The Potty Patch was created to help dog owners in search of an indoor solution to their pet's house training needs. Unlike using paper or pads to house train, the Potty Patch provides your dog with a small area of artificial grass inside your home.
How the Potty Patch Works
The Potty Patch is made up of three tiers:
- A top layer of scented artificial grass that is made with liquid flow through in mind. You can order an upgrade to a plusher version of the grass pad that is twice as thick.
- The middle layer is a plastic grate that allows the urine to pass through so the grass stays dry.
- The bottom layer is a plastic tray that can hold up to one gallon of urine or other liquids.
You simply place the Potty Patch in an area of your home where you wish your dog to go such as a laundry room or finished basement area. It can also be used on a patio or deck assuming it's safe for your dog to go outside there.
Caring for the Potty Patch
All you need to do for regular maintenance of the potty patch is to remove the bottom tier tray and empty out the urine. Clean it with soap and hot water, dry and put back together. You can buy new artificial grass layers to replace yours as it gets worn from use.
What Size Dog Can Use Potty Patch?
The Potty Patch comes in two sizes. The regular size is 17" x 27" and is meant for dogs 15 pounds or under. The large size is 27" x 34" and is designed for dogs 15 pounds and larger. You can even order more than one and place them together if you have a large dog or several small-to-medium dogs.
Benefits of The Potty Patch
In addition to using it for normal house training of puppies, The Potty Patch can be useful for other dog owners in specific situations.
- Veterinarian Dr. Chris Hallihan says Potty Patch, "...is very convenient for those unfortunate times when your companion is hurt. Vets usually recommend limited activity and more rest after surgery or when your dog has wounded paws. The Patch is a great option in these situations."
- "It is also a great option for hazardous weather conditions when it is unsafe to take your dog outside," says Dr. Hallihan. Some other benefits of using the Potty Patch is its ease of use for condo and apartment dwellers who don't have a yard they can send their dogs out in.
- Finally Dr. Hallihan believes, "it will be a great benefit for people or pets who have a difficult time getting outside due to medical conditions of the owner or the pet, such as arthritis or heart disease."
Training a Dog to Use the Potty Patch
Training a puppy or adult dog to use the Potty Patch is the same as you would if you were using papers, puppy pads or a crate.
- When your dog is giving the sign that he needs to go, such as after eating, playing or waking up or if you see him whining, sniffing and circling, bring him immediately over to the Potty Patch.
- Wait for him to go, which can require some patience so just relax and give him a chance to "do his business."
- Once he goes reward him with praise and a delicious food treat.
- Dr. Hallihan advises that you should, "Be prepared for the dog not using the Patch on the first try or needing to be guided to it. However, once he makes the connection that using the Patch leads to positive feedback from his owners, he'll quickly get the idea!"
- He also recommends supervising your dog fully so that the puppy does not get the chance to go elsewhere in the house. Says Dr. Hallihan, "I recommend attaching your dog to you with a 10-foot lead so he can't wander away and house soil when you're not paying attention. Using this technique, take your dog to the Patch at the first sign of sniffing around, restlessness or whining."
Does Using Potty Patch Confuse a Dog?
If a dog learns to use the Potty Patch inside, some dog owners might be worried that a dog will not understand that he can go outside on real, living grass. In fact if you reward your dog for using both, he'll quickly understand that both the real and fake grass are "acceptable" surfaces for him to use. Dr. Hallihan explains that, "Dogs develop a 'substrate preference,' which means they learn to like to go to the bathroom on a certain surface. Grass seems to be a natural preference for dogs, and the Potty Patch is similar to grass, so it is easy to switch back and forth between the two surfaces."
Purchasing a Potty Patch
The Potty Patch is available online from the manufacturer's website, as well as at major pet supply retailers like PETCO and PetSmart both online and in store. It's also available from Amazon and in general the small kit runs about $39 and the large "Silver Paw" kit is about $58. If you're not sure yet if the product is right for you, there are many reviews available online from buyers who provide the pros and cons of the product based on their experiences.
Using the Potty Patch With Your Dog
It may not be the right product for every dog or household situation, but for many dog owners the Potty Patch can be an excellent house training aid. Whether you live in a condo and don't want to run out to the elevator or flights of stairs whenever your dog needs to pee, or you need to be away for hours but want your puppy to learn to use grass, the Potty Patch can make life for you and your dog easier. Dr. Hallihan concludes that, "it can be a potential lifesaver for older or debilitated dogs who just can't get outside anymore and it certainly helps a great deal in situations when going outside is difficult for the owner or the pet."