How to Choose a Dog Litter Box
Consider carefully your surroundings and how your dog will be trained. If you are in a very small space such as an apartment and your dog will need an indoor potty solution you will want to choose a solution that protects nearby furniture and floor surfaces. Some turf-pad style litter solutions can be used in tandem with enclosed litter boxes or puppy pads if this is a concern. Larger dogs will generally not want or be able to utilize small enclosed litter boxes so you will want to consider a turf pad style solution for them. Most of these are not suitable for solid dog waste and if your dog has loose stools or a runny butt, will be extremely difficult to keep clean.
We’ve narrowed our reviews into several categories for dog litter box solutions:
Turf Pad Style: Faux or real grass pad with a tray below to collect urine
- These are extremely popular for all dog sizes and can be used indoors or outdoors
- Can be combined with a large enclosure
- Can be used for large or small dogs.
Puppy Pad Tray Style: A tray with or without an enclosure for puppy pads
- May include a grid above pads to keep feet dry.
- Will need a supply of puppy pads changed out daily
- Easier to clean
Litter Box Style: Similar to the pillow bed, but with raised edges or a nest-style
- Generally best for smaller dogs
- May require extensive training to teach a dog to use
- Many dogs do not like traditional litter boxes
Turf pad style solutions can be difficult to clean if loose dog poop gets into the grass and dries. They are generally best for potty use only and will likely need to be replaced frequently because they retain odors. Buying fresh grass pads is an easier solution but also will retain more of the dog’s waste. Faux grass and real grass alike can shed and end up outside of the pad. Most turf solutions will need to be modified for male dogs with a plastic wall for them to pee against. Artificial turf solutions will typically retain odors far more than real grass.
Puppy pad tray style solutions are easier to keep clean but not very environmentally friendly. With proper use, you will use fresh pads every day. The puppy pad tray should have a tray deep enough to not spill out and should not have seams or hinged points where any liquid waste can spill out. We like pad tray solutions such as the Luckyyan Indoor Dog Training Potty that have high sides, a grid to protect the dog’s feet from a soiled pad, and options for male dogs to pee against.
The classic litter box solution is not as attractive to dogs as it is to cats, and due to the size and mechanics of these solutions, they are best for smaller dog breeds. Dogs do not always cover the same way cats do and the litter can be easily tracked out of the box and around. Male dogs may want to pee against something and might miss the box entirely. Automatic litter solutions are not generally appropriate for solid dog waste.