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Do it yourself project: Doggy Grass Box

This do it yourself project will save you hundreds of dollars $$$$$$$ on those horrible astro turf indoor/outdoor potty boxes.  Besides, my parents know how much I love grass, so they made a custom grass “potty” box for me.

 My mom bought all the materials from Home Depot, and it only took her half a day to put it together from scratch (including paint time).  My grass haven is made from real wood, fresh grass, plastic liner, and beautiful paint by Behr.  

Now I can enjoy the convenience of having my own “potty” box on our patio, and it looks very chic.  Check it out!

Ta da!  There's my grass!

Ta da! There's my grass!

This one is still unfinished.  Wonder if we can paint it neon green!!!

This one is still unfinished. Wonder if we can paint it neon green!!!

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21 responses

  1. Lam

    Cool! Does he actually use it to poop on?

    April 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm

  2. fuego

    Hey lam,

    Glad you asked! So far, my #1′s are pretty consistent in the potty box, but im still learning on the #2′s. muhahahah.

    April 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  3. MARY

    I HAVE A MALE DOG.
    WILL THIS WORK WITH A MALE WHO LIFTS THEIR LEG TO PEE WITHOUT MAKING A MESS?
    ALSO, HOW MUCH DID IT COST TOTAL FOR ALL YOUR SUPPLIES AT HOME DEPOT?
    I AM PRETTY HANDY MYSELF AND THINKING ABOUT MAKING ONE.
    MY DOG GETS WALKED ALOT DAILY BUT SOMETIME WHEN IT RAINS HE’S PRETTY MUCH A WEE WEE PAD KINDA GUY.
    CIAO’

    June 11, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    • happy217

      Hi there,

      Thanks for stopping by. I live in a high rise building and I see many of these types of boxes outside on the patios. I highly don’t recommend the synthetic “fake grass” boxes, because I heard the tops get moldy after repeated uses. I have a male dog, but he seems to go wee wee like a girl still. =) I think it should definitely work for your dog, however I would suggest making a wider box. I purchase sod from the local gardening center, and it runs me about $3 per sq. ft. The boxes shown on my blog are 2×2 each, so I just put them next to each other for a bigger surface area.

      The total amount for the supplies to build this grass box was only $99, and that was including the paint. The wood is fairly inexpensive, and just remember to use a heavy type of plastic to line the bottom of your box before you put in a thin layer of potting soil, then the sod. This way it will be easy for you to replace the sod when all the grass is yellow. My dog uses the potty box at least 6 times a day, and I end up having to change the sod every 3-4 weeks. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

      June 11, 2009 at 11:07 pm

      • Cynthia

        I use the fake grass indoors in my laundry room. With five small Yorkies I rinse both turfs twice a week and use a chemical called OdoBan. Rinse till water is clear and soak for five minutes in the OdoBan and then fill sink with water and make sure grass is rinsed. I do this every week with the OdoBan but some people do it every six weeks. You will get an oily built up and urine smell without using chemical. Of course I have never seen mildew with the process that I do. Then I put in full sun until turf is dry.

        June 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm

      • happy217

        Hi Cynthia,

        Thanks for the insight. I’ve seen so many indoor potty boxes marketed out there, so it’s hard to tell which ones are reputable. Where did you purchase yours from? Alot of my blog vistors always ask questions about the indoor doggie boxes, so any additional information would be awesome! Thanks for sharing!

        August 21, 2009 at 2:57 am

      • tara

        Hi! Do you have the instructions on how you made this and the materials list? Thanks!

        July 27, 2009 at 11:25 pm

      • happy217

        HI Tara,

        Sorry, I built the doggy grass box from scratch. All you need is wood, wood glue, and some paint!

        August 21, 2009 at 2:56 am

  4. I have a 8 week old puppy cockapoo.Vet said he shouldn’t be walked out in public just yet.So we thought we could make something like this.He won’t really go on pee pads and thought this would be a great alternative for now until he gets all of his shots.Can you give detailed instructions of how you did this? I would want it pretty simple just how you put the wood box together and where to get the plastic liner etc.and the grass.Do you think it would work on a plastic surface and possibly putting the liner then grass?

