and replace it.
The material that they are made of is odour neutralising so even after a couple of uses it will still smell fresh.
4. Pet Loo Portable Indoor/Outdoor Dog Potty
The base slides out here and when you use the powder (included) it turns the pee into a gel which is easy to get rid of.
You will find that the mat is easy to clean, you can hose it down with water as it is synthetic.
The whole area looks compact and I think this would work well in any small place you want it to fit.
Because the base is sealed there is less chance of smells from waste.
5. Pet Gear Pro Pawty
This is my own favourite indoor dog potty!
This is your dog’s own private portapotty! There is less smell because the area is covered, and it is easy to clean up.
The base slides out and waste is easy to dispose of.
I think this would be a great choice if you were to take your dog away in an RV and need his potty inside because it is compact and would fit into a small space very well.
It would also be good for patios and apartments.
Not only does it stop smells, but I think it looks really cute. It can be used for dogs as big as Labradors and Retrievers.
Well, I hope you’ve learned something from this article. I know I have.
It’s nice to know that there are other alternatives to letting your dog loose in the house while you are out and coming back to puddles and messes.
It may take a little time to train a dog to use this, but the end results have got to be well worth the effort!
If you have any questions or comment, leave them below!