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When it comes to dog grass toilets, there are two types:
- Dog grass toilet with real grass, and
- Dog grass toilet with artificial grass (synthetic grass)
In this article, we’ll learn why dog owners use dog grass toilets, and which one’s the best for you and your dog.
Do dogs need grass to go to the toilet?
No, dogs don’t need grass to go to the toilet, but many dogs are trained to relieve themselves on grass on purpose.
What is a dog grass toilet?
A pet grass toilet is a dedicated space for your dog to relieve itself.
Dog owners use them for many reasons, such as:
- Grass training pads for puppies
- For convenience if there’s no easy access to a backyard (dog grass pads are popular with apartment dog owners)
- If the dog or puppy is suffering from an injury
- When a senior dog has limited mobility
Is a real grass toilet better than an artificial grass toilet?
Whether a real grass toilet is better than an artificial grass toilet depends on who you ask and their individual circumstances.
Benefits of real grass dog toilets:
- It’s sometimes easier for the dog to learn to use the real grass toilet
- Less strong odour than artificial grass patch toilets
- Subscription services make it easy-ish to replace the grass every other week
Disadvantages of real grass toilets (compared to artificial grass):
- They’re a lot more expensive because the grass requires replacement
- If you have a big dog, the patch of grass needs to be bigger. This means it will take up a lot of space in the bin when you dispose of it, and it can also get quite heavy when you need to lift it for replacement
- They’re not entirely odorless. We tested a real grass dog toilet in SE Queensland at the start of summer, and could pick up a (minor) urine smell within 4 days.
What dog grass toilets are available in Australia?
There are different types of dog grass toilets you can get in Australia.
Real grass dog toilets
A popular choice for real grass toilets is Fresh Patch. They have different sizes available, ranging from a mini patch (from $34) to a large patch (from $65).
Artificial grass dog toilets
Artificial grass toilets are available in different prices and price ranges, and can be purchased from Amazon , or your local Bunnings or Kmart if they have them in stock.
Will your dog use a real grass toilet?
Our dog was already potty-trained when we got him a real grass toilet.
After unpacking, at first he showed more interested in using it as a cooling mat while also snacking on it.
But we only had to tell him to “go potty” while pointing at the grass toilet a couple of times, for him to start using it as his potty area.
In total, it took us 25 minutes from unpacking the delivery box to the dog using it as a grass pee pad.
If your dog is not yet potty-trained, you will need to start there. Ask your local vet or dog trainer for advice, or read our article about how to get your dog to use a puppy pad.
The verdict on real dog grass toilets
We think real dog grass toilets are a fantastic choice for many, but there are limitations.
If you have a puppy or a small dog, and an extra $35-ish per week or fortnight won’t hurt you, a grass toilet can be a great option for both potty training and to provide your dog with an indoor toilet, or a balcony dog toilet.
However, if you have a medium or large dog, it’s a steep price to pay as a reoccurring expense, and we would strongly consider the alternatives.
Depending on the circumstances, alternatives to real dog grass toilets could be:
Mulch DIY alternative to grass for dogs
Another great DIY alternative that you can try is bark mulch from Bunnings. You’ll still need something like a plastic toilet tray that you get from the dog grass toilets to put the mulch in.
It will be a bit more like a cat litter box than a dog grass toilet, but we’ve heard from many dog owners who said that they find the mulch doesn’t smell as bad as a grass toilet (provided it’s placed in a sunny spot), and that it’s easy to re-fill as needed, as well as picking up poo and disposing of it.
Just make sure that your dog won’t try to eat the mulch if you try the above DIY option, as this can be toxic to your dog depending on the ingredients of the mulch.