Whether you’re potty training your new puppy, embracing apartment living or your older dog isn’t getting outside fast enough, a dog potty can save you time and energy while keeping pet odors from overtaking your home.
“When pet parents are selecting an indoor dog potty, I always recommend that they use materials and products that are environmentally friendly, as well as effective for their specific living situation and home setup,” dog trainer Kate Perry, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and certified with the Animal Behavior College, told The Spruce Pets.
After evaluating a wide range of indoor potties, our favorite is the PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Indoor/Outdoor Dog Potty, which is easy to clean and exceptionally good at trapping odors. Plus it’s available in three different sizes. But there are several other dog potties that may work even better for you and your dog.
PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Indoor/Outdoor Dog Potty
Easy clean up
Indoor or outdoor
Grass mat clips could be stronger
Disposable pee pod is polyethylene terephthalate plastic
The PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Indoor/Outdoor Dog Potty earned the top spot on our list because it’s easy to clean and portable. It’s especially easy to move and handle while cleaning. Its synthetic grass mat is like bringing a little of the outdoors inside, and you can choose between three sizes in order to pick one that’s right for any size breed of dog (though its elevated design can get a little tippy with especially large dogs).
This unit is ideal for training, apartments, the garage, overnight or when you just can’t let your pet out. It’s also a convenient, comfortable, and non-disposable alternative to puppy pee pads. Urine drains quickly through the rubberized upper grass layer, onto the slanted base, draining into a removable, disposable catch basin called a Pee Pod, which is full of absorbent “Wee Sponge” powder that traps urine and turns it into a neutral gel—containing liquids and odors. You’ll still need to pick up and bag solid waste by hand, but the grass is easy to rinse with a hose or sprayer.
You can order replacement pee pods and Wee Care spray cleaner separately, but many customers note that the unit works just as well without the pods or cleaner, by simply pulling out and rinsing the tray and grass.
Price at time of publish: $90 (Medium)
Dimensions: 20.75 x 17 x 4.5 inches (small), 24.5 x 24.5 x 5.25 inches (medium), 32.5 x 32.5 x 5.25 inches (large) | Materials: Synthetic grass, plastic base, tray and pee pod
Best Real Grass
Fresh Patch Dog Training Grass Pad
Dogs love real grass!
Cost of replacement patches add up
Plastic tray is sold separately
If your dog is already potty-trained outdoors, then Fresh Patch Real Grass is the easiest possible transition to healthy indoor bathroom behavior. Fresh Patch is a hydroponically grown, dirt-free grass training pad that rests in a plastic tray (sold separately). They come in four sizes based on your dog’s weight. You get a discount if you subscribe for regular Fresh Patch deliveries—they recommend a new patch every two weeks. The grass is shipped rolled up in a plastic bag inside of a cardboard box, which can work as a tray in a pinch.
The living grass in the Fresh Patch delivery is not only attractive to dogs, but also absorbs liquids and odors well. They can be used to keep your dog inside on bad weather days. They’re also great for condos, balconies, and patios. Plus, there’s no maintenance required, because you simply throw out the whole patch when it has become too saturated or dirty.
Price at time of publish: $35 (Standard size, one-time purchase)
Dimensions: 16 x 12 inches (mini), 16 x 24 inches (standard), 24 x 24 inches (large), 24 x 48 inches (extra large) | Materials: Grass, cardboard box, plastic tray
Bark Potty Disposable Dog Potty
Replaces up to 60 pee pads
Neutralizes odors naturally
Some dogs are tempted to chew it
When you’re on the road, it’s not always convenient or even possible to find a public place for your dog to make a pitstop. That’s where disposable pads come in handy. Bark Potty offers an environmentally-friendly alternative to your standard disposable pee pad. Each Bark Potty is made with aromatic and antimicrobial Forest Stewardship Council certified natural bark fibers from Northern California. The fibers are not treated with any chemicals and handily absorb liquids, then naturally biodegrade the odor-causing components in urine. The bark portion of the Bark Potty can be composted or disposed of as yard waste.
Each Bark Potty comes with a built-in plastic tray that prevents leaks, plus they come with a roll of poo bags. Each Bark Potty is designed to last for a full month—the equivalent of 60 pee pads. You can get a discount on each Bark Potty by subscribing to regular deliveries.
