The 4 Best Dog Grass Toilets Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
So you bring your new puppy home to your apartment, and there is only one problem - where are they going to do their business?! You quickly learn that your little fluffy bundle of joy seems to be constantly peeing, and sometimes puppies poop as much as 5 times a day! (1) But you live on the 7th floor with a broken elevator and cannot bear the thought of carting your pup down those flights of stairs to the nearest patch of grass to allow them to pee or poop - that's if they can even hold it and make it in time!
So, what do you do?
Thank you for the invention of dog grass toilets! It brings the outside in by simulating the feeling of grass for your dog's ultimate indoor toilet experience. egardless of whether you are an apartment dweller or not, grass potties are a very handy toilet tool during adverse weather conditions and while travelling.
Today, we dive into the lush blades of grass toilets. So what makes us experts? We teamed up with a research panel that included veterinarians and pet parents alike to test the country's best. After months of testing and dozens and dozens of doggy grass toilets later, we finally agreed on this list of the best.
We’ll settle the synthetic vs real grass debate, review the qualities of a great product and then give you our very best recommendations for grass toilets in Australia. Hopefully, you will come away with the ideal option for you and your pup.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
- Convenient subscription model
- Great odour control
- Suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes
Runner Up -
- Fully disposable
- Great odour control
Third Choice -
LOOBANI Dog Hemmed Grass Bathroom Pads
- The grass is sewn into the fabric
- Synthetic and lightweight
- Easy to clean
Australia's Best Dog Grass Toilets Reviewed
Now that we know the ins and outs of the grass potty world, let's dive deeper into the best products on the market. Australia has some of the best synthetic and real grass toilets on offer. We make no value judgement on which is best for your situation, as it completely depends on your unique circumstances.
However, out of the several dozens that we (or rather, our dogs) tried, these are the best performing:
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"The Potty Plant grass dog toilet was the top performer in our tests. The natural grass meant there was a higher success rate of dogs actually using it. Furthermore, because the grass is real it was able to mask the urine smell a lot better than the synthetic options."
Australia’s own Potty Plant is a fantastic service and subscription model that will change the game for you. Constructed of a sturdy frame and a fresh patch of natural “park grass”, it is a simple potty that does its job beautifully.
First, let’s talk about the grass. As a genuine grass mat, it gives off that distinctive park-like smell and feels that send your dog’s instincts into overdrive. When they need to pee or poop, they would much rather do it here than on your sheepskin rug, leading a reduction in time potty training.
Now it would be disingenuous to claim that no training at all is involved. Accidents do happen after all. But the Potty Plant was made to trigger your pup’s innate senses whilst also making them feel more comfortable as they do their business. It’s like nature in a box!
As a natural product, it is eco-friendly too. To start, I simply signed up to the Potty Plant’s subscription service and a fresh mat was delivered straight to my home every week. Depending on your dog’s breed, age and size, you can also opt for deliveries every fortnight, three weeks or four weeks.
The Potty Plant being tested by our independent expert team.
As a very crude rule of thumb, the larger your dog, the more frequently you’ll need replacements. This is because larger dogs hold more urine and take larger dumps. If you have a puppy, you will also need a weekly replacement because they pee so much.
You can also decide the frequency depending on how fresh you want the Potty Plant to be. You may have a small or medium dog that doesn’t pee that much, but the box is kept indoors all day, so a change every fortnight seems too little. We suggest that you adapt the recommendations to work best for you and your pup’s toilet habits.
As for cost, it is fair to say that this real grass toilet is pricier than a synthetic pad would be, but the absorbency and odour control is worth it. The first kit is the priciest, but once you have the frame, you simply have a small stipend for your replacement mats as you need them.
The frame comes in two colours - white and black. This is different from other options, like our number two choice that is delivered in a cardboard box. However, the Potty Plant is designed to keep your dog from trying to dig up the grass and destroy it. However, if you have a cheeky puppy on your hands, it is not fully indestructible and you may have more success with a synthetic pad.
Overall, our team of experts think the Potty Plant reigns supreme in design, odour control, eco-friendliness and convenience.
