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Product Review: Potty Patch (Doggy Astroturf)

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What does your dog do when there’s so much snow or rain, that going outside is distasteful, if not downright hazardous? We have a wrap-around deck and when the snow melts it becomes nautical. That’s right, it’s a poop-deck. Charity Marie Doggie-Dog is not going to muddy her paws or freeze her tail out in the snow and ice, so when we’re not looking she does her thing in the snow on the deck. She has never been trained not to do this; we sympathize with her plight. Anyway, it’s easy enough to clean with a garden rake.

If this problem is a concern, there is a solution. Astroturf for dogs, it’s named Potty Patch and is an American Kennel Club product, distributed by Eagle Eye Marketing Group in Toronto. Potty Patch is a “three tier system,” consisting of a collection tray, a grate, and a rectangle of artificial grass.

The idea behind it is that sometimes it’s just too miserable for dogs to go outside, so now they can have their own little spot to squat right in the house. I am suddenly visualizing that this is more practical for females than males. Besides being a bad weather boon, it can also be used as a training aid for puppies. (Reading the FAQs convinces one that it is primarily a training aid for puppies.)

Potty Patch comes in two sizes, regular and large. The regular size includes the items mentioned above. The large size has two grates, two trays, a large grass mat, and a connection bridge. They both come with simple instructions. How simple? “1) Place Tray in the desired location; 2) Place Grate in tray, spikes facing up (to use without grass place grate with spikes facing down); and 3) Place synthetic Grass on top.” You may choose to use absorbent training pads in conjunction with the Potty Patch. There are also cleaning instructions and helpful hints. One of the helpful hints is to “Clean your Potty Patch as needed.” That should be self-evident.

Charity Marie is five years old, and, although the Potty Patch is placed in a convenient location, she has exhibited absolutely no interest in it. She is perfectly happy with her sea-faring ways. There are also four cats in our house (Natasha, Boris, Fuzzy Lumpkins, and Fearless Leader). What we have learned from the cats is that the “Pets Love It!” label guarantees that the item will go unused.

“Now your pet can go when he needs to!” reads the blurb on the box. I know that there are dogs that will not have accidents in the house; they would rather explode than relieve themselves on mummy and daddy’s carpets. Charity Marie, on the other hand, "goes when she needs to." If we’re not attuned to her entreaties, our next call will be to the bio-hazard removal team.

The artificial turf is “antimicrobial” and “odor-resistant.” Potty Patch (“as seen on TV”) seems more practical for liquid waste than solid, and the collection tray will hold one gallon. Let me repeat that—one gallon! The whole thing is “so easy to clean, just rinse with soapy water.” It may be used indoors or out. If your dog won’t use its Potty Patch, you can treat it (the patch, not the dog) with a pheromone spray, but if the Potty Patch is used by your pet, it cannot be returned.

By favorite bit of information regarding Potty Patch is a warning that appears on the instruction sheet: “DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE POTTY PATCH IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO KEEP ALL CHILDREN AWAY FROM THE POTTY PATCH.” Surely you understand why the manufacturer felt it necessary to use all caps.

I think that the yuck factor involved in clean up(I’m not sure about carrying a trayful of dog urine through the house) is enough for me to allow Charity Marie to continue to do her own thing. Since she has no interest in Potty Patch, I can’t offer a useful recommendation regarding adult dogs, one way or the other. It does seem like a better alternative to newspapers spread all over the floor for puppy-training, though. Should I ever be in a situation where there’s a puppy to be trained, I would definitely try the Potty Patch method first.

Would I buy Potty Patch? No, not for Charity Marie.

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About Miss Bob Etier

  • chuck

    i have one of these for my 3rd floor apartment balcony, and the dog uses it all the time, except if the concrete is wet or has snow on it. i think she likes peeing in the snow, and dislikes walking across wet ground.

  • elaine

    Chuck – I too am on the third floor and my new puppy is starting to use it regularly – How do you clean your potty patch? I don’t like the idea of having to carry it while walking across my carpet??

  • Mario

    I purchased a potty-patch and my little shitzu-pom has absolutely no interest in it whatsoever. We’ve tried everything to get her to do her business on it and she won’t. I do not recommend this product.

  • Beth

    We have 2 medium sized dogs. I bought the large potty patch because I wanted to make sure they had room to go without any chance of it getting on the carpet. It was hard at first to get them to use it but, after the first time they were hooked. I am disabled and sometimes I can’t walk them so this is perfect. I just want to know how every one cleans their’s. I really don’t like the smell so I need to clean it often. Any suggestions?

  • Brandi

    I have one for my dogs. The girls use it with no problem. I clean it almost every other day and it still stinks. How do I get the odor out of it??

  • sandra

    I have owned the Potty Patch for a year now and my little Chihuahau uses it all the time. I too have a hard time cleaning it,the odour is overpowering at times. My problem is with the grass!! I have soaked in vinegar which isnt very easy,still smells.Please help any other suggestions would help!

  • Richard Paul

    I ordered a replacement artificial grass about three weeks ago. It hasn’t come yet. The invoice ID is 417292. Is there anyway you could track it down?

  • Cynthia King

    My dog uses the Potty Patch daily. I use pads under the pad and to clean it I spray it down with “Natures Miracle” Stain and odor remover throw it in a plastic bag and take it to the do it yourself car wash; spray soap on it then rinse. In between washes I spray it down with the stain and odor remover then rinse with hot water. My dog doesn’t have a problem with it.

  • Jan Olesick

    My chihuahua uses the Potty Patch daily. I use Mr Clean with Febreeze to clean the grass and grate . I purchase people pads (less expensive than puppy pads) to absorb the urine in the tray. That way, I can easily wipe the tray down with a Clorox wipe. I clean the system every three days and do not experience the odor others have described.

  • sharon

    i have two chihuahuas… and they use the potty patch regularly. the issue is the odor. i use a pad underneath, and rinse the grass, but even vinegar doesn’t help with the smell. thanks for the susggestion of clorox and natures miracle – i’ll try them. hate to give up the “patch” because the dogs are really too little to go outside.

  • Andrea

    I bought this to help potty train my puppy. I live on the 2nd floor so this was perfect for the balcony. HUGE HIT with the puppy! terrific for balcony use but wouldn’t really recommend this for indoor. After a week, and cleaning all trays, and grass with soapy water, then again with natures miracle extra strength every day, doesn’t completely omit the urine odor. I did discover however that if you use Natures Miracle rinse and clean with soapy water 1st, then spray Natures Miracle all over the grass, and trays – let it sit (not in water) for about 30 min’s in the shower, or yard area – then rinse with hot water it reduces the smell greatly.

  • Jeff

    We live in a town house with several levels, so it’s hard to tell when she needs to go out as we’re on any given level doing whatever.

    Took about a week, but my German Shepherd pup uses it reliably now. She’s so good with it that even after we move into a house with a big yard, we may leave it in one of her favorite corners.

    The way to get a dog to use this thing is to mop up some urine from their spot outside with a sponge, just after they’ve gone, then transfer the urine to the patch. Sounds crude, but it makes sense, and it works. She’ll want to cover the scent on the patch, and once she does, reward her excessively with treats and affection. Get her doing it at least once more on her own and you should have her trained… but I’ve got a smart dog. She learns real fast.

  • Potty

    I purchased a potty-patch form my chihuahua (girl), because I’m at work all day. She learned it quickly.

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