Best Materials For Dog Toilet & Outdoor Potty Area



There could be a number of reasons you want an outdoor dog potty area in your yard.

Maybe you are sick of the lawn getting burnt by dog urine and developing yellow patches, or maybe you want to make clean up time easier and to segregate the urine smell to one area of the yard.

Regardless, we’ve put together a list of the best materials for an outdoor dog toilet area, with pros and cons to each.

If you want to read further, you can check out this guide on how to make an outside dog potty area we put together earlier.

Let’s have a look…


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)


Best Materials For Dog Toilet & Outdoor Potty Area

The list of materials mentioned in this guide are:



You’re going to have to have an area clear where you’ll make the dog toilet.

To do this, your base is going to be clear and level soil.

Mark out the area, turn the current soil over and air it out, or bring in new soil. Make sure you level it out.


Weed Proof Barrier

Secondly, you’ll want to keep the dog toilet area free from weeds. To do this you can lay down some black plastic weed barrier that is permeable to let through air and water – such as ECOgardener Weed Barrier Fabric (on Amazon).

Or, some people put down a biodegradable option such as newspaper or biodegradable landscaping fabric, or a burlap liner.


Dog Toilet Edging/Border

Now that you have the base and barrier down, you’ll need to enclose the area.

You can either use landscaping edging with stakes which is inexpensive (and good for circle toilet areas), or for square and rectangular potty areas, you can also use some treated 2 x 4 that is suitable for outdoors.

Commercial edging available is Dimex Plastic Landscaping Edging (on Amazon) or Master Mark Plastics Landscaping Edging (on Amazon).


Dog Toilet Area Filler

The filler (what your dog will potty on) is the last material for you to consider. You have a few options:

Pea Gravel: the most popular choice. Pea gravel is easy to clean and tend’s to stay in the one place. Not affected by the sun or rain. It’s probably easiest and cheapest to pick it up or get it delivered from your local gardening or landscaping store.

Sand: some people use sand. Other complain about sand because it can get stuck on your dog’s feet and they can bring it inside the house. When it rains, it can also get mushy.

Mulch: Don’t use mulch your dog is likely to eat, or mulches that can be toxic to dogs if ingested like cocoa mulch. Some people use safe and environmentally shredded barks or wood ships.

Mulch is organic so it will naturally break down over time (which is good), and it’s super easy to dispose of if you want to change it out for new mulch. Dark mulch is also great for hiding urine and poop marks.

When it rains, the rain can bring out the urine smell or poop smell in the mulch.

Artificial Grass: Some people choose to simply put down artificial grass inside the dog toilet area.

You can buy very affordable strips of artificial grass like the Pet Zen Garden Artificial Turf (on Amazon) and replace it as required if it starts to smell or stain.

You can simply wash urine off artificial grass with a hose, but dog poop can be harder to remove stains and odors with in the long term.

With the filler, you can turn it over or dispose of it and lay down new filler if the existing filler becomes smelly.


Can I Use Normal Grass For A Dog Toilet/Outdoor Potty Area?

Some owners prefer this option.

If you want to preserve the lawns and grassed areas that you and your visitors or neighbours most look at, a grassed or dirt area to the side of the main lawn, or to the side of the house are good options.

Obviously this grass is going to start going patchy/dead, and won’t keep it’s appearance like the above fillers will.


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  1. Thank you for your article. I have a dog that’s getting older. He has back issues and problems climbing stairs/lifting rear legs. I want to make an easy to access dog area. I bought 2 kiddie pools but can’t really decide how/or with what to fill it. I was thinking of sand but many sites discourage it. Now I’m looking into your idea of wood chips or gravel. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!

    • Did you ever end up doing this with the kiddie pools? Make sure that you put lots of holes in the bottom of the kiddie pool for good drainage. You don’t want it filling up with water, pee, or doodoo. I would fill it with pea gravel. “Pee Gravel” It’s like they made it purposefully for this very thing. But yeah fill it with pea gravel and you should be able to hose it down to wash down the waste, and I think bleach water once in a while will keep it sanitary and keep it from smelling bad.

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