Dog Litter vs. Fake Grass

by Rob Hainer
    Newspaper might not be your best option for an indoor dog potty.

    Newspaper might not be your best option for an indoor dog potty.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    People who live in high-rise condos, work long hours or have physical problems that make it difficult to walk a dog can benefit from indoor dog-potty options. Instead of tossing newspaper around on your floor, consider the pros and cons of dog litter boxes and fake grass dog "toilets."

    Dog litter boxes and fake grass offer the convenience of not having to take your dog outside when he needs a bathroom break. Both require at least some daily management and cleaning, although the litter must be scooped and replaced—an extra expense you won't incur when using fake grass. It might need replacement periodically when odors become difficult to rinse away, but it won't need continuous replacement like litter does.

    Dog litter doesn't clump the way cat litter does; instead of having a clay base, dog litters tend to be made of materials such as recycled newspaper or wheat. You must find the soiled areas and scoop them out completely every day, preferably after each time your dog uses the box. At least once a week, removing all the litter and scrubbing the container is essential to keeping odors to a minimum. Fake grass indoor potties have reservoirs in the bottom to catch urine, and this must be emptied and cleaned daily. The top turf needs daily rinsing with clean water as well.

    Without proper maintenance, your indoor doggie potty can quickly develop an odor that permeates your entire house. You can reduce the odor by cleaning the potties regularly, but the smell reappears each time your dog goes to the bathroom. For example, if you're at work all day, your dog likely pees several times and poops at least once. This waste sits out in the open until you get home; even if you clean it immediately, the smell will still be there to welcome you home. Some dog litter releases a fresh, outdoor-style fragrance when it gets wet to help offset the urine and feces odors. Fake grass, on the other hand, releases no fragrance.

    Neither indoor potty option keeps all mess off your floor. Your pup can dig into litter, scattering it around the container. He can also drag the fake grass off its box; it lifts off for easy cleaning. This can drag urine or feces across your floor along with the grass mat. Male dogs bring another problem because they generally like to lift legs while they pee. Some doggie litter boxes have two raised sides to catch this pee, and fake grass options might include a fire hydrant model in the middle to help catch the spray, but neither option is foolproof. You might be scrubbing your walls every time you clean your dog's indoor potty.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Rob Hainer began writing and editing for newspapers in 1992. He began his career as a photojournalist in the Army, and studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He worked as a copy editor and reporter at "The Marietta Daily Journal," the "Spartanburg Herald-Journal" and the "New Haven Register."

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