There are several approaches you can take to housebreaking a dog. The most typical way to do this is with training a puppy on pee pads. However, recently manufacturers introduced dog litter boxes (similar to cat litter boxes) which can potentially make this difficult task much easier.
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Before you rush out to find the best dog litter box out there, know that they won't work for every dog. Some pets take to grass litter boxes quickly, while others refuse to use them because they look odd. While for cats, litter boxes (and their smell) make for perfect bathroom spots, with dogs this is a little different.
That said, there is no way to know whether your puppy or adult dog will take to a little box without some trial and error. If you're going to take this path, it's recommend to pick the best grass litter boxes for dogs out there to increase your chance of success. This is what we'll discuss in this article and review some top rated brands.
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What are Grass Litter Boxes for Dogs?
Unlike with cats, dog litter box brands are all made to have grass imitation. This is to entice the dog to relieve themselves by imitating outdoors, where dogs will generally pee. Grass litter boxes for dogs is a unique type of product that contains AstroTurf or other grass equivalent.
Dog litter boxes are not only for housebreaking, but can be used simply as an indoor toilet when going outside is not an option. Thus, dogs that use a litter box are often both indoor and outdoor trained. When trained to go outside, dogs understand that the grass is where they are supposed to do their business.
Other than house training puppies, dog litter boxes are used by pet owners who work long hours and can't take the dog outside to pee, or when weather and extreme temperatures prevent dogs from peeing outdoors.
Dog grass litter boxes are highly absorbent to contain dog urine, and they also mask the scent. They're more efficient and convenient than puppy pee pads, and could even compliment owners' home decor. They're simple to use and conceptually, a dog would need to be trained for a litter box similarly to potty training pads. The drawback, however, is that not all dogs take easily to litter boxes.
The Best Dog Litter Boxes
1 PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Dog Potty
The first on the list of recommended dog litter box brands is a popular option from PetSafe. Pet Loo Pet Toilet (from the famous company whose many products we've reviewed before) comes in three different sizes; small, medium, and large.
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The large measures inches by 33 inches, the medium 24 inches by 24 inches, and the small 17 inches by 17 inches. The large size box is best for most dog sizes, as it’s only a little under nine square feet of grass area. The fake grass is held in place with clips and then the urine passes through the fake grass into a tray, which is slanted to funnel it directly into the collection bin.
The collection bin is removable and contains a sponge-like fabric that absorbs the urine and its odor. The sponge contains a powder that turns the urine into a gel, trapping it and preventing it from going everywhere and making an even bigger mess. The large-size box, according to PetSafe, works for breeds of dog such as Boxers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and other dogs around that size.
Pet Loo Pet Toilet is first on the list because it’s one of the most advanced. It’s still an excellent product of high quality, but it doesn’t contain the choices between sprinkler system and manual cleaning or the length of the hose. However, for the price, it’s still a great purchase.
PROS: The design of the Pet Loo Pet Toilet litter box is very smart; it drains directly into the sponge, which transforms the liquid into a gel that holds fast without leaking everywhere and causing problems.
The design makes it simple for owners that don’t want to bother with heavy cleaning, though 2-3 times per week, it does need to be sprayed and once a week, it does need to be thoroughly cleaned (so if you’re looking to leave it completely, that might not be the case). It’s also easy for your dog to use and according to some customers, the pee container takes a while to fill up and their dogs didn’t fill the sponge for about four days, which was a decent time to go without having to deal with dog urine.
CONS: A common complaint about this dog litter box is centered on the synthetic grass that was used in the litter box. The grass is fake, synthetically created, and the design isn’t mean to be long-lasting. Some customers commented that there was an odor residue left behind after their dogs used the litter box that made it impossible to clean out. This complaint wasn’t echoed widely, but it was something to take note of.
2 PetSafe Piddle Place Indoor/Outdoor Potty System
The second top rated product is another option from PetSafe. This Piddle Place Pet Relief system comes with a removable turf pad that allows the owner to clean the grass without having to take apart the entire thing.
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Also included is a bio treatment pack, which is used to clean the turf, and a removable travel lid that provides convenience if you’re taking your dog on a trip or going somewhere with him or her. To use it, you pour the Bio Treatment pack and one cup water into a measuring cup and pour that into the base of the Pet System (the plastic without the turf). This will prime it before use. Then, put the turf pad and guard into place. After, treat the turf with the Bio Treatment daily to keep it clean. The turf base is porous and cleanable.
Piddle Place Pet Relief System is second litter box because it requires way more effort to set up. One customer described the set-up process as reminiscent of a chemistry experiment that he didn’t agree to do in the first place. A lot of people don’t have the time and/or patience to be doing all that setup, so this was fourth for that reason (and a few others that we’ll address in the cons section as well).
PROS: Customers who purchased Piddle Place Pet Relief System liked how easy this was to maneuver and use, especially when traveling. It also doesn’t require a lot of heavy cleaning as long as you follow the instructions that require you to do some initial treatment as well.
It also is good for older dogs that have forgotten their potty training concept and are struggling. A feature that also was well-liked on this litter box is the fake grass, which lets the urine slip right through it into the treated liquid below, providing a clean and odor-free experience that, as one customer called it, is a “carpet saver.”
CONS: The difficult setup was frequently mentioned in negative reviews of this product. Also, some owners expressed their dogs’ reservations about using the potty system. This isn’t unexpected; some dogs really are attached to routine and the idea of a litter box might be confusing for them. Dogs can be resistant to thinks that seem totally innocuous to you and me, so be aware that your dog might not always be totally receptive to the concept of a grass litter box.
