How to Train Your Dog With a DIY Porch Potty

Want a porch potty but can’t afford the price tag? The Porch Potty is a great tool for training your dog, but at more than $200 for the smallest model (and significantly more for larger models), it’s a significant investment.


Luckily, you can make a DIY Porch Potty for a fraction of the price using simple home materials and our high-quality MegaPet artificial grass


Fake grass for dogs and other pets, MegaPet provides a comfortable surface for your pets, letting your dogs keep up with their rough and tumble without causing any damage to your yard. Soft, comfortable and eco-friendly, it’s easy to install and even easier to maintain.


Ready to start using your DIY Porch Potty? Below, we’ve explained how you can train your dog to make use of your DIY Porch Potty, as well as some simple tips to help you get the most from your pet’s new comfortable rough and tumble spot.


DIY Porch Potty Training 101

DIY Porch Potty Training 101


Toilet training your dog is an important step in establishing good house habits. One of the most effective methods for training your puppy is the “crate training” method, which involves using a small, comfortable wire or plastic crate to toilet train your dog.


Using a wire or plastic crate available from your local pet store, you can train your puppy to use your DIY Porch Potty instead of letting them go potty indoors.


Crate training is simple. Start by keeping your puppy inside the rate whenever they’re not being directly supervised. This is a comfortable environment for a puppy, as young dogs naturally look for safe, secure spaces to live inside.


When you notice a warning sign that your puppy needs to go potty, leash them and walk them to your DIY Porch Potty. After they’ve stepped onto the DIY Porch Potty, give a verbal command to your puppy, such as “go potty.”


After your puppy has gone potty, provide reinforcement and support for their good behavior by praising them. If you have a dog treat available, give it to your puppy to show that they’ve done the right thing.


Once your puppy has finished, lead them back inside and let them relax inside their crate. You’ll need to repeat this process several times per day, depending on your dog’s eating schedule, to properly form a mental relationship between the DIY Porch Potty and “going potty.”


If your puppy accidentally goes potty inside your home, or outside but not using the DIY Porch Potty, don’t punish them. Instead, firmly but kindly tell your puppy “no,” then pick them up and move them to the DIY Porch Potty to let them finish up.


To form a mental relationship between your puppy and the DIY Porch Potty faster, you can try using a scented training aid spray. While these sprays aren’t perfect, they often make it easier for your puppy to locate and identify “going potty” with the right location.


For Best Results, Establish a Schedule

For Best Results, Establish a Schedule


The key to effective potty training is consistency. To make training your puppy as effective as possible, establish a schedule that includes feeding and “going potty” training at the same or similar times every day.


This way, your puppy will quickly get the hang of using your DIY Porch Potty, helping you to minimize accidents and mess around your house, establish good habits and fully train your puppy earlier.


How to Make a Porch Potty for Dogs

Making your own Porch Potty at home is much easier than you think. Overall, you will need to make a large frame to hold everything and smaller frame that will allow everything to drain into a removable tray or pan of some sort.


These instructions will help you create a dog grass pad for balconies and other home spaces that works for small to medium size pets. You can increase the dimensions to fit your pooch if you have a larger pet or just want to give your dog more space to do their business. Be sure you take into account all measurements when making adjustments so you do not run into any problems down the road.


Materials Needed for Your DIY Porch Potty 

  • 4 pieces of 2x6 lumber cut to 30 inches each
  • 4 pieces of 1x2 lumber cut to 27 inches each
  • Water heater drip pan that bottom drains
  • Plywood cut to drip pan dimensions including spout spot
  • 1-1/4 inch PVC reinforced braided vinyl tubing
  • 1-1/4 inch diameter insert combination elbow
  • 1-1/4 inch plastic slip joint nut
  • Hose clamp to fit 1-1/14 tubing
  • Expanded steel sized to fit the frame
  • Steel crossbar the width of the base frame
  • Metal flashing
  • MegaGrass
  • Pencil and Screws or nails


Instructions for DIY Porch Potty 

Instructions for DIY Porch Potty


Step 1. Start by building your base.

Screw or nail the four large 2x6 boards together to form a large square. You will then need to build your inner rails for your plywood and drip pan to sit on. To do this, screw or nail the four smaller pieces of lumber to the inside of your frame so they centered on each side. The side rails should be slanted slightly to allow waste and liquids to make their way to the drain spout.