Second, in the running is the Fresh Patch which is another real grass option that is well reviewed and loved amongst dog owners.
The Fresh Patch uses the same principle of a genuine grass mat for odour control, max absorbency and disposable.
There are a few key differences between the Potty Plant and the Fresh Patch, however. So here is the lowdown.
The Fresh Patch being tested by our independent expert team
The Fresh Patch comes in a cardboard box that fits through your letterbox. The cardboard is disposable with the grass so when you are ready to change the potty, you can throw the entire thing away. Whereas, The Potty Plant comes with a plastic frame that is built for replacing the mat when you need, it’s a one time purchase with a unique lining to keep the potty clean.
You can get the Fresh Patch model in a wooden box or plastic tray, but these come at an extra cost.
Here's what our panel of expert testers noticed about our number one and two choices: if you are travelling, you may prefer a lightweight option like Fresh Patch. For in the home, you may prefer the Potty Plant since it has a one-time purchase apparatus to hold the grass patch and therefore less waste.
The Fresh Patch has a wide range of sizes available, which is great. The smallest size is 40cm x 30cm. The next size is 40cm x 60cm. The medium patch is 60cm x 60cm. The largest size is 60cm x 120cm. The large size does not come in a cardboard box, but rather you will need to purchase a plastic tray to accompany it.
All in all, the Fresh Patch has a lot to offer, with a variety of tray options and a good range of sizing. Well worth exploring.
Now onto the synthetics! Synthetic grass pads have some benefits in that they are incredibly low cost and reusable. Some would say that you get what you pay for but let’s explore deeper into this product, as they can be a great budget-friendly option.
This hemmed grass bathroom pad is constructed of artificial grass sewn into the fabric to reduce the chances of shedding and pulling when your pup uses it. The grass is made to look real, but it might not necessarily feel real. Take that claim with a pinch of salt.
Unlike our number two choice, this dog potty grass patch comes in just two sizes. The smallest is 48cm x 58cm. The largest is 80cm x 100cm, making this product very economical for the size.
As it is synthetic, it is quite lightweight and easily portable. The sizing will suit dogs of all breeds and ages.
To use this product to the best of its ability, our team of independent researchers noticed that you need to buy a potty liner tray to place underneath the pad. The fabric is fantastic at draining liquids through, so ensure you have a tray below to avoid a mess on the floor!
To clean, simply wash with soap and water. This will keep the pad smelling fresh. Some of our testers mentioned that they had to wash it daily to reduce odours but this depends on where you place the pee pad. If it is outdoors, like on an apartment balcony, you could probably get away with washing it less often, whereas if placed indoors it will probably need more upkeep.
For a durable, reusable synthetic grass toilet that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Loobani model!
The very best in class for in the synthetic category is the Ozstock Indoor Dog Potty. This toilet is a 3-piece construction with the grass on top, a grid tray below it to drain urine and a waste collection tray right at the base for easy cleaning.
To empty the toilet and clean, I simply rinsed the grass with water, and pulled the tray out to discard the liquid waste.
The grass itself is made of durable polyethylene that is meant to mimic the look and feel of real grass. We’d say it is more believable than our number three choice, the Loobani model. That said, these grass pads are not as readily reusable as the Loobani ones are. You will need to replace the grass mats periodically to ensure the cleanliness and optimum functioning of the product. But don’t be discouraged - the replacement mats aren’t too expensive, and are able to be purchased in bundles.
As for sizing, this toilet is unlike others on this list and has just one size: 63cm x 50cm x 6cm. It is small enough to place in most areas of your home or patio discretely, whilst still being large enough for most small to medium dogs.
It is also worth noting that you will probably have to clean and upkeep this potty more than with real grass for the same reasons as the Loobani. Synthetic grass isn’t nearly as good at controlling odour or absorbency. That said, this is definitely one of the better products out of the lot!
