Are you looking to create an area for your dog that is the designated area for going potty? Me too! Below is our journey.
To help save your grass and keep it looking nice, it can be helpful to designate a specific area for your dogs to potty in. That is what we have decided to do. There are many options for doing so, real grass, artificial turf, or rock and mulch. Obviously the options that involve materials that will not be affected by dog waste are the best. One of my clients uses a combination of a rock pit and artificial turf. We have a smaller area to work with, so we decided to try the artificial turf option. (A very special Thank You to our clients who own Louis, Ella, and Miles for helping us out!).
Start by choosing the area you want to make the new potty area. Be sure to choose an area that has fairly easy access, but one that is not too close to any outdoor area you like to relax in (obviously dog potty’s tend to be stinky). We chose a smaller area on the side of the house that was previously mostly dirt.
Start by prepping the area. For us, we had to dig out several rocks and level the area out so it was less sloped. I also took it one step further by placing pet-safe bug repellent in the area before putting down the artificial turf. I first laid the artificial turf out over the area and lined it up for the best fit. When doing artificial turf, be sure to start your stakes in the middle and work your way out towards the edges. This will help prevent bumps and lumps in your final product. The area we used had a few things we had to cut around. To cut artificial turf I found that a good switchblade or knife worked much easier than scissors. Once my cuts were made, I slowly placed my stakes moving from the middle out towards the edges, pushing the turf flat to the ground as I went. Along the outside edges, I recommending placing stakes about every six inches to be sure the turf stays in place.
To get your dog the idea of using only this area to potty will take some practice, especially if they have previously used the entire yard as their bathroom. The best way to get them interested in using the area is to place a small amount of their feces in that area. I also used a large plastic lid to catch urine and put that in the area as well. When going out to potty, I do not allow the dogs immediate freedom in the yard. Instead, I take them to the designated area and give them their “Go Potty” cue. To encourage proper elimination, praise lavishly any time your dog goes in the correct place. I also bought a special bad of treats that they ONLY receive when going potty in the designated area. You can also recognize the signs that your dog is about to potty when he is in other areas of the yard. When this happens, immediately get your dog to the designated area and encourage him to potty there. Praise lavishly for compliance.
When using artificial turf, it is important to keep the area clean. Initially you may want to leave a few small poops around to help encourage proper elimination, but once the dog has the idea down and toileting in the correct area on a regular basis, be sure to clean the area every few days. We hose the area off every day or two and spray the area with Nature’s Miracle a few times a month to ensure the longevity of the artificial turf.