Plus, when you buy direct from Bark Potty, not only is a tree planted for every purchase, but a portion of the profits go to environmental and social justice initiatives via 1% for the Planet.
The only downside to the Bark Potty is that some dogs treat it more like a chew toy than a bathroom. In those cases, the manufacturer recommends spraying it with a bitter apple solution to deter chewing.
Price at time of publish: $49 (30 x 20 inch)
Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 inches or 30 x 20 x 2 inches | Materials: Plastic mesh top, bark and cardboard base
Best WiFi Connected
BrilliantPad Smart WiFi Enabled Indoor Dog Potty
Only for dogs 25 pounds and under
Instant feedback and control through your phone
Less waste per use than traditional pee pads
Camera doesn’t work well in low light
Regularly replacing the pad roll adds up
There is not yet a lot of competition in the area of internet-connected dog potties, making Brilliantpad something of a pioneer. The Brilliantpad Smart WiFi Enabled Indoor Dog Potty works by rolling out a new pee pad, sealing the soiled portion on a spindle. When the roll runs out, simply remove it and toss it away, without ever having to touch the soiled pad.
It’s all controlled by an app. You can choose between three cleaning options that advance the roll forward: automatically after the dog steps away; regularly at scheduled times; or manually by tapping a button in the app or on the machine. You can also set your notifications to alert you when the BrilliantPad gets used, or when it’s time to purchase a replacement roll. Because the unit tracks usage through the app, you’ll be able to confidently answer your veterinarians’ questions about your dog’s bathroom habits and health. You can even record photos of waste when evidence is requested. That makes it especially useful for older pets with health issues.
Puppies and dogs who are already trained to use pee pads should be able to figure out the Brilliantpad quickly. Dogs trained on natural or synthetic grass may need a little extra training to get used to the flat, indoor surface.
The Brilliantpad requires a 2.4 GHZ Wifi network to operate, and is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones. One roll is the equivalent to about 21 traditional puppy pads.
Price at time of publish: $200
Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 6 inches | Materials: Pads are five layers compostable material, plastic base
Best Training Tray
Petmaker Artificial Grass Potty Mat
Easy to clean
Great for apartments, patios, garages and porches
Puppies adapt easily
Takes some time to dry out
You can’t watch a puppy every minute, but you can provide them with an easy-to-clean, indoor surface that simulates the outdoors to help guide them in their potty training. Also sold under the brand names Petmaker, Paw Puppy and Pet Pal, this training tray uses a three-layer system. A top, 1.25-inch deep grass mat sits on top of an antimicrobial layer that collects liquids. Both layers rest in a durable collection tray.
Many pet parents buy two so you always have a clean, dry one available. Additional grass mats are available for purchase separately. This system also works very well for senior dogs with mobility issues who can’t easily get themselves inside and out.
While it can be used on patios and other outdoor spaces, the Pet Adobe Artificial Grass Potty Trainer Mat does not have drain holes and so should not be used in areas exposed to rain. Simply wash with warm soapy water and dry.
Price at time of publish: $40 (Large)
Dimensions: 16 x 20 inches (medium), 20 x 25 inches (large) | Materials: Synthetic plastic grass mat, inner antimicrobial layer and durable plastic tray
Weasy Smart Dog Potty
Bag holds up to 2 liters
The largest size is still a little small for very large dogs
Outdoor potties need to be weather resistant, easy to clean and portable, especially if you need to carry them inside for cleaning. This potty controls urine odor by draining pee into a reusable bag under the base. A rubberized top mat rests on a firm recycled ABS plastic base. What’s smart about it is that it comes with or without a leg-lifter wall that can prevent the stray streams of male dogs. It can be also rinsed in place between uses with a glass of water, or washed with soap and warm water as needed.
The rubber mat has ample drain holes so your dog’s paws will stay clean and dry. You’ll protect the environment and save money—about $15,000 over your dog’s lifetime according to the manufacturers—by avoiding the use of disposable pee pads. Simply pick up solid waste just like at the park.