Dog Toilet Grass - Real vs Synthetic
Like most things in the dog rearing world, everything is debatable, and every product has strong supporters and strong haters. The real vs synthetic grass conundrum completely depends on your preferences to a degree, but our panel of independent experts also have some valuable advice to share. Here are some factors to consider.
Synthetic grass toilets
Synthetic grass toilets have been around for quite some time; longer than real grass pads. They were invented to somewhat trick your dog into thinking they are peeing on real-life grass suited for dogs, which is an entirely natural instinct for them.
The first thing to note is that some dogs are not as easily fooled as others. For the dogs in my home, I have found slightly higher success rates with synthetic grass potty pads than regular pee pads. But some dogs are more discerning than you think.
That said, it is slightly more aesthetically pleasing having a grass pad in your place than the traditional pee pad, so I quickly found that that is a bonus.
Now let’s talk about smell. The smell retention of each product varies widely. Real grass is said to be practically odourless, while synthetic grass pads may need regular washing to keep smelling fresh.
The major benefit of synthetic grass pads is the price. They are generally far cheaper than real grass toilets. They are also more readily reusable as they need a rinse with soap and water to get clean. Real grass, however, needs replacing every so often.
Real grass dog toilet
Many owners prefer real grass because it feels fresher and more natural to your dog. Your dog may take to peeing and pooping on the real grass more readily and without any training because the grass is genuine.
Real grass has better odour control as the grass naturally absorbs and retains your dog’s urine.
To get the most from your real grass potty, our expert researchers suggest you get a subscription or frequently buy replacements to keep the grass fresh. Through our testing phase, we learnt that the frequency that you need fresh grass depends on the manufacturer’s guidelines and your dogs toilet habits.
A fabulous bonus is that real grass is of course biodegradable. A very eco-friendly option for your household.
However, real grass toilets are more expensive. Typically, the first pack you buy involves the largest cost outlay as this is your starter, including the base frame and grass. Then you can purchase new grass singularly or set up a subscription to receive new grass periodically, which can save you money and effort by eliminating the task of ordering replacement grass. It is an investment but worth it for the eco-friendliness and cleaner smell.
How To Use Puppy Grass Pads
Potty training your puppy or adult adoptee can be a challenge (2). Puppy pads are fantastic for apartments and indoor spaces. Grass pads, in particular, are advertised as being a part of “intuitive housetraining”, meaning that you don’t need to teach your dog how to use it. They will just know that the grass is for peeing. To a degree, this method works, but our team of experts offer some steps to follow to ensure your dog’s housetraining success:
1. Keep the grass toilet in a convenient place
It’s good to keep the grass toilet accessible to your pup. If they spend the most time downstairs, in the living room, keep the toilet accessible to them. It is unlikely that your Fido is going to squeeze their legs together and waddle upstairs to their grass shrine to relieve themselves. If you have a large house, you may consider having two grass pads, so your dog has options.
If you are using the grass pad for travelling, you want it to be located without any obstacles in the place you are staying.
2. Expect mistakes to happen
Even if your pup takes to peeing and pooping on the grass quite quickly, mistakes do happen! Sometimes they are in a different area of the house and just can’t hold it. It’s not worth scaring or screaming at your dog. It is entirely useless in fact. Fear is not a good way to obedience train.
The best thing to do is clap gently to interrupt them then scoop them up to take them to their grass potty.
“Take your puppy to his potty pad as soon as you catch him. If he stopped when you interrupted him, he might finish on the pad and you can reward him when he does. If he doesn’t finish on the pad, at least you have shown him where he should have gone.”- Stephanie Gibeault from the American Kennel Club
3. Stick to a routine
The frequency of potty time depends on your dog’s age. If you are housetraining a puppy, it is quite predictable when they will need to pee or poop. Common points of the day are:
- After waking up
- Before going to bed
- Around 1-3 hours after eating and drinking
- After playing
- After napping
After you have established a routine for pee and poop times, guide your pup to their grass pee pad to use. They will soon take themselves to the toilet, which is the goal!
4. Be patient
Some dogs are easier to housetrain than others. This can be related to the breed (Dachshunds are famously difficult to housetrain), or sometimes you just have a strong, stubborn personality on your hands. Housetraining can take weeks or months to nail so remember to be patient with your doggy.
