How to Build a Puppy Potty With AstroTurf

by Judith Willson
Astroturf is not just for sport.

Astroturf is not just for sport.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Those who live in high-rise apartments might find it awkward to take their pup down the stairs every time he needs a pee. A puppy potty inside or on the balcony comes in handy, especially in the middle of the night. Even if you have a convenient yard, creating a specified sheltered area for the toilet prevents the place becoming too messy and dog urine killing off a lawn. Various forms of dog toilets exist, with one of the simplest homemade options using artificial grass, such as AstroTurf.

Step 1

Acquire a large plastic tray. For a very small dog, a cat litter box would just about do, but for most breeds, you’ll need something a lot bigger. Drip trays like those underneath refrigerators and cement mixing trays work, and the larger the better.

Step 2

Lay a few inches of cat litter mixed with a little baking soda in the tray. The litter absorbs urine after it drips through the grass and the baking soda helps control odors.

Step 3

Measure the length and width of the tray from the inside edges, and cut a rectangle of AstroTurf to fit snugly.

Step 4

Lay the grass rectangle over the litter and place the tray in the most convenient toilet spot available, remembering that there may be splashes. If you want the potty on a balcony or another outside location, make sure the spot is sheltered from the elements; otherwise the tray will fill up with water when it rains.

Step 5

Remove and rinse the grass and replace the litter as required. Depending on the relative size of the dog to the tray, and to a lesser extent where you have placed it, this might be daily or just a couple of times a week.

Step 6

Wipe out the tray with a mild disinfectant at least once a week.

Items You Will Need

  • Large plastic tray
  • Cat litter
  • Baking soda
  • Tape measure
  • AstroTurf
  • Garden shears

Tips

  • A wire grill between the grass and the litter assists with drainage and keeps the potty tidier.
  • If your main motivation for having a pooch potty is to save a lawn, consider letting your dog do her business outside but in a different spot each time. After she’s finished, pour water over the spot to dilute the pee. Dog urine is high in nitrogen and can make an excellent lawn fertilizer, but only when diluted and spread over a large area.
  • Keep the potty in the same spot. It will take a while to train your dog to use the patch and you might have to start all over again if you move it.

Warnings

  • Don’t make a puppy potty with real turf. Unless the tray is absolutely enormous, you’ll find the grass dies rapidly and you get a foul-smelling, muddy mess.
  • This potty is only intended for urination. If you want a place where your dog can defecate too, you’ll need a more elaborate affair and more training. Dogs don’t take naturally to litter trays in the manner of cats and rabbits.
  • Don’t use bare cat litter in your dog’s potty. It is dangerous if ingested, and she is liable to kick it around.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

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