NOTE: When building your dog grass pad frame, pay attention to the space you have above and below the rails. Above them, you should have enough room to allow for the plywood and drip pan. Below the rails, you will need to have space for the tubing and draining pipe.


Step 2. Once the base and rails are set, cut a piece of plywood that is sized to sit on the inside rails.

Place the drain pan on top of the plywood and use a pencil to mark the hole for the drain spout. Carefully cut a hole in the plywood for the drain spout that allows space for threaded-end of the elbow. Trim the pan so it fits on top of the plywood with the holes aligned.


Step 3. Attach the elbow to the hose and apply the hose clamp.

Insert threaded-end of the elbow into the plywood hole from the bottom. Use the plastic slip joint nut to secure the elbow in place. Add the plywood and drain pan to the frame. Be sure to line the drain holes up properly.


Step 4. Cut a notch in the bottom side.

To allow room for your hose to pass, cut a notch in the bottom side of the frame large enough for the hose to fit. On the top side, cut a notch on each of the side frame boards to lay the steel crossbar on.


Step 5. Cover the top.

Cover the top of your DIY Porch Potty frame with metal flashing. Size the flashing so that some is overlapping of the metal pan. Next, add the expanded steel to the top of the frame. Lay the MegaGrass over the top of the expanded steel.


Step 6: Add a frame.

Finally, it's time to finish off this DIY Porch Potty for your dog. Adding a frame to the top of your Porch Potty will not only give it a finished look but make things easier and more comfortable for your pooch.


Step 7. Cut your four boards.

Find and cut four 2x4 boards to about 33 inches long. These boards have to be slightly larger than your frame by about a quarter to a half of an inch. Make sure to measure your box and adjust accordingly. Once built, you can use 2x6 or 2x4 boards to create a frame to sit on top of these sides.


How to Clean Any Dog Grass Pads

How to clean any dog grass pads


It doesn't matter if you just built a DIY Porch Potty or if you ran out to the store to grab a new one. They will have to be cleaned every single day or you run the risk of stinking the place up and causing health risks to animal and human alike. Cleaning your new Porch Potty can be quick and easy with a few simple steps.


The first thing to think about is always picking up your dog's feces. The poop will be the most odorous and unsightly of the messes your dog will make on your DIY Porch Potty. They are also the easiest of the messes to clean up. Simply use a flushable wipe to pick up the waste and just drop it in the toilet to flush it away.


Every evening before you go to bed is a great time to rinse out the grass and drain pan of your dog grass pads. Use a hose or pitcher of water to rinse out the MegaGrass and the drain pan underneath. Give it all a good cleaning twice a week with a mild dish detergent to keep it all smelling like roses. 


Benefits of Having a Porch Potty

Having your own DIY Porch Potty in your home or apartment has many benefits. While you likely know some already, here are some more great benefits to having one of the handy grass pads for dogs in your home.


1. Apartment Life or Limited Mobility with a Dog

If you live in an apartment and own a dog, then you have likely come to realize that taking them out constantly can be a bit of a pain. This is expounded when you live up several flights of stairs or need to take an elevator. It isn't right to simply say you can't have a dog, but making them hold their urine until you are ready isn't healthy for them.


If you have limited mobility, getting outside or up and down stairs may be a difficult task. Attempting to do more than you are physically able to or should be doing will not help your health or your dog if something happens to you. It is a much safer idea for everyone if you build a Porch Potty for your apartment or home.


2. Avoid Health Concerns for Your Pup 

When your dog has to go and you cannot take them out, they are forced to hold it for as long as necessary. When they do this, they are not only making themselves uncomfortable, but they can begin to pose serious health risks to themselves. It is suggested that dogs need to urinate about five times a day depending on the dog, age, and other factors. When they are not allowed to potty as often as they need to, even when they can hold it, is when the risk for health issues begins to set in.


Developing a urinary tract infection can be a common, painful, and serious side effect of forcing your pets to hold their urine too long. If left untreated, a urinary tract infection can lead to urinary stones that may require surgery. This type of infection is caused by bacteria that build up in their urine.


