How to Build a Backyard Dog Potty Area

By Maya Marin

If you're tired of yellow circles in your yard or stepping in smelly piles of poo, it may be time to build a backyard dog potty. With a few simple steps, you can create an area perfect for Fido to do his business. Training him to use this area may take time and patience, but it will eventually give you a backyard free of doggie messes and you'll know exactly where to go to clean up the piles.

Items You Will Need:

• Shovel
• Rake
• Fiberglass Screen
• 2 x 4 boards and 4 or 5 inch lag screws (optional)
• Pea gravel or cedar mulch
• Collar and leash
• Dog treats

Step 1 - Find an area in your yard that's big enough for your dog to move around in and provides ample space for doing his business. A secluded area, hidden by trees or brush, is ideal for a dog that likes his privacy.

Step 2 - Clear the area of grass and weeds. Dig up the topsoil of the area with a shovel until the patch is about 2 inches deep and use a rake to create a flat surface.

Step 3 - Put a layer of fiberglass screen, cut to size, atop the entire potty area. This will prevent weeds from growing underneath.

Step 4 - Cover the fiberglass screen layer with a 2-inch layer of cedar mulch or pea gravel. Cedar mulch provides a softer surface for your dog to do his business. Cedar is also self-deodorizing, which is a definite plus! However, if your dog is prone to chewing on wood or wooden objects, you may also use pea gravel. Pea gravel allows urine to pass through to the soil and makes pickup of feces easier. If odors build up, you can hose down the gravel and rinse with vinegar.

Step 5 - Bring your dog out to the new potty area on a leash and keep him within the area until he has eliminated. When he does, offer praise and a treat. Do this every time you let him outside. If you notice he's about to go potty in a non-designated part of the yard, tell him "no" and guide him to the potty. Praise him again after he has done his business.

Optional Wooden Frame: To help contain the stones or mulch, you may also choose to add a wooden frame around your potty area using 2 x 4 planks cut to the width and length of your potty and secured together with 4 or 5 inch lag screws. Insert your frame into the dug-out area after laying down your fiberglass screen layer.

by Deborah Lundin

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About the Author
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.