3 Prevue Hendryx Tinkle Turf for Large Breeds
Third product on the list is this Prevue Pet Products Tinkle Turf that comes in multiple sizes, including small, medium, and large. The largest size has dimensions of 41 by 28.5 inches and works for larger dog breeds.
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It’s simply constructed, with turf that is lead-free and comes with a pan underneath to protect the flooring. The turf is synthetic and combines odor-control technology with absorbent materials to soak up your dog’s waste. It’s lightweight and easy to clean. You can clean the turf with warm water and cleaning dish soap and it’s recommended that you buy replacement turf to use while your other turf is drying and being cleaned.
Prevue Pet Products Tinkle Turf is third because it’s not as varied or as durable as the others above, though it is still a good piece of housebreaking equipment for the price. The tray is easy to clean and the turf is as well, but it isn’t exactly a housebreaking permanent tool and if you’re looking for something super long-lasting with permanency, you may want to select one of the other litter boxes we’ve listed.
PROS: It is very easy to clean Prevue Pet Products Tinkle Turf. Unlike the fourth litter box, this doesn’t require any special materials or regiments. You can use plain dish soap. Also, the tray is very easy to scrub as well. It’s hand-washable (some people might not like that).
Most customers chose to use this as a temporary item, either during the housebreaking process where they eventually assumed that their dog would go outside full time or while traveling when leaving the hotel or vacation spot every so often wasn’t possible and they needed to make do. For those purposes, this was an inexpensive, effective choice.
CONS: Customers had issues with the durability of this product. They found that the tray was too shallow and the turf became disconnected from the tray too easily for their liking. Others commented that there was a smell issue and unless you cleaned the turf yourself daily, the smell could become worse and grow to be very unpleasant. As some owners might not want to deal with hand-cleaning litter turf that has urine on it daily, this might be a product that is for temporary use only.
4 Sonnyridge Easy Potty Training Dog Litter Box
Fourth dog litter box is the Sonnyridge Easy Potty Training doggy litter box is one of the best sellers on Amazon due to its low cost. It contains synthetic grass (or you can choose to have real grass) and even has a cute little fire hydrant on the fake turf.
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It comes with a drain hose or drain container and you can choose to use the sprinkler rinse system or you can do it yourself. It works for dogs between five and 120 pounds and the grass area is eight square feet with dimension measurements of 26 inches by 50 inches by 7 inches. The drain hose that comes with the product is fourteen feet, and connects to any rain gutter or sewage drain that you need it to. The frame of the grass litter box is wicker, which is weather-resistant. It also comes with a training booklet and the fire hydrant is scented.
I chose to put Sonnyridge Easy Potty Training as fourth best litter box for dogs because it’s a best seller and a good value for the price. Also, the variability and options that it comes with make it a very convenient and versatile product that isn’t always seen on other housebreaking products. You don’t always get that type of variability. It’s extremely high-quality.
PROS: You get a lot of choices with Sonnyridge Easy Potty Training and that was something customers overwhelmingly appreciated. You can clean it with a watering can or with white vinegar, which was something that another customer suggested. It works well on patios or anywhere where the hose can connect. It’s also very long-lasting, as some of the customers noted.
Once has been using it for two years and has never had any issues with the product. Most customers found it to be very sturdy and satisfactory—it held up well to even larger sized dogs. It also works for different temperatures (freezing cold or the dog days of summer—no pun intended). If you don’t choose to use the sprinklers, it’s easy to clean. Your dog also will have enough room to circle and sniff when using this, which dogs like to do.
CONS: The fire hydrant is cute, but some dog owners noted that their dogs used it as a chew toy, rendering it useless and pointless. Also, be aware that if your dog jumps on it, some customers experienced wobbliness and instability. It depends on the size of your dog, but just be aware that wobbliness is a possibility.
5 Potty Patch Economical Grass Litter Box for Dogs
Last option on the list is from a well-known brand called Potty Patch. You can choose between a fourteen-foot drainage hose for this piece of machinery and a container underneath the Potty Patch Economical Litter Box.
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It works for dogs between five and 120 pounds. The grass is either synthetic or real, depending on what you choose, and the outer dimensions measure 26 inches by 50 inches by 7 inches (height).
This equipment is usable for any area you have that is outdoors, yet not fully outside, such as a patio or porch. You can clean it by using a watering can on the synthetic grass filled with cool water (after picked up any solid waste that your dog has left). You can also use training sod and clean it the same way. White vinegar is another potential cleaning substance that is useful for scrubbing your grass litter box.
This Potty Patch Economical Litter Box is last of our best dog litter boxes because it is slightly older model that others, and lacks some of the improvements made to the former. A few issues were noted with the sprinkler system, especially with the material used to make the plumbing (see the cons list).
PROS: Potty Patch Economical Litter Box gives you the option to control your pet’s housebreaking experience and how he or she deals with their bathroom habits. The choice between the type of drainage system you want to use and the material is an example of the structural design being manufactured to be flexible.
You can either stick with the synthetic grass or, as one purchaser decided, do your own thing and change what you choose to use—she chose to use rubber wood chips instead of grass and found that to be successful. Customers found that some of their dogs were a little nervous about using the litter box because it flexed, but once that was sorted, they became much better accustomed to using it (it’s a bit of a change from hard ground).
CONS: A few customers had trouble with the way the box was manufactured. One commented that there was a leakage issue involving the way the plumbing worked. The plastic material wasn’t as durable as they would have liked in terms of the hose used. The plumbing issues weren’t as reported in the newer updates of the Porch Potty brand (as reported in the first grass litter box we chose).