Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DoggieLawn: Review

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 DoggieLawn is a unique monthly subscription service offered to dog owners, that was created when founders Zack and Natalie were searching for products that better fit the needs of apartment living. They realized that when you are raising a dog in an apartment in the city, or when you are first training a puppy, the options for "pet potty" products are limited -- especially for people who are trying to be more eco-friendly. They came up with DoggieLawn as a solution to these limitations.

Many dog-owners don't realize it, but a lot of the "wee-wee pads" and synthetic grass products available in stores are harmful to the environment, and are filled with lots of nasty chemicals. Synthetic grass products, according to DoggieLawn's website, emit VOCS (volatile organic compounds) which are dangerous for the environment AS WELL AS dogs and humans! Dogs are not naturally drawn to synthetic grass, so many are specifically sprayed with chemical attractants. They are often non-biodegradable, and require a ton of maintenance, whether you are using paper or plastic. When I first trained one of my dogs, I went through SO MANY of the paper "wee wee" pads, so I can see how this would be a problem for landfills. Synthetic grass pads generally have basins underneath that need to be changed, and can be full of bacteria and odors.

DoggieLawn reduces the ecological footprint of pet potty products, and also reduces the amount of maintenance that you have to put in. Inside a box with a removable cover is, essentially, a patch of real grass for your pooch. This grass is specially formulated and hydroponically grown, which means it forms a durable layer of roots and soil. Instead of the sod you find in department stores, DoggieLawn's grass is "dirt-less", and weighs a lot less, for easy lifting and maneuvering around the house, or in the yard (in case you would rather have your dog going outside, just not on your real lawn). 

 The way that the DoggieLawn forms a mat underneath allows for the absorption of urine without odor or leakage. Absorbed urine is broken down by microbes found naturally in the grass. There are no chemicals in the DoggieLawn. The only maintenance your DoggieLawn needs is the removal of solid waste, as well as a light spraying of water to keep the grass fresh, once or twice a week. With standard use, the DoggieLawn can last up to four weeks before becoming fully saturated. Many adult dogs need no special training to start using DoggieLawn -- they will recognize it as being the same as what they've experienced outside, and will easily go to the bathroom on it. 






DoggieLawn is not only ideal for training puppies, but also for a number of other situations. As aforementioned, apartment living with a dog can be tricky, depending on your location. Many residents of major cities do not have backyards or a ton of options for places to take their dogs to do their business. Other people may have extremely busy schedules with work or school; they may not always be able to get home to make sure their dog can go to the bathroom in a timely manner. Another situation where DoggieLawn is great is for older dogs, or dogs suffering from medical conditions. This is also applicable for older people, who may have trouble walking their dogs, but still want to be able to enjoy them. Then there are other occasions, such as the middle of a giant snowstorm, or a downpour, where you just might not feel like going outside. Sometimes, you may not live in the safest section of the neighborhood, and might want to avoid taking long walks at night. DoggieLawn is also great for traveling, if you think you might be going somewhere where grass is limited, or your dog may be uncomfortable going to the bathroom. There are really many reasons why DoggieLawn may be the perfect addition for your home!

How does the monthly subscription service work?

It's really easy! The first step is to choose between the "petite pooch" or "full-sized fido" option. Next, you choose whether you would like to have your DoggieLawn delivered once or twice a month. For the "petite pooch" DoggieLawn, a once-a-month subscription will cost $28, and a twice-a-month subscription will cost you $48 a month. For the "full-sized fido" DoggieLawn, a once-a-month subscription will cost $39, and a twice-a-month subscription will cost you $60. You can then decide whether or not to add on a plastic reusable tray to your order (to hold your DoggieLawn). 





(After one week)


I was lucky enough to receive a "petite pooch" DoggieLawn for the purpose of this review. Lulu, our Dachshund, is by no means a puppy. They didn't tell us her exact birthday, but we know that she is around four years old. I didn't contact DoggieLawn because I needed a tool for housetraining. I contacted them because my boyfriend and I live in an apartment and we occasionally have very busy schedules. We do NOT live in an inner city without a lot of grass around, but we do not have our own backyard. Right now, I am off for the summer, but I will be going back to medical school in just two weeks. When I am in school and Mike is at work, we often have trouble coordinating time earlier in the day to get back for Lulu. My schedule is going to be a lot more busy than it was last year -- for the first six weeks of school, I will be there from 8-5:30, and after school I may need to stay for studying and whatnot. Mike is also going back to school, and to work, and will have a busy schedule as well. We always found a way for one of us to get back home for lunch, but I have a feeling that isn't going to be possible this year. That being said, I wanted to look into the DoggieLawn, in case I needed it again in the future. 

Besides having busy schedules, I am also guilty of having those days where I just don't feel like trudging through the snow... Lulu can be VERY particular about where she will do her business, and it isn't always right out front. She is not a huge fan of rain, so there's that, also. I don't live in a bad area, but I don't like to go walking by myself with Lulu far away in the middle of the night, and sometimes my boyfriend is tired and falls asleep early without taking her out. There are many reasons why DoggieLawn made a lot of sense to me, even though we strictly taught Lulu to go to the stairs every time she needs to use the bathroom, and not to go inside. The DoggieLawn actually came at a really good time, because, unfortunately, Lulu somehow hurt her back leg, and has had a difficult time climbing back up the stairs after going out. Sometimes I have to carry her up. The other day, she woke me up in the middle of the night because she had to go to the bathroom. I went to grab her leash (opening the bedroom door), and she ran out, over to the DoggieLawn, and climbed right on. This saved her from having to struggle coming back up the stairs, and it saved me a trip outside in my pajamas at four in the morning!

Lulu has been using the DoggieLawn for about a week now, and she will alternate between going on it and going outside. She is not completely dependent on it, but she had NO trouble at all learning that it was grass, just like she uses outside. I didn't do anything to help her figure this out. Lulu is usually very good about not going to the bathroom in the house, but since she hurt her leg, she pooped on the floor TWICE while we were out and about (right before we got the DoggieLawn). We were very happy when the DoggieLawn arrived! Now I don't have to worry about going out for the night, because I know that she has an option in case we aren't back in time. I'll admit, I thought the DoggieLawn was going to reek, especially in this summer heat. Honestly, I don't smell anything, not even that "grass" smell! I am not sure exactly how many times she has used it, but so far the grass, with very little maintenance, is doing just fine. It still looks fresh, and the urine was completely absorbed without any leakage. I am very impressed with this product! This is an awesome alternative to "wee wee" pads and synthetic grass. I don't know if I would always have money for it each month, but if I were training a puppy again, I would definitely buy it -- you probably end up saving money when you add up the cost of all the pet pee pads that you end up going through!


Interested in learning more about DoggieLawn? Check out the links below:

16 comments:

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