How To Make An Outdoor Dog Potty Area & Potty Station With Pea Gravel


We’ve already put together a guide outlining what the best materials for an outdoor dog potty area might be.

However, we’ve put the guide below together to explain how to make an outdoor dog potty area & potty station with pea gravel in your yard.

A few advantages to an outdoor dog potty area and potty station compared to letting a dog poop on the grass or in the garden might be:

It can be part of a good lawn care strategy where you can protect your grass/lawn from continually getting burnt by urine, and developing yellow/brown spots of dead grass

– Your dog won’t kill your plants and flowers

– It will make your yard look cleaner, and keeps smells segregated to one isolated area

– It’s much quicker to pick up your dogs poop with a pooper scooper from the one area than it is to walk all over your lawn and garden picking up from different areas

So, there’s some upside to putting this work in upfront.


Let’s check out this ‘how to’ guide …


(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)

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How To Make An Outdoor Dog Potty Area & Potty Station With Pea Gravel: DIY Guide


Before Your Start…What Materials Will You Need?

– Weed Barrier with permeable holes


– Soil compacting and levelling Tamper tool (optional)


– Treated outdoor pine border, or landscaping edging with ground stakes


– Pea gravel, crushed stone, sand, or potty fill of your choice

Grey or dark fill is better so it shows less marks.

It’s best to get a few large bags from your local gardening and hardware store

An example of some pea gravel that has landscaping use is Maynooth Natural Granite Mini Pea Gravel (on Amazon)

Some types of stones and pebbles are a similarly common choice.

An example of some decorative polished gravel/river pebbles that has a landscaping use are Royal Imports Gravel/Pebbles (on Amazon)


Other miscellaneous items

Like a shovel, a pick axe, some string or marking material, etc.


We wrote about the materials needed for an outdoor dog potty area in this guide, and we also listed some other options other than having to make a custom dog potty area.


Onto the ‘how to’ steps …


1. Choose an area of your yard for the potty area or potty station to go, and mark it out

The best areas are:

– Somewhere off to the side of your yard

– Somewhere away from the house

– Somewhere you don’t walk past regularly (away from pathways and other trafficked areas)

– Or, behind a bush that is still accessible to your dog.


Mark out the area with some white chalk or powder, and consider making it bigger if you have large or giant dogs like Germans Shepherds or St. Bernards for example.

Make sure there are no conduits, services or pipes underground in the area.


2. Clear the soil of rocks and weeds, and flatten or compact the area

Now you want to clear the area so there is just soil left.

Get rid of any rocks and stones, and pull out any weeds in the area.

Spray a safe herbicide if you have to.

It’s optional, but some people like to flatten out the soil and compact it with an inexpensive soil Tamper tool.

Dig down to a depth you want the potty filler material to fill down to.


3. Lay down some permeable weed barrier fabric/material

Once you have the area marked and cleared, you want to lay down some weed barrier to stop weeds coming through.

Get a weed barrier with permeable fabric/holes so that urine and other waste can seep through to the soil, as well as water.

Cut the barrier to size, or lay it down through the area in strips.


4. Lay down and fasten an edging or border to the area

To keep everything inside the potty station, you need to put down a raised border.

Pick something lightweight and durable like some treated outdoor 2 x 4 wood, or you can buy pre made landscaping edging or border which you simply fasten down with stakes for quite cheap.

Some people choose to use bricks (for added strength) for the garden side borders with soil on the other side, and wood or landscaping edging for the other borders that only have to hold in the potty area fill.

You can get really fancy and use some type of foundation like square steel bars, or metal pegs/stakes, and attach a mini fence to it to go around the potty area.

Edging that is buried in the ground can be more stable.

It’s really up to you how you edge the potty area.

Barrier/edging is both decorative, and is for keeping filler material within the potty area.


5. Lay down some drainage material

Usually some form of drainage rocks

This allows water and urine to drain from the top filler material properly


6. Fill the potty area with a filler material of your choice – pea gravel, crushed stone, sand, or something else

The last step is to fill the potty station

Fill the area with pea gravel which you can grab from a local garden store.

A few large bags should do.

Gravel and stones that are rounded and smooth are best – your dog should find them comfortable to walk on and do their business on.

Gravel and stones are good for drainage, don’t absorb smell, are affordable, and easy to clean and change over.

Some people also might used fine crushed stone or sand.

Darker fill works better as it leaves less marks when your dog goes number 2.

You can use other fillers too.

Some people also choose to blend in or mix new soil for a base and them compact or level it off before putting the filler in.

… like the border/edging … the choice of filler is up to you

The filler material might be 2 to 4 inches deep as a guide, but choose a depth that suits your area.


7. Finish off the potty area

With any decorative edging, signs, matts, pathways and other features to make the area look nice.


Train Your Dog To Use The Potty Area

After the potty area is finished, you have to train your dog to use it.

Something that can work well is to lead your dog out to the potty area on a leash in the morning and night (when they usually go potty outside when you let them out), and positively reinforce them with praise and treats when they use the area.

Most dogs may still pee or poop elsewhere in the yard 10 to 20% of the time even when they are fully trained.


Cleaning your outdoor dog potty area and potty station …

It’s very easy to clean your dog’s potty area.

Simply come past with a pooper scoop once every few days, or once a week, and scoop up the poop and dispose of it as normal.

Make sure you don’t leave it too long between cleans as your dog may start looking for other places to go potty in the yard.

You may consider every so often replacing the pea gravel/filler if it starts developing odors such as urine, or looking dirty.

Some people also choose to air out, mix, blend and freshen the soil in the potty area if soil has been used.

You could also try an outdoor odor eliminator spray, although that tends to be more short term relief, and it’s probably more effective replacing the gravel or fill.


‘How To’ Video Example Of Making An Outdoor Dog Potty Area

Here’s a few video examples of outdoor dog potty areas:

Outdoor Litter Box For Dogs

DIY Outdoor Potty Area For Dogs

DIY Backyard Dog Litter Box


Other Tips & Considerations For Making An Outdoor Dog Potty Area

Some of the things you want to be aware of when choosing how and on what your dog will go potty are:

How hard is it to clean, and how often will you clean it?

Will it smell? (if so, consider placing it further away from the house, and further away from the areas you most commonly walk)

Will it need replacing or maintenance?

What is the cost and how long will it take to install/make?

How will you train your dog to use the area?



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