If trained correctly, you won’t have a dog who goes to the bathroom anywhere in the house. You need something called stimulus control (I’ll explain how in my review). And the sooner you start a puppy or dog on one, the better. I waited until one of my dogs was 15, and she was having all kinds of digestive issues, and she took a long time to catch on after a lifetime of going outside. Until then, it was taking her outside, down two flights of stairs, every two hours, sometimes more often, or cleaning up the carpet when she couldn’t make it. Incontinent dogs can often, but not always, hold it for as long as it takes to get to an indoor potty, but not until they get outside.
I price matched making a potty myself and buying this one, and this one came out cheaper than buying all the supplies separate.
This particular toilet is perfect except for not having a middle layer, but you can easily remedy this by going to a hardware store and purchasing egg crate from the lighting department. I needed two, cut it to size with a Dremel tool, and laid them in the tray. Now the turf won’t sit in urine. I recommend using potty pads and baking powder in the bottom tray, or some kind of scoopable litter. For solids that lay on the turf, I recommend sprinkling the spot with baking soda after you pick it up. This is usually sufficient for odors until you get a chance to clean it. Something you’re not going to want to do in the middle of the night.
For training, you have some options. If your dog has a spot that they prefer outside, bring them out to it on leash to the potty and encourage them to go on it. If they don’t, bring them back inside for a bit and supervise. Keep bringing them back to it and trying. Keep treats in a airtight bag in your pocket (don’t have them wise to it) so you can reward them for using it. Once you’re having success, move it closer and closer to the door, and eventually, bit by bit to where you want it in the house. Rewarding them each time they use it. If you catch them going anywhere else in the house, gently interrupt them and bring them to the toilet. Do NOT punish or they’ll be afraid to go to the bathroom in front of you and will just sneak off. You can also still take them outside to use real grass.
And/or you can pen them in with it with an xpen. Put a bed, food and water bowl, and toys in all areas except for where the potty goes. The idea is that dogs won’t want to go potty where they eat, drink and sleep. Left long enough, they won’t be able to hold it any longer and will use the potty. Once they’ve gotten the hang of it, you can remove the exercise pen.
If your dog stands off the edge of it, you can use an exercise pen or furniture to kind of box it in to make standing off the edge less possible. You can encourage them to mark it by seeding it with another dog’s urine/feces sample. Or you can use your dog’s own to designate it as a toilet. If your dog is having a particularly tough time comprehending it, you can sprinkle real grass and leaves on it. Or order real turf and use that until your dog learns, then switch back to artificial turf.
For cleaning the grass, it’s great to hose it off outside, but if you can’t, then the bathtub or shower is your only choice. I spray it with some animal safe disinfectant (you can use some diluted vinegar), let it sit, then rinse. Pad it off with a towel, then set it back in place to finish drying. It can still smell a bit funky until fully dried.
-Large enough for all dogs, and multi-dogs
-Looks and feels like grass
-Easy(ish) to clean if following directions in my review
-Low enough to the ground for disabled dogs to get on
-Reasonable price, cheaper than if you DIYed it
-No middle layer (my review gives instructions for adding one)