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10 Reasons Not to Buy Fake Dog Grass Pads

Fake indoor grass pads for dogs

Fake indoor grass pads and puppy pee pads are products designed as indoor bathrooms for dogs.

I am not a fan of these products because I’ve just seen too many problems where the pads make dogs even more confused. The dogs end up peeing next to the pads or on small rugs and pillows that resemble a pad.

Despite my obvious bias, I understand these products are helpful for potty training some puppies and of course they can be helpful for people with physical disabilities or for certain dogs with disabilities.

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I understand some people NEED to use pee pads or fake grass for dogs if they work long hours and have limited options for dog care. I get it.

One of the most common reasons cited for using indoor pee pads is it’s too dangerous for a small dog to be outside due to wild animals (hawks, gators, coyotes). I would personally choose to let the small dog out on a leash and be out with the dog, but that is not what everyone chooses to do.

I personally am not a fan of using any type of indoor bathroom for dogs in general. For the average dog, I really recommend you start potty training your puppy OUTSIDE immediately.

Here’s why:

Reasons not to use fake grass or pee pads for dogs

1. Training a dog to use pee pads won’t be easy

In my experience, the dog owners who buy pee pads buy the product because they think their dogs can’t “hold it” when really the dog is not potty trained.

So instead of training the dog to go potty outside, they plop down some pads on the ground. What this does is confuse the dog even further.

If you do decide to use indoor pee pads, it’s important to take a couple of weeks to properly train your dog to use the pads.

This involves taking the dog to the pad multiple times per day (on a leash) and rewarding them for using the pad.

It also means you should leave your dog in a crate or small gated area when you can’t supervise so she doesn’t sneak off and have accidents.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of dog owners who think they can just plop some pads on the ground and the dogs will know what to do.

Do you know how many times I’ve heard “She just doesn’t get it!” That’s because you have to teach her!

Fake grass pads for dogs

2. The dog will get walked less

Most dogs don’t get walked enough already. Yes, I do understand the need for these products. I do. However, I also know people use the pee pads as an excuse not to head outside and walk their dogs.

It’s bad enough that so many small dogs get nothing more than a five-minute walk to relieve themselves. Now some are lucky if they get outside at all.

3. Owners of small dogs have enough problems with housebreaking

We all know at least one person who owns a Yorkie, Maltese, Chihuahua or Pomeranian that pees in the house. I’m not talking about old dogs that can’t hold it. I’m talking about 2-year-old dogs that still aren’t potty trained.

If the owner can’t train her dog to go to the bathroom outside (one of the easiest things to teach a dog), how will she train her dog to pee on fake grass? This will only encourage the dog to pee on carpet, rugs, couches and mattresses.

I unfortunately saw a lot of examples of this as a professional pet sitter.

See my post: How to train my dog to use pee pads.

4. People don’t change the pad often enough

One of the top problems I see is dog owners leave the pads out too long and the dog doesn’t want to step on a used pad. So what does he do? He pees next to the pad.

If you decide to use puppy potty pads or indoor fake grass, you’ll have more success if you can keep the area clean for your dog.

5. Pee pads for dogs won’t take away all issues

The average housebroken dog can go five or six hours without a potty break (or longer).

If you are leaving your dog home for shorter periods and she is having accidents, there might be a bigger issue than her not being able to hold it. She could have a bladder infection or anxiety or she truly is not potty trained.

If you have recently moved, she might not understand where she can and can’t go to the bathroom. Purchasing indoor fake grass is unlikely to solve these problems.

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6. Some dogs eat their own poop

Let’s face it, many of them do. I think this would be too tempting for a lot of dogs. Some dogs will eat their poop and their owners won’t even know it because they’re not home!

7. What about dogs that lift their legs?

Are you going to buy him a few fake trees and bushes to go along with that grass? Or maybe he’ll just pee on the wall?