Price at time of publish: $200 (Small)
Dimensions: 16 x 21 x 3.1 inches (extra small), 21 x 27.6 x 4 inches (small), 27.6 x 27.6 x 4 inches (medium), 27.6 x 39.4 x 4 inches (large) | Materials: Plastic base and bag tray, vinyl tubing, flexible reusable plastic bag
Doggy Bathroom Starter Kit
Available in four color combinations
Environmentally conscious company
Open on top so indoor only
When a dog needs to go indoors, a little privacy goes a long way for you both, not to mention any guests you might be trying to entertain. This tasteful, high-sided Doggy Bathroom works a little like a bathroom stall, meaning you can’t easily see your dog in action. The high sides also ensure you won’t have any splashes or leaks if you have a leg lifter. Its design was the winner of the Pet Innovation Award 2021 and Grand Prix Design.
Each comes with custom pee pads that extend up the sides for absorption, odor masking and easy clean up. A little color-coordinated mat is included for them to wipe their paws afterward as they step out.
Purchasing from Doggy Bathroom also supports environmental and non-profit initiatives. For example, the purchase of a pink Doggy Bathroom Starter Kit or Base benefits breast cancer awareness initiatives—in their first year they raised more than $11,000. They also participate in recycling and upcycling initiatives, donating returned items to charities, animal shelters, and sanctuaries instead of filling up landfills. Each Doggy Bathroom unit is made from recycled plastic, while their packaging is recycled brown paper and recyclable polyethylene.
Price at time of publish: $209
Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 13 inches (mini), 20 x 28 x 16 inches | Materials: 100% recycled plastic
The sturdy PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Indoor/Outdoor Dog Potty is our top choice because it comes in three sizes and is designed to trap odors and clean up easily. When you travel, it’s hard to beat the sustainable, natural Bark Potty for odor and leak prevention and peace of mind.
What to Look for in Dog Potties
For all dog potties, you’ll need to train your dog to use it. That’s easier for some dogs than others. Patience and consistency make the process a little easier. Your dog is more likely to adapt to a dog potty that is most similar to what they are already using. If your dog is used to going outside, artificial turf may be an easier transition than pee pads or bark potties.
When selecting a dog potty that’s right for you, there are several factors to consider—whether you’ll use it indoors, outdoors or both. Also consider whether it should be portable or remain in one place and whether your dog is likely to actually use it.
Indoor potties should be tastefully designed so they blend with your home décor. Above all, you want one that is leak-proof and excellent at controlling odors to protect your home and your nose. To save time and prevent lingering smells, it should also be easy to clean.
For outdoor potties on decks, patios and other non-earthen surfaces, water resistance and durability are paramount. If you have to wash them indoors, then also consider portability and ease of cleaning to save your back.
“Artificial turf is safe for dogs to use for elimination, but no dog should be left unattended with any form of artificial surface until they are old enough to be trusted not to ingest any of the surface,” adds dog trainer Kate Perry, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and certified with the Animal Behavior College.
Where potties come in multiple sizes, invest the time to carefully measure as the manufacturer recommends or verify that your dog is otherwise the right size for the potty. Most negative reviews for these potties were related to the pet owner over- or under-estimating their dog’s size or measurements.
How do you potty train a dog?
“Potty training is accomplished by repeatedly taking the dog to the desired area for elimination, and rewarding them for going in that spot,” explains Perry. “It also relies heavily on the dog being on a good schedule and controlling their water intake. Owners will want to avoid giving their dogs free roam, and instead, keep them in containment—such as a crate or containment area—to prevent the dog from sneaking off and having accidents. I also highly recommend logging all bathroom activity every day to build a database and see if any patterns are emerging. This will help diagnose why the dog might be having accidents, or where the schedule could use tweaking.”
How long does it take to potty train a dog?
“This depends on the dog's intelligence and owner compliance with scheduling, being consistent and establishing good habits,” says Perry. “On average, potty training usually takes between six and ten months.”
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This piece was written by Lorraine Wilde who has had at least two dog and cat companions in her home for the past 35 years including some kitties with special needs. She’s raised several puppies throughout that time.
When researching these brands, Wilde evaluated the type and quality of each product, customer and expert reviews, the company’s research and development, and their business ethics.
Wilde also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in environmental science. She is a firm believer that consumers can make healthy, informed and environmentally conscious choices to protect their pets and our planet.
Dog trainer Kate Perry is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and certified with the Animal Behavior College, where she also works as a mentor and trainer teaching students how to become trainers in their own right. Her philosophy and methodology, which have been approved by numerous veterinarians, centers on the use of positive reinforcement.