    Thanks a lot!
    Jamie

    June 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm

  5. Julie

    Hi,
    Ive never had a pet before and Im getting a yorkie, Im thinking of making my own doggy grass box since i live in an apartment & work full time, I figured this would be the best thing to do. Im a bit confused, the synthetic grass would have to be washed weekly, how do you clean and care for the real grass box so it doesnt smell and stays fresh?

    thanks,
    Julie

    August 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    • happy217

      Hi Julie,

      Thanks for stopping by. I actually use real grass and change it out every couple of weeks. You can buy sod (squares of grass) at any home and garden center. The urine from dogs is very acidic, so the grass in those areas will eventually turn yellow, however the rest of the grass stays green. It is a very convenient way for your doggy to relieve itself, and they naturally gravitate towards the grass.

      My doggy box is outside, so it does not smell. After the box is built and I place a liner down, I sprinkle an inch think layer of potting soil. This give the grass extra nutrients, and absorbs the liquids and get absorbed. Hope this information helps. Also, since it is real grass, you will need to water it 1 time every 2 days.

      August 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm

  6. Ashley

    What type of plastic liner did you use? Specifics? Thanks!

    September 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    • happy217

      Hi there,

      This entire DIY grass box was totally fabricated by me, so I ended up using an extra large ZIPLOC bag for my liner. The plastic is thick and durable enough to use over and over again. Hope this helps!

      October 1, 2009 at 10:50 pm

  7. rhi

    just one more question… Do u ever have to change the potting soil? Your idea is great!!!

    November 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    • happy217

      Yes, I usually change out the potting soil and sod, once of month. You only need to lay down about 1″ of potting soil. Hope this helps!

      November 8, 2009 at 6:32 am

  8. Summer

    This is great!!!! I wanted to get a box for so long. Right now i’m using the potty pads on my balcony and I’m so tired of getting rid of them and buying them. Its just so nasty and stinky. This will be my weekend choir. I have one question, is there wood on the bottom of the box or is it just the wood to make the square?

    March 12, 2010 at 12:07 am

    • happy217

      Hi!

      I’m glad you’re giving it a try. Even when the grass starts to “yellow”, they can still go potty on there. It’s not big deal! I purchased my materials from home depot in the wood section, already pre-cut. The bottom of the box is wood as well. Since you’ll use a heavy duty liner, the bottom and sides of your box will not be soiled.

      I usually keep the sod for at least 1 month, then I just lift up the liner and dump out the old sod and soil. If i were to do it again, I’d probably make just 1 long box, since sod comes in 2×2 pieces, and I always have to end up cutting mine in half (1 for each box). I started out with 1 box, and realized there wasn’t enough surface area for my doggy.

      Also, I live by the beach, so the moisture warped the box that I didn’t paint. It’s been 2 years, and the painted box (the purple one) is holding up much better. If you have any questions, let me know. Glad to help. xoxoxo

      March 12, 2010 at 12:50 am

  9. Matthew

    Any idea how long the grass lasts before it dies and needs to be replaced? Also, does the grass start to smell? Any tips for building it would be appreciated since it looks good… Great job!

    November 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    • happy217

      Hi Matthew. I change out the sod every 2 months, since the dog urine tends to turn the grass yellow. Some people like to change their sod monthly. Im terms of the smell, if you keep the sod moist, there is little to no smell at all. Note: #2′s must be picked up right away =)

      My dog is about 12lbs, and 4×4 box is a great size for him. I’m not sure if this dog box would work great for large dogs, because they obviously have more urine and the sod & soil, may not be able to handle the usage!

      Tips for building the box…
      Use real wood, and make sure to paint it or have a treatment. One of my boxes was unpainted, and it started to warp from the humidity after 1 year. Sod pieces come in 2×2 squares, so plan to build a box to fit those dimensions. You can always make one large box, and lay the sod side by side. Remember to place a liner in the box, before you put a layer of soil & sod. This will keep everything neat, and easy to remove the soiled sod & soil when it’s time to change it out.

      I’ve had both grass boxes for 2 years, and it’s the best DIY project ever. Lost cost, little maintenance, and my doggy is a happy camper. Good luck!

      November 6, 2010 at 12:39 am

  10. hancey

    oh! this is really amazing concept, lets what my doggy reacts too….

    Turf Suppliers

    December 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

    • happy217

      Do let us know!

      December 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

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