Pea Gravel Dog Potty

Either way a designated dog potty area can help you keep your yard and house clean.

Join us as we take a look at what you need to think about before creating your own potty area.

Plus we will show you examples of how people included a potty area into their yards.

Before we go too far into this conversation let me say that the area you create for your dog can be as elaborate or simple as you want.

With our pup Molly we simply craved out a piece of the backyard that was easily accessible. To do this we put up a low fence to separate her area from the rest of the yard.

Our potty area would not win a design award but it did serve our purpose and it was low cost.

In the pictures below the homeowners took our simple idea of dividing the yard a few (many) steps further. Here they created a dog run on the side of their house while keeping the rest of their yard dog poop free. Custom Dog Run

Now their pug can easily access his potty spot through a doggy door in the homes wall. Below is another picture of the same yard. Here you can see how the backyard was divided between family space and potty space. Custom Dog Run

DIY Pea Gravel Dog Potty Area

For this, you’ll need:

  • A sandbox or similar plastic container
  • Pond liner or other plastic sheeting
  • Pea gravel
  • Lay down a sheet of pond liner under the sandbox to protect your balcony floor.
  • If the sandbox doesn’t have some kind of drainage hole, cut one out. You can do this using a bread knife if you don’t own a drill. However, a drill will be quicker and easier.
  • Line the sandbox with pond liner, cutting a hole in the same place.
  • Fill with pea gravel, ideally 2-3” deep.
  • Once it’s set up on your balcony, you’re done.
  • If you’ve built your pea gravel dog potty area with drainage, you can simply hose it down every few days. Doing so means you can keep the smell down, although you’ll need to ensure the runoff actually reaches your balcony drain!

    You’ll need to replace the pea gravel every few weeks if you don’t have drainage. While pea gravel for a dog potty area is a good choice, it’ll hold the smell if the pee can’t drain out anywhere.

    Either way, you should clean the whole thing every few months to completely remove the smell. How you do this is up to you, but bleach or odor eliminator does the trick, providing you wash everything thoroughly.

    How to Make a Dog Potty Area

    We started out by doing a lot of research online to find out what the best material would be to use, and pea gravel kept coming up as a great choice. Pea gravel consists of smooth, round pebbles that are comfortable for dogs to walk on. It also looks nice, is excellent for drainage (which is super important for a dog potty), and is reasonably priced.

    To start, mark out your area for the dog potty. You can use different types of edging to define your space (and hold in your gravel). It could be as simple as using 2×6 boards, or you can use something more decorative. We chose to use some brown wood landscape edging that came in 3 ft. lengths. Depending on the type of edging you choose, you may have to dig a trench to partially bury your edging for stability.

    Once you’ve defined your space, lay down some Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric to ensure weeds won’t grow in your dog potty space.

    Next, put down a one-inch base layer of rock for improved drainage. In our yard, we already had rock landscaping in the area we wanted to put our dog potty. This saved us a lot of time because both the landscape fabric and first layer of rock were already there!

    Now it’s time for the pea gravel! To calculate how much pea gravel you will need, first determine the area (length x width) of your space in square feet. Then multiply the area by 3 inches (the depth of the pea gravel) and divide by 12. This will give you the cubic feet that you need to buy in pea gravel. We purchased our pea gravel bags from Lowe’s. Since each bag holds 0.5 cu. ft. of pea gravel, we ended up needing 30 bags for our space!

    Another option is to visit your local landscape rock supply company. They will likely have better prices on pea gravel, and offer delivery right to your home (for a price)! Overall, it may end up being a cheaper option than buying 20-30 bags from Lowe’s or Home Depot.

    Once you dump your pea gravel bags in your defined dog potty area, use a stiff rake to spread out and smooth the pea gravel.

    At this point, you may be done! Congratulations! Since we had a rock landscape, however, we wanted to add a little walking path from our patio to our dog potty area. We picked up some flagstone pieces for our local landscape rock supply company, and partially buried the stones to create a stable walkway.

    So, there you have it! It’s easy to create an attractive and functional dog potty area in your yard. Now, let’s just hope our dog decides to use it. Let the puppy potty training begin!!

    Once you have your dog potty area made, you’ll need a few supplies to keep things clean. Here are some of our favorites:

    I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I LOVE this Pawler Pooper Scooper! It’s easy to use, holds lots of poop, and has a rake so you can filter out the pea gravel. This is the perfect pooper scooper for your dog potty area!

    Once a week or so, you’ll want to hose down your dog potty area to keep it clean. Fair warning, when you get it wet, it will stink like crazy! But, once it dries again, it will be clean and won’t have any lingering smell.

    When it comes to hoses, this Flexi Hose is my all-time favorite. It’s super lightweight, so it’s easy to move from place to place, if needed. And, the spray nozzle is just what you want for a nice wide stream to clean off your potty area pea gravel.

    What to Consider When Creating a Dog Potty Area

    Where you place your potty area will have an impact on the rest of your yard. Here are a few thoughts to consider.

  • Convenience – Place your doggy potty space in a convenient location with easy access for you and your dog.
  • Smell – Although you should place it in an area with easy access make sure it’s not too close to outdoor living spaces. You don’t want your dog going poo right next to where you are having dinner.
  • Weather – Think about what the weather is like in your area. If you live in a snowy place don’t place the potty area too far away from the house. Snow will make the potty area less convenient if you have to shovel a long path to get to it. If you live in a hot area, place the potty area someplace where it is shaded from the sun.
  • Vegetable Garden – Don’t place the potty area near or uphill from an edible garden. You don’t want to chance contaminating your garden with dog poo.
  • Grading – Pay attention to the slope of your yard. Make sure to place your potty area in a spot that is also sloped away from your house and other areas you plan to use. Otherwise you may get pee runoff near your living areas.
  • If you live in an apartment or simply don’t have a large yard these potty are ideas may not work for you. If that is the case check out our post on Dog Patio Ideas – For Small Spaces


    Will dogs pee and poop on gravel?

    Pea gravel

    The most popular material for dog potty areas is, without a doubt, pea gravel. This finely ground gravel essentially acts as kitty litter for your dog — it drains well and doesn’t wash or blow away in the rain and wind.

    What is the best surface for a dog to poop on?

    The advantage of using gravel is that it allows dog urine to seep through, and prevents having to constantly hose down the bathroom area to clean it, which is necessary for concrete doggy bathrooms.

    What can I put on the ground for my dog’s area?

    Pea gravel

    Arguably the best material for a dog potty area is pea gravel. It’s got good drainage, it’s easy to clean, and won’t hold smells like artificial grass. You could use it in any outdoor space, providing you’ve got somewhere to hose the water.