It would be great if you could stop whatever you are doing and take your dog for a long walk through a park every time he wants to go pee or poop! Or at least, open the door so he can go outside into a nice yard. But that's not realistic for many dog owners who work long days or who live in apartments. For them, an item like a grass box can be a good stand-in.
Dog grass boxes can be placed out on your patio if you live in an apartment, or in a room of your house and serve sort of like a canine litter box. The grass boxes have a natural look and can add some greenery to your patio. Your dog may enjoy sniffing around and relieving herself in a somewhat natural setting even if you can't get her outside fast enough.
Using the dog grass box
If you're getting a puppy and you're housetraining your dog, it can be hard to know when you need to take your puppy outside to go. Particularly if you live in an apartment, you may not have time to get your puppy outside fast enough. The real grass scent of the training sod that the Porch Potty offers gets your puppy used to going on real grass even when you can't take him to real grass. The size is large enough that they can sniff around and circle to find the right spot.
The sod costs $49 plus shipping. Porch Potty says their training sod lasts about a month, or possibly more, depending on how often your dog uses it. So if you have only one dog and you're also able to take him outside to go, this may be a monthly cost or less, once you have invested in the actual dog grass box.
Just like with most products, there are some premium versions and some lower cost versions. The Porch Potty is a very attractive option in a wicker base that comes in two different sizes and can be used with real or artificial grass. This one is priced at $259 for the standard box or $225 for the small box.
The Porch Potty Standard offers 8 square feet of synthetic grass. The small grass box offers 4 square feet of grass. To clean either model, simply attach the drainage hose and rinse it by pouring water over it. If your model doesn't have the hose hook-up, the grass box can drain to a container that is placed underneath.
The 8 square feet of grass is said to be able to accommodate dogs from 5 to 120 pounds. The small Porch Potty works for dogs up to 60 pounds. For either model, you can choose between artificial grass that is cut to fit the size, or a real grass called a training sod.
DoggieLawn is an alternative that offers a subscription service for your dog grass box. In this case, prices start at $26 to $34 depending on the size you order. This service delivers real grass to your door for dogs ranging in size from Standard (20x16-inch) for dogs up to 15 pounds, medium (20x24-inch) for dogs up to 30 pounds, large (24x24-inch) for dogs up to 50 pounds, and XL (24x48-inch) for dogs above 40 pounds or for multiple dogs.
The Standard is $26, Medium is $29, Large is $32, and XL depends on where it's being shipped to. You can choose your delivery of each week, every two weeks, every three weeks, or every month. The trays are not included and range from $4 to $45.
Comparing the price of the above two choices, the Porch Potty is a one-time charge of either $259 or $225 with a potential monthly cost of $49 plus shipping. The DoggieLawn is a much lower one-time charge of either $4, $10, or $45 depending on the size of the tray, followed by a potential monthly cost of $116 for weekly delivery of medium-sized grass, for example.
Taking a monthly delivery of a medium DoggieLawn, you're looking at $352 for a year, for $4 for the medium tray and $348 for delivery. The Porch Potty Small is $225 for a one-time purchase, but $588 per year plus shipping at $49 per month. Over five years, you're spending $1744 for a tray and medium monthly delivery on Doggie Lawn. Over five years you're spending $3165 for the medium Porch Potty.
Pup-Grass is another option. This company can replace your entire lawn with their artificial dog-safe grass, or you can order patio grass kits. Their complete 3x5-foot patio kit is $159, or a 3x10-foot is $279. This one requires a garden hose to be able to clean it, however, as it does not have a catch basin or an attachable hose. If you want the convenience of being able to clean your dog grass box by simply pouring water over it on your apartment balcony, that convenience definitely does result in a higher price.
Benefits of dog grass boxes
When you're housetraining a puppy, you can't always get them to grass on time. A product like a dog grass box gets them used to grass, so when they're in real grass they know what to do. If you're an apartment dweller, you might like to give your dog the feel and scent of real grass without having to go outside, which may be inconvenient at times.
Once your dog figures out that his grass box is where he can "go," you can be assured that he has a place to relieve himself even if you can't make it home on time, or you aren't sure if you'll be able to be home at the same time each day.
Dogs that are older or dealing with a health problem may not be able to move fast enough to let you know that they need to go. Giving them a place like this to go, which can conceivably be moved into whatever part of the house they're in, gives your dog a comfortable place that's there when they need it.
As a convenience for yourself, there may be times when you can't or don't want to take your dog out for her usual walk. Perhaps the weather is bad or it's late and you don't feel safe. Having your DoggieLawn or Porch Potty at hand saves you the hassle of going out when you don't feel like it.
For parents with young kids who want to be able to take their dog out on a schedule that works around their kids' naps and bedtimes, a product like this could give them the flexibility they need.
One other benefit is that perhaps you have a house with a nice lawn, but you don't want your dog digging it up or spraying it. Dog urine can damage grass and turn it yellow in spots. So a designated spot that's either real grass or artificial grass protects your nice-looking grass that you want to keep in good shape.
Is it worth it?
If you have the freedom to take your dog out anytime you want to, this is a product you probably don't need. Given the costs, a decision about whether it's affordable to you depends on what size you get and how often you need to get the grass replaced or delivered. If you're a busy professional and you have the money to spend, it could comfortably fit in your budget. If you're needing the convenience on occasion and won't need to rely on the dog grass box all day every day, then it could be a modest monthly cost that makes sense.