Watch how much and how often your dog urinates. If they have a UTI, they may urinate much less at a time or less often. At other times, a dog with a UTI may have to urinate much more frequently. Urinary tract infections can cause a lot of pain for your pet, but there are other signs that a UTI may be affecting your dog:


  • Blood or cloudy urine
  • Fever
  • Crying or straining when trying to urinate
  • Accidents inside the home or other indoor places
  • Licking their urinary opening often


When your dog holds their urine for long periods of time, they run a higher risk of forming urinary cancer. This is due to the carcinogens and cells that remain in their urinary tract for too long. One of the most common symptoms of urinary cancer is the returning of UTIs often. Once present, urinary cancer can turn deadly within a year.


Years of holding their urine for too long can cause incontinence issues. The bladder is sort of like a balloon that holds the urine. When dogs are forced to hold their urine, this balloon fills up. Over time, this balloon can become distorted and begin causing issues.


3. To Make Life Easier for Older or Disabled Pets 


To make life easier for Older or Disabled Pets


Not all pets are able to just get up and go. There could be numerous reasons why your pet may have an issue going outside to do their business five times a day or more. Old age is one of the most common reasons that our canine companions lose the ability to urinate frequently.


When our pooches begin to hit a certain age, their bodies begin to slow down. For many dogs, this means a lot of muscle stiffness, joint pains, and maybe some arthritis. With any of these conditions and many others, simply going outside to use the restroom can be painful for your pet.


Rescue animals can also have some issues with making it outside in time. These animals are amazing creatures who have often times been through horrible ordeals. This hard life can sometimes leave dogs scarred on the inside or outside. Giving them an indoor option not only makes things much easier on them, but it also makes your life easier through less accident inside the home and messes to clean up.


4. Fear of Bad or Different Weather 

Animals are much more like humans than we give them credit for. Just like humans, dogs can have fears and phobias to the point of not being able to do things. In canines, fear of bad weather or a change in the weather can trigger fear. This fear can be so bad that they may not want to leave the home to even go potty. This can lead to things like accidents or being forced to hold it for much longer than they should.


If you force a dog to go outside when they are truly afraid, it can have dire consequences. Making the fear into something far greater is a real risk that can make things much worse for you and your family down the road. In some cases, it may require medication to help keep them calm even when indoors.


5. Working Long Hours or Staying Late 


Working Long Hours or staying late


No matter if we have pets or not, we have to work. This is a simple fact of life that we understand, but forcing our dogs to deal with it is not exactly fair or healthy for them. Some pet parents have gone as far to call into to work if they are unable to find someone to let their dogs out. Workers on a set schedule may get called in early or asked to stay late and not have any way for their pets to urinate while they're gone. Instead of calling in or spending the money on a dog walker, offer your pet the comfort of an indoor dog toilet. Using our step-by-step guide above, you can save a lot of money in the long run and give your pet a healthier life.


6. A Little Help with Potty Training and Housebreaking

Potty training a dog is not an easy task. A key step in making sure your dog gets properly trained is ensuring they can go outside when they need to and know that is where they are meant to go. This can be nearly impossible if you work long hours or are not at home all day long.


While not the perfect way to completely potty train or housebreak your pet, the DIY Porch Potty can be a very helpful tool in making sure your puppy or adult dog has somewhere to go when they need to that won't get them in trouble or hinder their training.


The possible reasons to build your very own Porch Potty are near limitless. They are such a handy little device to have around the home or apartment and dogs truly love using them without leaving the house.


How MegaGrass Can Help 

The one ingredient to this whole DIY Porch Potty craze that can make or break it is the type of lawn or grass you use. There are a lot of synthetic lawn companies and makers out there, but only one company has made it their passion to provide top-quality synthetic lawn for multiple uses.


MegaGrass has a number of synthetic grass types available to meet a number of needs. For the pet parents out there, MegaGrass offers a special product that is designed just for them. The MegaPet collection features grass types and styles that are more attractive and realistic for your dogs so they are less likely to shy away from using it. To combat the abuse of sharp claws and playful pups, all MegaPet synthetic lawn products are designed extra durable and varying heights.


Don't just give your pets something to use. Give them something they will want to use. Use MegaGrass to top off a great DIY Porch Potty project or your very own dog run and watch how happy your dog will be.