Pet Patio Potty™ Questions
We are frequently asked questions about the Pet Patio Potty™ (patent pending), our stylish dog litter box. Many dog and puppy owners have special concerns about how suited our product is for housebreaking and potty training their beloved pet. Others wonder how easy our product is to clean and maintain, or about its suitability for unprotected areas of a patio, balcony, deck, or terrace. We are happy to answer unequivocally: “It’s terrific!” Here are some of the specific questions our customers have asked.
I am currently using absorbent pads in my kitchen to housetrain my puppy. Why should I consider investing in a Pet Patio Potty™?
Absorbent puppy or wee wee pads have the following disadvantages:
- When used on a daily basis for puppy toileting needs, pads can be very expensive over time. Some of our clients have reported that they previously spent as much as $20 per week on pads. In such cases, within a period of just a few months, the Pet Patio Potty™ pays for itself.
- Odor development is common with puppy pad use. There is typically no odor control feature with these pads and because they are used indoors, the urine odor is more noticeable.
- Absorbent pads are not environmentally friendly.
- Many puppies rip up pads when left unattended.
- Absorbent pads are not suitable for outdoor use.
So the Pet Patio Potty™ may be more affordable in the long run and because of its’ layered design, provide better odor control. In addition, the product is versatile and can be used outdoors at a future time, if you so choose. Finally, it is typically easy to transition puppies and dogs that have been trained to use puppy pads to the Pet Patio Potty™.
Is the Pet Patio Potty™ suitable for indoor use when no patio or balcony is available?
Absolutely!! While many of our customers find it convenient to place the Pet Patio Potty™ on a balcony, patio or deck, many others live in residences where no such area is available. Our dog potty product is very suited for indoor use. The feature of our product that makes it an ideal indoor dog potty is its’ layered design. This design facilitates drainage of the urine away from dog and puppy feet, through the surface material and down to a layer of odor-absorbing litter below. As you can imagine, odor control in an indoor environment is very important. In addition, if K9Grass™ is selected as the surface material, there is an anti-microbial incorporated into the grass blades, further helping with odor control.
When a patio, balcony or deck is not available, placing the dog litter box in a protected corner of the garage or basement is also a possibility.
Because many of our clients were concerned about having their leg-lifting male use the dog potty indoors, Doggy Solutions™ developed the Indoor Male Model specifically designed for indoor use. This model has polyethylene panels on 3 of the 4 sides to help prevent male dogs from urinating outside of the box.
My condo has a terrace that has no protection above it. Can I use a Pet Patio Potty™ in such a setting?
There are two options when placing the Pet Patio Potty™ in an open outdoor environment:
- If you are typically with your pet when he uses his Pet Patio Potty™, you can use the Low Profile model and simply cover the potty with its’ Sunbrella™ canvas cover when a rain or snow storm is expected. In addition, you can provide additional protection using a patio umbrella or awning. In areas of the country where there is little rain or snow, this model may be the perfect solution.
- Alternatively, many dog owners prefer to purchase the Elevated Canopy Model which was designed specifically for open outdoor areas. This potty has Plexiglas panels on three sides and its’ cover is elevated over the potty. This unique design has the dual advantages of allowing your dog to use the potty in bad weather without getting drenched while also protecting the potty from environmental moisture. This model is ideal for dog and puppy owners who have a dog door that allows their pet access to the potty at all times. An optional weather protection flap is available for Elevated Canopy units placed in areas that are exposed to blowing rain and/or snow or are very windy. The flap snaps over the open side of the unit to provide additional protection during inclement weather.
Why does Doggy Solutions™ place so much emphasis on protecting the potty from rain and snow?
The fact is – no dog potty product is completely suitable for exposure to significant rain or snow. Doggy Solutions™ just chooses to educate our clients regarding this issue. With the Pet Patio Potty™, prolonged exposure to rain or snow can cause the litter below the trays to become saturated with water and necessitate replacement. Although potty systems with drainage trays or pans can collect some environmental moisture, there is a limit. As the pan becomes full of urine-contaminated water, disposal of the fluid can become awkward and difficult and the pan can even overflow. In those units where real sod or synthetic grass is placed directly in a shallow pan, water from rain and snow has no place to drain.
These real concerns resulted in the development of the Elevated Canopy Model, the only potty product providing protection for both your dog and the potty when it rains or snows. This model is ideal for open areas having no overhead protection. The Low Profile Pet Patio Potty™ is more suited for areas that have some overhead protection. This model includes a water-resistant canvas cover that can be snapped directly over the potty frame if the potty is placed in an area that is exposed to rain or snow during bad or windy storms.
What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of using gravel vs. synthetic K9Grass™ as the surface material in the trays?
Doggy Solutions™ has made the following observations when comparing the use of gravel and synthetic K9Grass™:
- Both surface materials have good drainage properties. Most of the urine drains through either material to the litter layer which absorbs both the liquid and the odor from the urine.
- Since both the synthetic K9Grass™ and the gravel have significant surface area, some urine will dry on the grass blades or on the stones, necessitating routine cleaning. Fortunately, the K9Grass™ can be easily cleaned and disinfected by soaking it in a tub of dilute sanitizing or bleach solution. The gravel can be periodically rinsed or hosed down right in the tray with a dilute sanitizing or bleach solution.
- The K9Grass™ is more similar to real grass so it may be easier to train some adult dogs to use the potty when grass is used.
- Some dog and puppy owners prefer the look of the artificial dog potty grass.
