Oh the weather outside is frightful, and the fire inside delightful, but when Fido has to go, he’s gotta go, gotta go, gotta go…
Brr! It’s that time of year again when everyone’s trying to stay warm, including your pup. To manage the frigid temperature during the long winter months, we’ve pulled together the best dog indoor potty options. You’ll be surprised at the number of products available and the creative ways people have convinced their dogs it’s okay to pee inside.
Even if you’ve never thought about it before, the recommendations in this story can be a big help if you’re a pet owner who has to bundle up in a heavy jacket, wool hat, gloves and boots every time your fur kid has to relieve themselves.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog only recommends products we feel will benefit our readers.
Be sure to keep your pup warm
Freezing weather is tough for dogs. Their bodies feel the drop in temperatures as much as we do. Even dogs with thick coats are susceptible to hypothermia. The cold slows their metabolism and heart rate, causes cracked and bleeding paws and can affect their respiratory system and joints.
In fact, the ASPCA recommends you keep a special eye on your pup during the winter. They advise pet owners to keep your home humidified and to towel-dry your dog’s body, legs and paws after they come in from outdoors.
In addition, the group suggests that when your dog must go outside, be sure to massage a small amount of petroleum jelly (make sure they don’t eat it) or paw balm into their pads, or cover their paws with protective dog boots.
Protect against frostbite
Dogs are susceptible to frostbite. It’s most often seen in the tips of their ears, tail and toes. It’s especially important to keep a watchful eye in paralyzed dogs. They can’t feel the icy temperatures on their legs and feet. Disabled dogs won’t feel the painful early warning signs of frostbite and they won’t be able to lift a paw out of the snow to get some warmth.
Watch to see if their skin turns pale or has a bluish-white color and it’s very cold to the touch. These are signs the flow of blood is being affected.
If your dog has the warning signs of frostbite. Here are steps to take:
- Wrap your dog in a warm towel.
- Do not rub the affected area.
- Warm the affected parts with water that’s no more than 100 degrees (32 C) max. Water higher than 108 degrees can cause damage.
- Contact your veterinarian for further instructions.
Cold weather makes for rough doggy-bathroom trips
The cold weather can cause a multitude of bathroom challenges. Dogs with hind end weakness are more likely to slip and fall while walking to their favorite spot when there’s ice or snow. And the challenge is even greater for dogs in wheelchairs or paralyzed dogs who need to be carried or walked with help from a harness. Cold weather is rough for your dog and for you. When it’s freezing outside, no one wants to brave the elements just to take your pup to relieve them self.
I have good friends who live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where even Lake Superior freezes over. Their tip for taking their two Shih tzu’s for a bathroom break is, “do it as fast as you can or everyone will freeze.”
It’s not an easy way to live. That’s why I want to share the top dog indoor potty options to help you get through the winter months.
Three categories of dog indoor potty options
All of the products and solutions we found to keep your pup dry indoors fell into three main categories:
- Interior grass/artificial turf
- Floor coverings – Store bought and DIY
- Hi-tech dog indoor potty options
Here are samples of each of these categories.
Interior grass for easy dog indoor potty transitions
If your pup is comfortable “doing their business” on the lawn outside, an indoor artificial turf pee pad could be your best solution. The look and feel is similar real grass and once your dog adds their scent, the transition of eliminating inside should go smoothly. They’re available for dogs of all sizes from large to small, and sometimes with additional features like a drawer for easy cleanup.
Mats, floor coverings, grids and a DIY solution
Stylish reusable indoor dog mats make it simple for your dog to use the facilities. Most come in a two-pack, so you’ll always have an extra mat ready to use. There are even extra-large options even available for giant breeds. Dog mats are machine washable and have an anti-slip backing.
Vinyl floor cover
If your dog is too big for a grass pad and you want a product that’s easy to clean – premium, heavy vinyl floor runners are a great choice. They come in a large roll that can be cut to fit a whole room or a small area. Lay down pee pads over the vinyl and you’ve created a protected, indoor bathroom.
Get a grid
Pet dad, Keith, shared that he uses a sturdy indoor grid to keep his paralyzed dog dry. Grids come in lots of sizes. Some have a tray that catches urine.
DIY dog potty pools
Pet mom Paula G shared the special DIY indoor “potty pools” she created in her basement for her German Shepherds when they couldn’t go out in the cold.
I couldn’t let anyone out the door because the snow was so high. So I got 3 plastic 5′ poly pools from the garage. I brought them to the basement and lined them with huge contractor bags, split and flattened. Then I filled the pools with sand and topped it with kitty litter. And I put a lined trash can near them for clean ups.
Now we have potty pools in the basement. I use a small rake to clean up messes and put them in the trash. And none of my dogs have to go outside in a storm or in the snow.
What the future has in store for dog indoor potty options
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas debuted a new device that might have every dog ‘going’ indoors in the near future. Inubox is a fully automated dog toilet. To use it, your pet steps on a platform where they relieve themselves into a canine sandbox. And when they’re done the waste is automatically bagged, sealed and contained inside the odorless device.
As a special reward, Inubox hands your dog a treat every time its used.
DoggyBathroom is latest company to offer an indoor potty. Their dog litter box allows small pups to walk in, turn around and lift a leg or squat to eliminate without making a mess.
Stay warm everyone. Spring will be here eventually!
-Post by contributing writer Matthew Seltzer