What I Look For In A Top Dog Grass Toilet
When we talk about the durability of a grass toilet, we are talking about two things. The first is the durability of the structure holding the real or fake grass. It needs to withstand your dog’s weight as well as any scratching or digging they may do.
The second is to do with the grass. If the grass is synthetic, you don’t want it to shed and lose blades as your dog instinctively kicks their legs backwards after doing their business. For real grass, the mat should be hardy enough to take some kicking but do expect blades of grass to fly.
As with all pee pads, you need your puppy grass pad to be absorbent to both liquids and smell. We mentioned before that real grass is particularly good at both of those talents. Synthetic dog grass has to be manufactured in a certain way to have good absorbency. The best way to tell before buying is to read genuine reviews to see how buyers got on with the product. A leaky pee pad won’t fly!
Ease of cleaning
You want your dog’s toilet to be as simple to clean as possible to keep your home smelling fresh. Synthetic grass potties can sometimes need daily washing. Real grass potties understandably can stay fresher for longer as the grass naturally absorbs the nasties.
Many dog owners use dog grass pad on the go. It’s very useful to have as they are quite lightweight contraptions. You don’t know what facilities your hotel may have after all. They are also useful for dog shows and competitions. For ultimate portability, it’s even better if the grass mats can roll up so you can take a few replacements with you on your trip.
My Final Verdict
Our panel of independent experts all agree that the very best real grass dog potty is the Potty Plant. Their handy subscription surface makes are a complete no-brainer. You will have fresh grass at your door at your chosen frequency, so you never have to think about buying replacement mats again. You also don’t need to scrub the grass as it is all-natural with excellent absorbency and odour control. A huge thumbs up from us!
If you are in the market for a synthetic grass patch and don’t mind the extra cleaning it requires, then we think that the Ozstock model will certainly do the job. With drainable polyethylene grass mats and a clever three-tiered drainage system, this toilet will serve you well through your housetraining phase.
Want to learn more about canine toilet options? Check out our below guides:
The choice between grass pee pads and traditional ones are quite personal. It depends on what your dog takes to the best. Many find that grass pee pads, real or synthetic, do genuinely trigger the natural instinct all dogs have to prefer peeing or pooping on grass. For that reason, grass pads can require less hands-on training than a traditional pee pad would.
That said, some traditional pee pads are more absorbent without the use of collection trays. They can also be more durable and reusable because the nature of grass is that blades can fall out and dogs can dig at them.
They both have their pros and cons. It’s what works best for your home and your dog.
This is an interesting question. There is such a thing as “substrate dependence”.
“If a puppy is taught to pee on the surface of a newspaper, it will learn to seek out that specific substrate in the future” , explains veterinary behaviourist Dr Karen Overall for Petful. (4)
This tends to happen around the 7- to 8-week-old mark for young puppies being housetrained. If you opt for synthetic grass pads, your puppy may get used to the feel and find real grass foreign.
With this in mind, real grass toilets provide a more seamless transition between indoor housetraining and eventually only going outside during walks. But don’t worry about this too much. Even if your dog does develop substrate preference to artificial pee pads, they will likely learn to go outside anyway. Contact your vet if you are having issues with your puppy or dog wanting to pee or poop outside.
- Bovsun, M. March 4, 2022. “How To Potty Train Puppies: A Comprehensive Guide for Success”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved February 25, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/
- Davis, M. March 21, 2021. “How to Housebreak Your Puppy”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved February 25, 2023. https://www.thesprucepets.com/about-how-to-housebreak-your-puppy-2804690
- Gibeault, S. March 4, 2022. “The Ins and Outs of Potty Pad Training”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved February 25, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/the-ins-and-outs-of-potty-pad-training/
- Farricelli, A. December 22, 2022. “Paper Training Your Puppy to Pee on Newspaper”. Petful. Retrieved February 25, 2023. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Paper-Training-Your-Puppy-to-Pee-on-Newspaper