If you want to maintain a good looking lawn in your backyard, you’ll want to create a potty area for your dog.
Your dog’s urine and droppings can quickly do a lot of damage to grass, which is all the more reason to do this.
There are a few steps you can take to make this happen without any unnecessary hassle.
1. Choosing the Area
The first thing that you will have to do is to decide which specific area you want your dog to use when going to the bathroom. This area should measure about three feet tall by four feet wide. It is important that your pet has a decent amount of space to do its business.
Look for an area in your backyard that doesn’t already have any plants or other things that will get in the way. This space should be totally flat with absolutely no obstructions. This will make your job a lot easier. If there are any plants or weeds, you will need to dig them up before proceeding.
While it’s not absolutely necessary, you can also level out the soil by using a tamper tool. These tools aren’t incredibly expensive and can make doing this job a bit easier. It will also ensure that the entire area is perfectly flat.
Mark off the area with some wooden stakes so you know exactly where it is going to be.
2. Preventing Weeds
It is a good idea to put down some material on the area that you have marked off in order to stop the growth of weeds. This will ultimately save you from having to do a lot of maintenance work over the long term. It could also increase the chances of your dog using its potty area.
3. Putting in the Edging
Take the time to find some nice-looking landscape edging to create the boundaries of your dog’s potty area. You’ll probably want to dig at least four or five inches all the way around so that the edging remains stable.
4. Filling the Area
Next you will want to fill in the area that you have put edging around with some sort of material for drainage. A fine gravel material should work well for this purpose. Just make sure that whichever material you choose isn’t sharp or too abrasive. Your dog is unlikely to use the potty area if they are not comfortable with the material.
Pea gravel is a particularly good choice when you are creating this sort of space in your backyard. One of the best things about pea gravel is that it is so durable. It pretty much lasts forever and even looks nice.
You can also use sand to fill in this area, though it is not quite as effective for drainage as pea gravel. While this material is definitely softer, it can be problematic for numerous reasons. It is going to be a lot easier for your dog to kick the sand out of the area.
You will probably need anywhere from 20 to 30 bags of this gravel to fill in the entire area. It is important that it completely fills the space with a thickness of at least three inches.
Once you have poured in all of the gravel, you’ll want to take a rake and make sure that it is evenly distributed. The entire area should be completely smooth by the time you are finished doing this.
Cleaning your dog’s backyard potty area is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is just go out with a pooper scooper and collect all of their droppings. You’ll want to make a point of doing this on a daily basis so that your dog doesn’t start going outside of this area.
If you notice that the gravel has developed a strong unpleasant smell, you may want to replace it. Another option is using a spray product that is designed specifically to cover up the smell of pet urine and feces.
6. Training Your Dog to Use the Area
Once you have constructed the backyard potty area, you’ll have to train your dog to use it. You may have to be patient with your pet, especially if it is particularly stubborn. There are certain breeds that are easier than others to train in general.
Some tips for training your dog to do this include:
- Physically lead your dog to the area you want it to use when going to the bathroom. Put it on a leash and walk with it to this space when it needs to do its business.
- Do not let your dog play in this area at all. You need to make it understand that this space is just for going to potty time.
- Allow your dog to sniff around this area so it becomes familiar with it.
- Do not punish your dog in any way if it goes to the bathroom outside of this area.
- Offer praise when your dog uses the potty area by giving it a treat and verbally praising it.
- It is important that you create an area that measures at least 3 by 4 feet for your dog’s potty area.
- Choose a spot in your backyard that doesn’t have any weeds or plants growing.
- If there are any plants or weeds, dig them up before moving on.
- Use a tamper tool to level out the soil (optional).
- Dig a semi-shallow trench around the border of the area before putting up the edging.
- Fill in the potty area with pea gravel or sand, ensuring that it is completely even and level.
- You should make a point of cleaning your dog’s droppings in this space on a daily basis.
- When you are training your dog to use this area, be patient with it.
- Offer your dog lots of praise when it starts to go to the bathroom inside the designated area.