Indoor grass and sod are doing for dogs what the litter box has done for cats. Giving your canine companion a place to "go" indoors will save your carpeting and eliminate worries during bad weather. It's appropriate for use if you live in an apartment and handy if you want to avoid late-night walks.
Types of Indoor Grass
Different types of indoor grass and sod systems are available. Some use synthetic turf and others use real sod. All of them start with a frame. The real sod systems are essentially low planters for the grass while the ones using manufactured turf have a screen and a tray below the artificial sod where liquid collects.
Training Your Pup
In an ideal situation, you will have an area in your home designated as the puppy's area, one where she can be confined behind an expandable gate or other safe barrier. This area should have her crate or bed, food and water. Place the grass or sod system opposite and away from the rest of her things. Introducing your puppy to the approved area for her to go potty and reinforcing that by frequently taking her to her indoor grass for opportunities to go are key to potty training her. When your pup isn't fenced in her area, take her back to the grass every two hours and after meals to strengthen the association of the grass with elimination. Praise her when she uses the grass and especially when she uses it by her own choice.
Cleaning the Grass
Just like with a litter box, you'll need to clean your puppy's turf to keep it sanitary and to eliminate odors. If you have a system that uses real grass, liquids will be absorbed into the dirt below the surface so only solids will need removal. When poop happens, remove it as soon as possible. With synthetic turf, you'll need to empty and rinse the pan in the bottom of the tray at least once a day, remove solids as needed throughout the day, and flush the sod every two to three days with water to clean it and keep it odor-free.
Other Indoor Solutions
Indoor grass is an inspired solution to the dog-walking chore because dogs are naturally attracted to grass as a place to eliminate. Before indoor grass came along, there were a few improvements on just using newspapers. Disposable and reusable piddle pads are paper or cloth pads with absorbent materials between a porous top layer and a moisture-proof bottom barrier layer. There are also litter boxes for dogs. These are much larger than cat boxes, and they use chunks of absorbent paper instead of clay litter.
- Pug dog in the green grass image by John Steel from Fotolia.com