8. There are other options than pee pads if you work long hours

Dogs shouldn’t be left alone for too long regularly if we can avoid it. Many people who work long shifts have dogs, but they come home during their breaks, take their dogs to daycare or hire a dog walker or pet sitter or ask a friend to help.

Dogs are pack animals and need interaction and exercise. Leaving a dog home for 12 hours or more several days a week is generally not fair to the dog.

Yes, it can work for some. There are exceptions. Some senior dogs will gladly sleep all day and perhaps a pee pad is a good solution.

I also understand sometimes you simply don’t have options for dog care due to financial reasons or aggression and perhaps pee pads are your best choice.

Reasons not to buy fake grass pads for dogs

9. Fake grass pads for dogs are not the same as a litter box

Cats cover up after themselves. Dogs won’t be covering up anything! They’ll probably step right in it.

Or maybe they’ll do that thing where they kick their back legs and fling some poop onto your carpet!

My dog Ace had an annoying habit of walking while he pooped! If I bought fake grass pads for him, he would probably walk right off the edge!

See my post: My dog pees right next to the potty pad!

10. Dogs are not as sanitary as cats

Cats are naturally clean animals. Dogs are not. Dogs are careless. They roll in things and they eat garbage, dead animals and poop. And they’d generally prefer to go to the bathroom outside, away from their “den” area.


Fake grass pads for dogs

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What’s your opinion on fake indoor grass for dogs?

As you can see, I’m totally opinionated on this. I know that. I do understand these types of products are great for the right dogs. If you use pee pads for your dogs, let us know how they’ve helped you in the comments.

For more information, check out my post on 10 reasons to buy fake indoor grass for dogs.


Thursday 23rd of March 2023

I adopted my puppy at the very start of winter. Here we get entire weeks at a time where it is -40c. So having to gear up a morkie puppy in booties that don't stay on as she was tiny is next to impossible.

She caught on the significance of the fake grass really quick and hasn't had any accidents in over a month. My basement suite is mostly carpet and she doesn't mistake it for the grass.

I clean it regularly and now that spring is here we go for 2 to 3 walks per day. She also goes potty on our walks.

I will continue to use the indoor fake grass. My community is also dealing with a over population of coyotes. Some have killed the dogs in our neighborhood. So night time pees are out of the question.

It definitely depends on the situation and reasons. It can be done properly if you keep on top of it.

I have also been able to take my dog to friends houses and her not pee inside while we are there.


Saturday 21st of January 2023

I'm currently potty training a mini dachshund puppy (3 months) and my apartment complex has a green area with grass where I've been taking him to potty. They've just started replacing the grass which means the area is closed off for the next month. Potty training was going so well for us, taking him out every two hours. Unfortunately, we live in an area of Mexico City where it is not safe for us to go out in the early morning or after 9pm, so we have just purchased a patch of real grass for him to go on at night. We have an extra bathroom with a shower we don't use, so we're putting it in there when we receive it. I'm so worried it'll confuse him too much as I know dachshunds are notoriously hard to potty train to begin with. I will take him out all day long, so the grass will only be in those early and late hours. Let's hope it works and won't take us back to square one!

Irving Zisman

Sunday 16th of October 2022

Amen to this article! I am the only one in my social circle who doesn't use dog pads. I'm also the only one whose adult dog doesn't eliminate in the house...


Saturday 19th of February 2022

Think its great for a back up and it is possible to train to use. Not everyone lives in a house with a back yard and there are a bizzlion dogs that need to be rescued. Know of several very reputable breeders of dachshunds that use these successfully.


Sunday 23rd of January 2022

Point well made. Now, how do you break the puppy of the habit of using a pee pad, if you got this email too late?

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 23rd of January 2022

It's a little more challenging but just go back to basics as though you just got the puppy today. Take them outside often and reward. Supervise constantly indoors and crate/kennel when you can't supervise. Ignore accidents or scold "no" only if you catch them going the second it's happening. Take outside immediately and reward for going outside. Good luck, just takes patience and consistency.