Dogs typically head outdoors to take potty breaks, but indoor potty areas are necessary in some situations, such as bad weather and with small breeds that refuse to go outside. Making an indoor potty area isn’t difficult, and will prevent unwanted accidents throughout your home.
Designate a single spot for the potty area. Dogs are very habitual and like to potty in a singular spot. Picking one area eliminates confusion and reduces accidents during potty training. A low-traffic, quiet spot works best to prevent distractions.
Spread a plastic tarp on the floor of the potty area. Select a thick tarp without holes or rips. The tarp will catch any leaks before they stain your floor.
Line the entire potty area with puppy training pads. These thick, absorbent pads lock in wetness before it spills onto the floor. Mats also make it easy to clean up messes; simply pick up the soiled pad and replace it with a clean pad.
Set an artificial turf mat in one corner of the potty area. Artificial turf mimics natural grass, which most dogs prefer to use. Pick a mat with soft, thick blades to absorb the maximum amount of moisture and prevent leaks.
Spray the turf mat with a pheromone-based housebreaking spray. This specialty spray is made with scents that mimic natural potty smells and encourage the dog to potty over the spray. The dog will associate the smell on the mat with the action of elimination and will learn to seek out the mat when he has to go potty.
Place the dog in the potty area after meals and several times throughout the day. Allow the dog to sniff around and explore the area, telling him to “potty” in a cheerful voice. Wait quietly until he goes potty and reward him with a small treat and plenty of praise.
Wash the turf mat daily with a garden hose and urine residue remover. Spray both sides of the mat to remove waste and coat the grass side with a urine remover. Let the product sit for a few minutes before rinsing, and leave the mat outside to dry.
- Housebreaking sprays and urine removing products are available at most pet stores.
- Pick up solid waste as soon as your dog goes potty. This keeps the dog from stepping in it and alleviates excessive odor.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.