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Creating a Potty Area for Dogs in Apartments

Poodle on high rise balcony sitting on a patch of grass

Potty training is always a priority when you get a new puppy. However, it can be a really daunting task if you live in an apartment or a high-rise building. This is because you simply cannot take your puppy into the backyard when he/she needs to go instantly. Instead, you will need to create a potty area within the apartment for your dog.     

How to Make a Potty Area for Dogs in Apartments?

Although it’s always the best option to let your dog relieve outside, it’s generally NOT practical for apartment owners. Creating a potty area on your balcony can be an excellent solution because it’s convenient for both the parties. Simply train your pup to use his/her bathroom, and keep your home clean and free from foul smells. You can create a comfortable potty area for dogs in apartments by following the guidelines given below.

Choose the Right Spot

Length view of apartment balcony

It is one of the most important things for potty training a puppy. You must select a consistent and established location because dogs follow their habits very strictly. For this reason, it will become incredibly difficult to change the place once your pup gets used to it.

Make sure that the spot you finalize is away from the edges. Not only is it safe for your pet, but it also prevents him/her from giving unpleasant surprises to your neighbors.

Prepare the Toilet

Puppy pee pad on a hardwood floor

Now, you need to place some potty pads on the selected location before you could start training your dog. There are many different options (grass pads, training pads, etc.) that can be used for this purpose. Alternatively, you can purchase an artificial grass dog potty that comes with a tray. This type of product is highly recommended if you are looking for a cost-friendly and durable dog potty.

Other than that, you can also place a litter box that is large enough for your canine. Fill it up with some dog litter and your pet’s bathroom is ready for use. NEVER use cat litter for dogs as it can lead to tracking. This is because canines pee more than cats and dog litter is made from larger pieces to absorb more urine. Even though this technique is NOT viable for large breeds, it can prove handy for puppies and smaller dogs.

Keep Other Scents Away

Scented candles, diffusers, and perfume spray on a coffee table.

In the early days, your puppy will identify the potty area by the smell of his/her previous leavings. Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that there are no potent smells around the canine’s bathroom. For example, the scent of an ashtray can confuse your pup. Therefore, you must move all the powerful odors away from the dog toilet to get the desired results.   

Train Your Dog

Terrier sitting on pee pad in hardwood floor

Once you have prepared the potty area for your dog, it’s time to start training him/her. For this purpose, you will need to bring your pet to the potty whenever he/she feels like relieving. You must observe your pup carefully to learn the indicating signs, like whining and sniffing the ground. Similarly, you should take the puppy to the toilet in the following situations.

  • After eating meals
  • Before and after sleep
  • After a play session
  • Before and after confinement

Don’t forget to reward your canine companion verbally, physically, and by offering a treat whenever he/she uses the potty.

Tips for Potty Training Dogs in Apartments

Scruffy dog looking through the rails on a balcony

Housetraining a dog may seem easy, but it’s anything but that. You need to display a lot of patience because accidents are always possible during (and even after) the training. Some of the basic tips to train your dog in an apartment are discussed below.

  • NEVER punish your puppy because it will do more harm than good.
  • If you find your pup eliminating inappropriately, interrupt and quickly (but gently) lead him/her to the potty.
  • ALWAYS reward the dog for urinating/defecating in the right spot.
  • If the problem of inappropriate elimination continues to persist after weeks of proper training, consult a vet. Several medical (medical stones, diabetes, etc.) and behavioral problems (separation anxiety, etc.) could be responsible for this trouble.

Creating a Real Grass Dog Bathroom

Roll of sod isolated on white background.

grass dog toilet is also good for the environment. This is because natural grass is much more efficient (than puppy pads and artificial grass) in keeping your place clean.

Creating such a potty area for dogs in apartments can require some planning. However, making your own dog toilet is easy when you know what to do. The following is an easy and economical method to create a real grass bathroom for your canine.

Things You Will Need:

  • A 26.5”x22.5” crate
  • 1 plastic liner
  • ½ bag of soil
  • 1 roll of turf or sod
  • A pair of scissors or utility cutter


  1. Cut the plastic liner and place it in the crate.
  2. Make some holes (with the scissors) in the plastic liner and put a layer of soil in the crate.
  3. Place the roll of grass on one side of the crate and start rolling it out towards the other end. Keep pressing the turf down as you move forward. This will make it secure.
  4. Cover the soil (in the crate) completely with the grass and cut-off the remaining turf. Make sure that the grass is properly secured in the soil.
  5. Add some water to the grass and let the soil absorb it before letting your pet use his/her toilet. Water the turf regularly to ensure that it stays green and healthy.

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