Dog Friendly Yard "Potty Area"

Ideas to Create a Designated Potty-Spot for your Dog in your own Backyard!

SPRING IS COMING SOON and is a perfect time to make your yard even more “dog friendly”!

Adding a designated bathroom spot is a great way to not only keep your grass and yard free of dead spots and poo piles, it also makes clean-up much easier.

It is more sanitary and allows you to enjoy your yard at anytime without worry of stepping in something, and it is easier than you think to teach your dog to use it!

Choose a space that is private or semi-private for your dog to do his business. It can also be a place that is easily fenced or gated off from the rest of the yard, so it can double as a dog run, or place you can contain your dog safely outdoors if needed. Enclosing the area can also assist with training your dog to use it, but is not required for this project.

The space you choose should be large enough for your dog to be able to go potty in multiple spots, typically a minimum of about 6x10’ but this can of course vary based on the size of your dog and number of dogs you have. We use one side of our house for this purpose, and it is about a 10x20’ space. It was a great choice for us because it is already surrounded on three sides by the house and backyard fence.

Ideally you will want to create “mini-potty stations”” within the main space using varied substrates and plantings. Dirt, smooth gravel, grass, and even stepping stones, can work well in the space to give your dog some options. We do not recommend using bark or mulch since they can be toxic to dogs, although some people do. If you aren’t sure I recommend asking your veterinarian. You will also want to add some hardy, dog-safe plants, and space them accordingly to create multiple areas your dog can visit when looking for that perfect spot to do his business.

In our dog run, we have sparsely planted beds with dirt along the house, and some dog-safe plants including Spirea, Irish Moss, and Rosemary that we keep trimmed to a manageable size. We also have some flagstone and pea gravel that was already there, but make a great walking path for us to use when cleaning up the area. The gravel is also very easy to rinse and drains well. We have additional plants in clusters on the opposite side along the fence, creating two additional “potty stations” to choose from. Our dog likes to sniff around the various sections, and usually chooses to do her business behind a bush. She does not like anyone to see her do her business! Some dogs are less picky, and a larger open area may be fine for them, so design your space with your own dog and yard in mind!

Our dog run can be seen from a good part of the yard, so it was important to us that it not only serve its purpose, but also be landscaped and look nice from the rest of the yard. Also, adding plants and creating options for your dog will often help with training them to use that area every day.

Lastly, we added a gate to enclose the run, in case we wanted to confine our dog within the back yard. Using a couple of fence posts, some pickets, and a chain link gate, we were able to easily accomplish this, and it still looks nice.

Other options include adding a dog house or faux fire hydrant, covering the enclosure entirely for shade or rain protection, and even adding a built-in watering station using a hose bib for easy fill ups.

Check out come of the photos and sketches we’ve added to this post, as well as some links to additional ideas for your dog’s new space.

We’ve also added some websites below about how to train your dog to use his new area!

Happy, Fun Yard Project!

Check out:

TheSpruce.com "How to Potty train your dog to go in one spot"

Trainingcesarsway.com "Training your dog to use his "bathroom"

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