How to Make a Dog Potty Area

Some exciting news! Tomorrow morning this little guy is coming home with us to be a part of our family! His name is Boomer.

polar lab puppy

Some of us are very excited (the kids), while others (me and my hubby) are excited, but remember just how much work a puppy is. Our first baby, Apollo the chocolate lab, lived to be almost 16. The one regret we had with him was that we didn’t train him to go potty in a dedicated space in the yard. Every time the kids wanted to go outside to play we would yell, “STOP! We need to pick up the dog poop first!” So for our new house, we have created a dedicated space in the yard for Boomer to relieve himself. Here is our finished dog potty area!

dog potty area

 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.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Edging
  • Weed blocker fabric
  • Base layer of rocks
  • Pea Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Rake

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.

dog patty area

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 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 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!

pea gravel bag

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.

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.

how to make a dog potty area

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.

flagstone path

All done…let the puppy potty training begin!!

By | 2017-08-28T22:03:21+00:00 August 28th, 2017|DIY Projects, Outdoor Living|3 Comments


  1. Nona August 31, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    A great potty area for your new puppy! Is your next post going to be on how to train a pup to use one area and not the whole yard?

    We had a chocolate lab named Boomer. We lost him almost a year ago now (back in November). I hope your Boomer brings you as much joy as ours did.

    • mwelsh September 1, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Thanks Nona! We loved our chocolate lab, too, and it was so hard to have to say goodbye to him! If the potty training actually works, I may consider a post about it! Right now I think he’s using the rug in the house more than the dog potty area. 🙂

  2. JESS44903 September 5, 2017 at 8:55 am

    What a cute idea!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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