Has Anyone Invented a Toilet for a Dog?

Dogs can't use a your toilet, and they shouldn't drink from one.

Dogs can't use a your toilet, and they shouldn't drink from one.

Not exactly the same as toilets for people, several kinds of indoor and outdoor potties are marketed for dogs. These devices range from simple potty pad holders and doggie litter boxes to more complex flushable dog "toilets" that connect directly to a home's existing plumbing system.

Doggie Litter Box

One of the most common types of doggie "toilets" available is the canine litter box. Unlike a cat litter boxes, such a device usually consists of a simple potty pad holder or patch of artificial grass on top of a hollow platform. The kind with artiicial grass have small holes that allow liquid waste to drain into a collection barrier below; you need to pick up and dispose of your pup's solid waste. These types of boxes require daily emptying of the liquid waste and regular washing inside and out. Note that some boxes may have a grate instead of the grass on top of the box to protect doggie paws from touching any residual wet waste.

Automated Litter Box

An automatic dog litter box works similarly to a nonautomated one; liquid waste drains through a grate or fake grass on top of the box into a holding area below. A sensor starts a timer after the dog exits the box and then opens slats on the surface of the box or shifts the top upward to move solid waste into the holding tank. Automated boxes require cleaning, but they keep waste away from your dog no matter how many times he uses it during the day or night.

Flushable "Toilet"

There are, actually, so-called flushing indoor toilets for dogs. One model works like a doggie litter box but connects directly to your home's plumbing and sewer or septic system. Once Fido does his business, liquid waste goes down the drain instead of collecting it in a holding tank. Solid waste sits on the grate until you "flush" it down the toilet's drain with an attached high-powered sprayer, which also rinses the toilet of residual urine. A mechanism inside the box liquefies any solid waste it detects to prevent clogs.

Outdoor Options

Several models of dog waste disposal units are market for backyard use; most install in-ground. These systems either connect directly to your home's sewer line, allowing you to flush away Fido's waste with a foot pedal, or have a self-contained septic system to digest the waste. Outdoor dog potties deal only with the solid waste your pup produces when he goes into your yard. You must manually collect his waste and dispose of it into one of these outdoor dog potties.

Considerations

Dog toilets and litter boxes allow your pooch to eliminate whenever he needs to go, without a trip outside. This may work well for those without yards or for elderly pooches who can't hold their waste for long periods of time. Prior to flushing any dog feces down your drain, contact your local municipality's sewer management or water treatment facility and inquire whether the system can handle canine waste. Flushing dog feces may overwhelm home septic systems, the Washington State Department of Ecology warns.

 

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

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