For dog lovers who aren’t blessed with a huge garden or swift access to local parks, a grass dog potty for indoors can be a real life saver. Apartment owners and city dwellers, with balconies or with no outside space at all, can opt for a handy patch of portable grass for their beloved pooch to relieve themselves on when leaving the home isn’t possible.
These indoor grass potties, whether made from real grass or from artificial material, are also great for puppy training. They can help get your pooch used to the look, feel and smell of real grass without having to take them to the local dog park every time you want to toilet train.
Dog potties can also help avoid little accidents among elderly or sick dogs who might be having trouble controlling their bladders, and are a great option for owners who have to leave their furry friend at home for longer than they’d like to.
You can tuck a portable dog potty into a discreet corner, spare room, or small outdoor space like a balcony or backyard. They’re designed to be either washable or disposable, as well as odour eliminating, and come in a range of natural or artificial designs.
Today, we’ll be thinking about the pros and cons of real and fake grass when choosing a dog potty, as well as rounding up some of the best dog training mats on the market.
Should I get real or fake grass when dog potty training?
Each style of dog potty has its pros and cons. Let’s consider a few before looking at some of the best performing products on the market right now.
Real grass dog potties usually take the form of a purpose-grown patch of turf set in a cardboard or plastic tray.
People like real grass dog potties because they tend to be eco-friendly, biodegradable, and thoroughly recyclable. You can rest easy knowing that your dog potty isn’t going to spend the majority of its life failing to break down in landfill.
They’re also great for training, offering your dog the closest thing to outdoor grass you can get without actually taking your dog for a walk. It’s worth bearing in mind that some dogs like to chew on grass though, so if this sounds like your pooch, having a real grass mat indoors might prove tempting for all the wrong reasons.
Many people also like the fact that real grass potties don’t require the same clean-up operation. Most are designed to be used for a few weeks and then simply disposed of. No drip trays to wash out, no plastic sheeting to scrub, no artificial grass blades to hose down.
Real grass is also a natural eliminator of odour and brings a more, well, natural aesthetic into your home. As long as you switch out your grass mats regularly and clean up solid waste straight away, it should stay looking and smelling relatively fresh for a fortnight or so.
However, the fact that real grass potties need regular replacing means that, in the long run, they are undoubtedly more expensive than their artificial counterparts.
If you’re planning to use them exclusively for puppy training, and then cease having an indoor potty once the pup has grown up, you may deem it worth the investment for environmental reasons alone. On the other hand, if you’re planning to use your grass mat as a regular area for your dog to use throughout its life, you could be looking at upwards of $70 a month for many years.
Fake grass potties are often a more affordable option for dog owners. These artificial products are designed to be washed and reused, often for years, without the need to keep buying replacement mats or sheets. It should be noted that some products do offer the opportunity to buy replaceable, disposable puppy pads, which can help with absorption but certainly add to the financial and environmental cost.
Good quality fake grass should be able to mimic the look and feel of real grass to a certain extent, although of course it won’t ever be able to match it precisely. Fake grass potties do tend to come with more maintenance as well, usually requiring the owner to clean out the collection tray of urine once it has collected, and to wash the grass itself.
To help with odour minimisation, many fake grass potties come with various chemical compounds that help neutralise urine. The best products are also designed to make cleaning as easy as possible. For some, this can be as simple as hosing down the dog potty in the sink or out in the yard.
Highest Rated Grass Pads for Dog Pee and Potty Training
Fresh Patch Disposable Dog Pee Pad (Real Grass)
Fresh Patch advertises their disposable dog potties as being 100% biodegradable, with fresh turf arriving in a cardboard tray that can all be disposed of together once it’s past being fresh.
These claims may need to be taken with a tiny pinch of salt, however, as some users have noted that larger turf sizes come delivered in plastic wrapping, and that you may wish to buy a separate, plastic tray to really ensure there’s no unwanted leakage.
That being said, the grass itself is of high quality, hydroponically grown in Southern California and arriving without soil to minimise mess.
To retain its freshness, the company advise that you don’t water it heavily, but that you can give it a brief mist-over every once in a while if conditions are particularly dry.
Like most designers of indoor dog potties, they stress the need to remove solid waste as quickly as possible in order to preserve freshness.
Their sizes range from 16 x 12 inches ($29.95), through 24 x 16 inches ($34.99), up to 24 x 24 inches ($39.95).
At first glance, DoggieLawn’s products look remarkably similar in spec and design to Fresh Patch’s: authentic grass mats designed to be composted after use, naturally absorbent and eliminating when it comes to moisture and odours, and lasting up to a fortnight or so.
DoggieLawn is less forthcoming about where their grass is grown, but their mats do come in as being marginally cheaper than Fresh Patch’s.
A 9 x 24 mini size is $29.50 and a medium 24 x 20 costs $36.95. They also offer one size larger than Fresh Patch, with a 24 x 48 stretching to $43.95.
DoggieLawn also offer free telephone advice when it comes to potty training and doggie routines, another perk of being a DoggieLawn customer.
Our final offering when it comes to natural dog potty products uses natural bark rather than grass to absorb and minimize smells. Bark Potty is supposed to last for up to a month before it needs replacing, though its 20 x 30 inch model costs $49.
An inner plastic tray helps prevent leaking and mesh netting prevents your dog from kicking the bark all over the living room once it’s finished its business. There’s also a handy holder for poo bags as well.
The downside of the bark potty is that, with its mesh and plastic tray, it’s not as comprehensively biodegradable, nor as eco-friendly, as some of its natural cousins.
LOOBANI offers a three layer system built into their artificial mat, with a top layer of artificial grass giving way to a filtering grate followed by a removable collection tray for liquid. There’s also the option to add odor eliminators to help keep the LOOBANI smelling as fresh as possible.
This is a product that’s often praised for its ease of cleaning, with owners just having to hose the grass down and then rinse out the collection tray. Each model also comes with two grass mats, one for use and one you can keep on standby.
The 16 x 20 inch costs $41.99. Their largest 20 x 30 model is $61.99.
This is a great option for those who want to keep costs down. It comprises a simple but durable artificial grass mat over a removable plastic tray, all of which can be rinsed down easily and quickly. The artificial grass itself has also been praised for its surprisingly authentic look and feel.
The price is also the most competitive of all the products discussed today. Their 30 x 20 inch model is only $33 which, considering it can be washed and reused, makes it the best option for those on a budget.
Finally, for those willing to pay a bit more for a higher-shelf product, PetSafe’s grass pad is an option worth considering.
It’s built to be both portable and durable, with realistic artificial grass made from rubber, raised up above a removable basin containing specially absorbent powder that neutralises pee.
The whole affair can be washed and rinsed easily, and is a good bet for those looking for a high quality indoor potty that can be relied upon for years.
It also comes in a range of sizes, though owners of larger breeds may find that even the largest size can feel a little unsteady beneath the weight of heavy dogs, particularly since the platform is partially raised.
The standard model costs around $95.