Most dog owners loathe the wet and cold weather as it can often mean little accidents around the house. In all fairness, we wouldn’t like to stand out in the freezing cold or pouring rain to take care of business, so it’s not hard to understand why our dogs don’t either.

This DIY real grass toilet for dogs will be a savior during those winter months. Supplies will cost around $20 and it will take around 20 minutes to finish your project.

DIY Real grass toilet for dogs



  • Strip of turf – choose a hardy turf that grows well in the shade (We selected Sir Walter Buffalo,  $6.48 piece)
  • Garden soil (dig up from your own garden or purchase a bag. We paid $2.50.)
  • Tray large enough to suit the size of your dog to comfortably do their thing. And with sufficient depth to ‘plant’ the turf. (We purchased a BBQ drip tray – $9.99)
  • Screwdriver and hammer or drill (to pierce holes in tray)
  • Spade or shears (to cut turf)
  • Optional: handy husband for assembly (big thanks to our human dad for completing this project for us)

Note: we have double quantities in the photo above as we made two trays (one for each dog).



  1. Pierce holes in tray for drainage – a drill makes light work of this or a hammer and screwdriver will also do the job.
  2. Roll out the piece of turf and use empty tray as a template to cut the turf to fit the shape of the tray.
  3. Place a layer of garden soil in the tray – we filled our tray about two-thirds full. Level soil with spade.
  4. Add the turf on top and press it down firmly (hint: walk on it).
  5. Add dog and let the magic happen ?

We completed steps one and two on our lawn as cutting the turf can be quite messy. Assembly of the grass toilet (steps 3 and 4) was done in the final location of the toilet – under the roof of our back patio.

Note: as the turf will require watering, ensure it is placed in a spot that has adequate drainage.


  • Lightly hose the turf to allow it to settle in.
  • Store your poop scooper close by to clean as you go.
  • Ensure the grass is watered regularly to promote growth.
  • Trim with grass snippers or a whipper snipper as required.


Does your dog resist the cold and wet weather at toilet time? Do you have any toileting tips to share – perhaps a good method for cleaning up accidents? ?


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  1. How has this gone for your dogs? We are considering make one ourselves! But question the need for drainage and where the any wee goes to that gets through the soil.

    • Doxies Down Under

      We recently moved house and, for the first time, the dogs have a *huge* yard. Oddly, with this new yard, they have overcome any resistance to going outside in the cold and the rain. This has been equal parts wonderful and odd. However, we had been using the DIY loo for almost three months before the move (2 months of which were Winter). And, the loo had worked a treat. In fact, we remarked how genius the system was!

      To answer your question, any wee that went through the soil would simply be washed away when we watered the grass. As the grass is living, it needs to be nurtured, so we would water once a week (or there abouts). Making sure there is a good depth of soil beneath the turf really absorbs any wee. We found that there was little, or no seepage – even with two dogs using the trays. Let us know how you go, we’d love to see your finished project!

  2. Great instructions! Can you please let me know where you purchased the drip tray?

  3. Great instructions, can you please advise how regularly you need to replace the grass? Most delivery services recommend every two weeks, have you been able to make yours last longer?

    Also how much drains out of the bottom? We have a deck and I’m worried that too much will come out and defeat the purpose

    • Doxies Down Under

      Hi Katherine, we haven’t had to replace the grass at all. We’ve had delivery service grass previously and the difference, as far as we can tell, is that delivery grass is simply placed in a box. Whereas, following these instructions and by added a layer of soil, the grass is actually ‘planted’. We think this is what gives it the longevity.

      In terms of drainage, that is going to be affected by a number of things – size of dog/s (volume of wee) and how often you’ll need to water. We placed very small pieces of wood under ours to elevate it ever so slightly, which enabled any excess to be hosed off, rather than pool underneath the tray.

      Let us know how you go!

  4. Did you Drill holes in the drip tray for water drainage?
    How often does the grass need to be replaced?

    We want to try this inside, by making 2 and alternating in sunshine outside.


    • Doxies Down Under

      Hi Renee – if you were to keep these inside, we’d definitely recommend the laundry, bathroom or any tiled place. Perhaps consider using a layer of waxed cardboard or a liner of some sort. Draining of water and urine wouldn’t be ideal inside. So far, many months later, we haven’t had to replace the grass at all. It’s going as strong as ever!

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