The Best Dog Grass Toilet -
An Indoor Puppy Potty Review
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
Say you have an apartment and a new puppy. Your new puppy is like a toddler that seemingly constantly needs the toilet. 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.
So, what do you do?
This is why the stellar dog grass toilet was invented. It brings the outside in by simulating the feeling of grass for the ultimate indoor toilet experience. It is a very handy tool regardless of whether you are an apartment dweller. Grass potties are helpful in adverse weather conditions and while travelling with your dog too.
Today we dive into the lush blades of grass toilets. 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!
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 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, which is an entirely natural instinct for them.
The first thing to note is that some dogs are not as easily fooled as others. You may find slightly higher success rates with synthetic grass potty pads than regular pee pads. But some dogs are more discerning that you think.
That said, it is slightly more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional pee pad so 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 bonus of synthetic grass pads is the price. They are generally farcheaper 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 make real grass potties work, you need to have a subscription or frequently buy replacements to keep the grass fresh. The frequency that you need fresh grass depends on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
A fabulous bonus is that real grass is of course biodegradable. A very eco-friendly option for your household.
The con is that real grass toilets are more expensive. Typically the first pack you buy is the most expensive as this is your starter. Then you can set up a subscription to receive new grass periodically or buy them singularly. Subscribing usually saves you money. It is an investment but 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 here are 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. Sometimes it is to do with the breed (Daschunds are famously difficult to housetrain). Sometimes you just have a strong, stubborn personality on your hands. Housetraining can take weeks or months to nail so do be patient with your doggy.
What To 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 stand your dog’s weight as well as any scratching or digging your dog 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.
Best Dog Grass Toilet Reviewed
Now that we know the fine detail of the grass potty world, it’s time to deep dive into the best products on the market in this category. We have both synthetic and the best real grass toilet Australia has to offer. We make no value judgements on which is best for your situation as it completely depends on your unique circumstances.
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 to less of a need to train from you. 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 ecofriendly too. You simply sign up to the Potty Plant’s subscription service and a fresh mat will be delivered straight to you every week, fortnight, three weeks or four weeks depending on your dog’s breed, age and size.
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. 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 and when.
The frame comes in two colours - white and black. It is designed to keep your dog from trying to dig up the grass and destroy it. Naughty puppies can attempt to do that and may succeed with synthetic pads.
Overall, we 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 well liked 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 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. The Potty Plant comes with a plastic frame that is built for replacing the mat when you need. It’s a once 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.
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. It has variety and a good range of sizing. Well worth exploring.
Now onto the synthetics and the 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.
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.
This dog potty grass patch comes in 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, you will need to buy a potty liner tray to place underneath the pad. The fabric is fantastic at draining liquids through to the tray below.
To clean, simply wash with soap and water. This will keep the pad smelling fresh. Some users mention that they have 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 a little less. Solely indoors 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 of liquids, you simply pull out the tray and discard. Cleaning the grass for reuse is also simply by rinsing with water.
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 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.
As for sizing, the toilet is 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 to get on with.
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!
Top Choices: Indoor Dog Toilet Reviews
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. 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, 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 2, 2020. “How To Potty Train Puppies: A Comprehensive Guide for Success”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 31, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/
- Davis, M. May 8, 2019. “How to Housebreak Your Puppy”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved January 31, 2021. https://www.thesprucepets.com/about-how-to-housebreak-your-puppy-2804690
- Gibeault, S. February 2, 2020. “The Ins and Outs of Potty Pad Training”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 31, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/the-ins-and-outs-of-potty-pad-training/
- Farricelli, A. June 27, 2019. “Paper Training Your Puppy to Pee on Newspaper”. Petful. Retrieved January 31, 2021. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Paper-Training-Your-Puppy-to-Pee-on-Newspaper