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There are times when it is simply impractical to let your dog pee wherever she wants: to name but an example, you might have only concrete in your outside area; perhaps all you have available is a balcony. For cases such as these, an outdoor pad will make both you and your furry friend quite happy! Find our picks for the best outdoor pee pad for dogs below.
Best Outdoor Pee Pad for Dogs: Sometimes, Artificial Is Just Better
Everyone loves natural grass—except for those of us with allergies, but that’s another story. When it comes to dogs (and, more specifically, their potty needs), an artificial patch comes with a few distinct advantages:
Easier to maintain: No pesticides, no fertilizers, no watering (at least, not for the sake of the grass’ health).
Optimal draining: Whatever liquid comes upon the patch (be it rain or the dogs relieving themselves), it will flow straight through. This also means there is no need to worry about bacteria buildup is the dog happens to prefer a single spot when doing number 1.
No holes: Your dog will not be burying bone stashes in this one!
Tips On Upkeep
Low-maintenance does not mean zero-maintenance. If you perform the following tasks, your pad will remain in service much longer.
- Pick up solid waste as soon as you see it; if you delay, it may harden and get stuck to the pad, forcing you to pull fibers out as you pick it up. Caked-on waste is also much harder to clean.
- Hose down the area (daily if possible, once or twice a week at a minimum) to wash away any remaining pee. You can also use a special odor eliminator, for even better results.
- A smaller pad will give your dog less spots to choose to pee on; this means you should tend to it more often.
- If you see flattened fibers, brush them up without delay to restore them to their normal shape; if you take too long, it might be harder to bring them back up.
Getting Your Dog To Use the Outdoor Pee Pad
Us wanting our dogs to go to the bathroom on the pad is one thing; them getting the message, is entirely a different story—especially if they’re not puppies anymore. Here are a few pointers:
- Choose a pad of appropriate size; if your dog is a large breed, he will require more space to be comfortable carrying out his business.
- Place it in an area of easy access; your dog will be less inclined to use the pad if the way to it is too long, maze-like, or rife with obstacles.
- Begin introducing him to his new potty area by leashing him and walking him around the pad for a few minutes. Give him time to sniff around and become accustomed to it, and talk in an upbeat tone to help him create a good association with the area.
- When it’s about time for him to take care of business, leash him, walk him over to the pad and encourage him to go. If you see him assume the position, look the other way; he will appreciate the privacy.
- Reward, do not punish: Every time he does his business on the pad, give him praise and a treat. If he happens to go on the wrong area, do not scold him, do not rub his nose on it, and definitely do not hit him! This will only make him afraid of you, and teach him nothing.
Our Picks on the Best Outdoor Pee Pads for Dogs
What follows is a list of pee pads you may find to your liking, depending on your situation and dog’s size.
Petgrow Realistic Artificial Grass Turf
Made in polyethylene and polypropylene yarns, this patch is made so it will be an adequate playing surface even for kids—though that, of course, might be less ideal given the actual use we are intending for it.
Packed tightly enough to weigh 70oz per square yard, it is optimized for comfort, maximum drainage, and it is also fire retardant. Patch is comprised of a total of four layers: the grass yarn at the top, PP fabric, grid, and a SBR layer at the bottom.
Available in a total of 12 sizes, it should be easy to find something for your area, no matter how small—or big!
- Backed by a 10-year warranty and a 30-day return policy.
- Custom sizes available; all it takes is contacting the manufacturer via email.
- Ships folded, not rolled; the resulting creases may take a while to disappear.
- Color may present slight (but still noticeable) variations between one unit and another.
PetSafe Pet Loo Portable Outdoor or Indoor Dog Potty
If for any reason you require something more contained, (say, if you’re traveling, or going cross country in an RV), then this could be a decent option for you: the artificial grass patch on top provides an inviting surface for your dog, and the pee flows straight into the covered waste bin which, combined with the proprietary Wee Sponge powder, work together to keep the smells from wafting all over the place.
For cleaning, all it takes is to slide the Pee Pod out of the base, and the Wee Sponge powder will turn the waste into gel for easy scooping. Available in 3 sizes.
- The 3 sizes it offers make it serviceable to a wide variety of dog breeds.
- Proprietary powder makes it much easier to keep odors contained and to dispose of all the waste safely.
- Some dogs may not find the look of the grass inviting enough.
- Grass patch known to damage easily, and it is more difficult to maintain.
Fezep Professional Dog Grass Mat
Measuring 39.4 x 19.7″, this pad comes with grass that is somewhat taller than that offered by many similar products, with a height of 1.6″ versus the more conventional 1.37″. Aside from this, it is a fairly conventional (and serviceable) option: color and feel that mimic natural grass, material that withers and disappears rather than catching fire, 4 layers total with grass yarn at the top and SBR latex at the bottom.
In a strange departure from common practice, this one offers only one size (roughly equivalent to 3 x 1.6′), which might still be sufficient for even a larger dog.
- Will not shed easily, even if left outside at freezing temperatures.
- Known to stay cool even at close to 100°F.
- Only one size available; this may greatly limit its appeal to consumers whose areas don’t conform to the pad’s dimensions.
- The rubber underneath can flake away with relative ease.
Hompet Dog Grass Pad with Tray
An appropriate surface—with adequate drainage, and with comfortable feel—may be a necessary element for a dog to do their business, but it is only one. Another factor, especially for male dogs, is a vertical surface for them to do number 1.
In the street, it can be a wall, a post, or even a hydrant; at home, it can be the plastic wall built into the design of this portable pad, a feature that is not commonly seen even among similar products.
The yarn at the top is a blend of polyethylene and polypropylene, with inherent UV resistance and which won’t easily shed, nor degrade due to the dog’s pee. Featuring 56 drainage holes, any liquid that falls on the surface will go straight down, into the tray below where it will remain safely contained for disposal.
- Replacement grass mats available from the manufacturer.
- The wall on the side provides guidance to the dog and prevents stray splashes.
- Only one size available; although it can be enough for medium dogs, this may limit its convenience to consumers who cannot reserve the appropriate space for it (in an RV, for example).
MTBRO Artificial Grass, Dog Grass Pee Pads
The grass on this one is a bit taller than average (1.5″), and it is designed to provide additional comfort via its double, W-shaped blades. Made to withstand from hot to freezing temperatures in the open, the rubber-coated backing comes with draining to help liquids through.
Manufacturer recommends washing the mat 2 or 3 times a week with soap or a vinegar mixture, in addition to daily pouring warm water to ensure any liquids passed through.
The mat ships rolled up, which prevents creases when unpacking but may cause blades to flatten; all it takes to fluff them up is to extend the mat and let it stay under the sun for a few hours.
- Easy to cut to size, should it be necessary; the loss of grass when doing so is reportedly minimal.
- Requires a more thorough and frequent cleaning than other similar products to stay odor-free.
- Per customer reports, draining is less optimal than that offered by other brands (fewer holes, and also smaller).
Best Outdoor Pee Pad for Dogs: Hompet Dog Grass Pad with Tray
Any mess that is contained is way easier to deal with, and this is why we feel inclined towards an option that features a tray; for similar reasons, we also like the wall on the side, which gives your male dog somewhere safe to aim at, just as if he were outside.
Although it lacks the size variety or additional components to make your dog’s pee easier to collect, the manufacturer offers the convenience of providing mat replacements without having to go on a goose hunt for them. It’s not prohibitively expensive, either.
Overall, this does look like a pretty good alternative for you and your dog.