Indoor dog bathrooms can be ideal for people who live in apartments or high-rises or who are frequently away from home. Indoor potties are also helpful for disabled or elderly individuals with mobility issues that make it difficult to take a dog outside often. You can purchase an indoor potty or make one yourself from common household items.
Installing an Indoor Potty
An indoor puppy potty should be situated in an area of your home that’s easily accessible to your pup, and out of the way of family living spaces and food preparation areas. A laundry room, basement, utility room or infrequently used bathroom are good areas, as are out-of-the-way closets with the doors removed. If the area is carpeted, protect flooring with a linoleum remnant or tarp. You can buy a commercial indoor potty that you clean on a regular basis, much like a cat litter box. You can also use puppy pee pads or even newspaper as the indoor bathroom.
Special Considerations for Males
Even though male puppies initially squat to pee, they start lifting their legs to eliminate as they mature, as a way of marking territory. You need to take into consideration the splash zone area that accompanies leg lifting, so a corner is ideal for your potty space. You can purchase indoor bathrooms with high sides to protect your walls and adjacent flooring, or you can construct your own wall coverings by tacking linoleum tiles to the surrounding walls, or even by installing ceramic tiles. A minimum of 10 inches of wall covering is recommended to guard against wall splashes, but you may opt to go higher to protect against accidents, especially for large breed dogs.
Training to an Indoor Potty
The key to any indoor bathroom training is consistency. Put your pup on a leash and take him to his designated bathroom spot 10 to 15 minutes after he eats or drinks, after he wakes up from a nap, or if you find him sniffing around and indicating he’s looking for a spot to go. Take your pup to his indoor potty and wait for him to eliminate. Show praise and give a treat when he goes; walk away if he plays or is otherwise uninterested and return to the spot every 15 minutes to try again. Puppies can only be expected to hold their bladders and bowels for about one hour per month of age until they reach full maturity, so effective house-training takes time and commitment.
Indoor Potty Cleanup
While an indoor potty offers many conveniences for pet owners, cleanup is still required, and it’s a bit more extensive for male dogs than for females. In addition to changing out soiled newspapers or pee pads or emptying and cleaning commercial trays per the manufacturer’s instructions, wall splash clean up is essential. Wipe down the walls with soap and water and use a spray bottle with enzymatic odor removal solution to remove lingering traces of urine. The floor of the potty will retain enough “scent” for your pup to recognize it as his go-to spot, but the daily cleanup will keep your house from smelling like a kennel.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.