What to do if your puppy tries to eat their Piddle Patch grass

So… your Piddle Patch has just arrived. 

You set it up while your brand new puppy frolics around your heels. Leading them towards their Piddle Patch, you cross your fingers as you wait for the magic to happen and-


Your puppy has decided to have a nibble of the grass instead.

“What’s their deal?!” I hear you say.

Well, as a young pup, your dog has only just started to make sense of the world around them.

You’ve just presented them with a Piddle Patch real grass dog potty and, though they know they like it, they will still need a little bit of help trying to figure out what it’s for and how to use it. 

Puppies like to learn by using their mouths, so eating the grass is an instinctive way to explore and get a feel for what the item is that they’re interacting with. 

The good news is that this grass-eating will stop instinctively as they better understand what the purpose of the grass is and how to interact with it.

Here are our tips on how to stop your dog from nibbling on their Piddle Patch real grass puppy pad, and to get them to start pottying on it instead:

  1. Set boundaries on how your pup interacts with the grass while learning. Take your puppy away from their Piddle Patch if they insist on eating it, and help them burn some energy through either walkies or play. Then, once they’ve calmed down, reintroduce them to it.

    Like adults, it can be difficult to focus when there’s something new and exciting to explore, so introducing the Piddle Patch again when your puppy is calm is an important first step. Doing so at a time when you know they will need to potty soon will also be a tremendous help.

    It’s important that your pup has a feeling of fullness in their bladder when you take them to their Piddle Patch, as this will help them to make the connection between that feeling of fullness they have, with the purpose of their Piddle Patch potty.

    If you are not sure whether your pup is showing any signs of readiness to potty, you might find it helpful to track their sleep, food, and toileting habits throughout the day to see if you can recognise any common themes in their schedule or behaviour.

    Many dogs start showing signs that they need to potty. Common signs to look out for  include:
    • Sniffing the floor
    • Circling
    • Looking restless
    • Going into a room or to a space they’ve previously been to the toilet in
    • Wandering away from family
    • Whimpering
    • Running to the door

  2. Start by putting your dog in a collar and lead. This will help you better direct their early interactions with the grass and allow you to redirect your puppy if they try to play or nibble instead of investigating it for potty purposes.

    If your puppy seems more interested in trying to eat the grass, then going to the toilet on it, take them away for five minutes and play with them, before bringing them back to try again.

  3. Establish a recognisable word or phrase for potty time. You can encourage your dog to use their lovely new fresh grass dog toilet by choosing a command word or phrase, like “go pee” or “potty time.” Whatever your chosen term, just make sure that you say it consistently when it’s time for them to go potty. Eventually, your pup will understand that the command means that it’s time to head to the grass and relieve themselves. This will be a helpful skill throughout life, as your pup will understand the command outside the house too, making it useful before entering locations like a cafe or train station. 

  4. Put a border around the Piddle Patch. If the grass tickles your puppy’s nose when they are close by, and distracts them from further engaging it, you may find it helpful to put a Piddle Patch wooden sleeve around your Piddle Patch grass and tray. This will help to create a solid border around the grass which prevents grass ends from tickling and distracting them. As a bonus, the Piddle Patch wooden sleeve looks super stylish in your home! [Add link]
  1. Praise your dog when they’re successful. When your dog uses their Piddle Patch fresh grass potty pad, shower them with praise and immediately offer them a treat. Dogs naturally want to please their owners, so rewarding the right behaviour with praise will go a long way to building a strong and trusting bond with your dog. 

  2. Never scold them for accidents. It’s important to remember that toilet training your dog is a learning process, and mistakes will happen on occasion.  Don’t be afraid to pick your puppy up, if they’re going potty somewhere they shouldn’t, and carry them to their fresh grass puppy pad so that they can finish up in the right location. Do not acknowledge or scold your dog for any accidents they have, as this may encourage them to do stealth pees and poops around the home, or they may mistake the attention you give them as being something to seek out and this can encourage them to do it all over again. Instead, focus on praising and rewarding your puppy for doing it correctly. 

Remember that your goal in this process  is to help your puppy make the connection that when there is a feeling of fullness in their bladder or bowels, it’s time to go potty. Bringing them to their Piddle Patch grass toilet when it’s time to go potty, establishing a consistent routine, and rewarding them when they do it right, is integral to the process.

While some dogs learn this process quickly and intuitively with their fresh grass dog toilet, for others it can take a little time and patience. But know that it won’t be long until your pup is  house-trained and understands that the grass is for pees and poops only.

We hope this guide is helpful while you house-train your puppy. If you’re interested in more house-training tips, please check out our other training guides (link), or feel free to contact us with any questions you have.

Happy training!