- The trays containing the synthetic K9Grass™ pieces are lighter in weight than those filled with gravel and may, therefore, be easier to handle. Our small, medium, large and extra large size dog potty systems are now made with double-sized trays when the K9Grass™ is used as the surface material. This design provides a more continuous surface for your dog or puppy.
- There is an anti-microbial agent incorporated into the K9Grass™ blades to help deter the growth of microorganisms and the associated odor.
- It may be somewhat easier to remove solid waste from the gravel. If necessary, a disinfectant wipe can be used to wipe the synthetic dog potty grass.
- The initial expense of the gravel is less than the K9Grass™.
- Some dogs, particularly males, like to scratch or dig after they eliminate. If this is the case, then the K9Grass™ is a better choice, since the pebbles can get kicked out of the potty.
- Finally, some puppies like to play with the pebbles and there is a concern that a stone could be swallowed.
How does the Pet Patio Potty™ compare to litter boxes using real sod rather than synthetic K9Grass™ or gravel?
The design of the Pet Patio Potty™ allows the use of different surface materials in the removable trays. While Doggy Solutions™ ordinarily recommends using synthetic K9Grass™ or gravel, other materials such as real sod have been successfully used, particularly during the training process.
Real sod has the obvious advantage of being the surface many adult dogs associate with “going potty”. However, there are many reasons why Doggy Solutions™ does not favor using real sod as a permanent surface material in the Pet Patio Potty™.
- Real sod requires frequent replacement to maintain acceptable sanitary conditions for your dog. The sod should be replaced weekly and this frequent replacement can be both inconvenient and expensive. If weekly replacement is not practiced, problems with insects, bacteria and odor have been reported.
- Disposing of used sod can be unpleasant and difficult.
- There are many geographic regions where sod is not available year round.
- It is more difficult to completely remove solid waste from real sod than from gravel or synthetic K9Grass™. Cleaning the K9Grass™ or gravel is always an option. However, with real sod, replacement is the only way to assure the potty is fresh and clean for your puppy or dog.
- Real grass is like a sponge so most of the urine and the associated bacteria are absorbed by the grass layer. Because the urine is trapped in the sod layer, rapid odor development is more likely. This is particularly a problem if the potty is set up indoors.
- The potty systems having drainage trays can be difficult to empty if too much fluid is allowed to collect in the tray. The layered design of the Pet Patio Potty™ allows for easy removal of soiled litter.
Where can I purchase gravel suitable for use in the trays of the Pet Patio Potty™?
The gravel we most frequently recommend is pea gravel or pea pebbles. This type of stone may also be called 3/8” river rock. Gravel is inexpensive and can be acquired at most home supply stores such as Home Depot or at landscape supply companies. For larger dogs, the pea size gravel may get caught in their pads so a larger size stone should be considered, for example, 3/4” river rock. Any type of decorative stone with sharp edges should be avoided. Also, pebbles smaller than 3/8” diameter should not be used because they may fall through the 1/4” perforations in the polyethylene tray bottoms. Please note that gravel is not included with orders.
How difficult is it to maintain the Pet Patio Potty™?
Cleaning and maintenance are really quite simple.
Since most of the urine drains through the gravel or synthetic K9Grass™ in the trays to the litter below, the soiled litter simply needs to be removed using the convenient scoop provided by Doggy Solutions™. The frequency of checking the litter really depends on frequency of use, but we typically suggest checking the litter weekly. We recommend using a clumping litter that has anti-microbial properties to help keep the area where the potty is placed smelling fresh. Removal of solid waste from the surface material can be accomplished using the same type of plastic waste bag you use when walking your dog. A complete litter change is recommended every few months. Using a trash bag or liner beneath the litter facilitates this cleaning process. Visit our How It Works page for a photo pictorial on the design and function of the Pet Patio Potty™ dog potty system.
It is so convenient, clean and easy to maintain.
Synthetic K9Grass™ pieces need to be cleaned every one to two weeks, depending on frequency of use. The K9Grass™ can be soaked in a basin, tub or bucket of dilute sanitizing or bleach solution. After sanitizing, the K9Grass™ must be drip dried prior to placement back in the potty trays.
We recommend rinsing the gravel with a dilute sanitizing or bleach solution approximately once or twice a month. The trays have convenient handles making removal from the supporting potty frame easy. Once removed, the trays can simply be placed in a suitable outdoor location or in the shower or tub for rinsing.
Can you tell me about the training process? Can older dogs be trained to use the Pet Patio Potty™ or is it primarily used just for puppies?
While the Pet Patio Potty™ is a fantastic tool for housetraining your “high-rise” puppy, it was initially designed as a stylish “dog litter box” for adult dogs living in residences having no yard. Although the training process varies from dog to dog, training adult dogs can be quite easy, since they have learned to control their bladder and yearn to please their masters. It is simply a behavior modification process requiring consistency, time, patience and proper use of a reward system. It should be noted that training an adult dog to “go” in an indoor potty area may take additional time and perseverance.
I can’t believe how much easier potty training has been with it and I don’t know what we would have done without it.
Puppies can quickly learn that the Pet Patio Potty™ is one of their options when they have “to go”. The goal is to initially spend as much time as possible with the puppy so mistakes are avoided and successes are rewarded. The advantage of the Pet Patio Potty™ is that it is nearby when your puppy gives you the signal he needs “to go” NOW!! His chance for housetraining success is thereby greatly enhanced. During the housetraining process, it is important to have the potty as readily available as possible for the puppy.
Whether training a puppy or an adult dog, the keys to training success include consistency, patience and allotting adequate time for the training process.
How It Works
The photo tutorial presented below depicts the design and function of the Pet Patio Potty™ (Click to enlarge).