The 9 Best Porch Potties
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Whether you live in an area with limited access to the outdoors or simply can't stand the smell coming from kitty's litter box, one of these porch potties will provide a permanent solution to these problems. Featuring either real grass or synthetic materials, they give your furry friend a convenient and compact place to do its business, making them a practical choice for apartment dwellers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best porch potty on Amazon.
The Benefits Of A Porch Potty
While many suburban dog owners may not think they need such an item, there are multiple ways these products can be useful.
Unless you are a pet parent, there's a good chance you may have never heard of a porch potty. Sometimes called an indoor pet park, training toilet, or just a dog potty, these helpful little spaces are the brainchild of city-dwelling dog owners who live in high-rises and condos, where they don't have easy access to a back yard. While nothing can replace taking your dog for regular walks, some owners have difficulty finding the time to schlep a dog down the elevator to seek out an acceptable patch of grass every time Fido needs to relieve himself. Many find it easier to teach their pooches to use these toileting alternatives sometimes, saving themselves hours that would be spent cleaning up messes, and dollars that would be spent replacing ruined belongings. The potty can be kept indoors, or placed on a balcony without taking up too much room. While many suburban dog owners may not think they need such an item, there are multiple ways these products can be useful.
No matter what your method is, house training a puppy takes time, and you can reduce damage to your floors and furniture by giving them an indoor option for when they can't hold it long enough to wait for someone to notice they need to go out. While training pads are a popular option, if you find yourself going through a lot of them, you may want a more environmentally friendly choice. And once the training is done, the potty can still be of service. Nobody can guarantee predictable hours at work, yet part of training your furry little friend is to get her on a schedule. When your dog has access to a porch potty, she can take care of business, and you won't have to panic or call your neighbors if your boss asks you to stay late or if you get stuck in traffic yet again.
Parents of aging dogs will also appreciate having access to an indoor pet park. When the weather outside is too nasty for an arthritic animal to navigate, they'll have a safer, easier choice. It's also useful if they start to regress and their bladders can't always last a full work day anymore.
How To Choose A Porch Potty
When choosing a porch potty, size is not the only concern, although you will need to be sure to check if the unit you buy can support the weight of your pooch, especially if you have a larger dog. You generally have two basic design options, those made to look like a patch of grass, or those with a plain plastic grate on top for drainage.
If your dog is a bit large, especially a male who raises his leg to urinate, one last thing to consider is whether your porch potty needs to have a wall.
Many indoor pet parks come with artificial turf that drains into a plastic tray below. This fake grass can be helpful in training pups to use it, although older dogs might require more convincing. Another advantage of the synthetic grass is that it often incorporates a second layer with an antimicrobial treatment that helps reduce odors between cleanings. The grass can be kept fairly clean by rinsing it with water after it has been used, but you might need to keep some poop bags handy in case someone decides to go number two. Some dog owners will prefer the aesthetic of the fake grass, especially if they have it sitting outside on a balcony or patio. If you choose this look, but your pet is resisting, there are sprays that will attract your dog to use it, and some swear by putting a fake fire hydrant on the potty area.
The plastic grate style of potty is easier to clean, though not as visually appealing, and some dogs need to have a little grass to sniff around in before they go, even if it is fake. The simplicity of the grate design will also help to keep paws cleaner. In addition, they tend to have a lower profile, making this style a better choice if your furry companion is elderly or dealing with arthritis.
If your dog is a bit large, especially a male who raises his leg to urinate, one last thing to consider is whether your porch potty needs to have a wall. There are a few models out there with this option. While this will add considerably to the bulk of the unit, pups who are prone to marking their territory might even prefer it.
Puppy Training Tips
Making sure your puppy learns to relieve himself in the right place at the right time may be one of the most daunting tasks you face as a new pet parent, but be sure it isn't your only focus. Having a properly trained dog will actually improve your relationship and insure more peaceful interactions with family members and visitors. Your dog's well-being now and in the future just might depend on it. It's a well-known fact that a large number of dogs end up in shelters because of unresolved behavioral problems that could have been prevented with proper training. This includes toileting issues, but also aggression and obedience problems.
The dog training community and even scientific research now overwhelmingly supports positive reinforcement for all types of pet training, whether it's for toilet time, learning basic commands, or fun play-time tricks. It's important to get the entire family involved in using the same commands and rewards, to provide consistency and to help the process go more quickly. For potty learning, it's a good idea to keep a supply of treats near your indoor pet park.
Many new pet owners find that training a new puppy is more difficult than they realized, but you don't need a lot of money to get you and your pooch off to a great start. Your local ASPCA or Anti-Cruelty Society may offer free classes or help you find the resources you need.
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