Our Chihauhau’s are very finicky about where they do their business, and I don’t mean their 9-5 jobs. Living in the city, it can be challenging to find clear plots of grass they are allowed to use for their bio-breaks in good weather, let alone the additional hurdles presented by wind and snow. Winters can be brutal for people in Chicago, so think about the effect on a 5 lb. doggie! And if you know anything about Chihuahua’s then you know how stubborn they can be, even going as far as to flat out REFUSE to walk or move one foot out in the cold.
We’ve tried various types of indoor solutions – wee pads (gross, but effective), artificial grass (stinks, hard to clean, and the animals don’t like the plastic feel/smell), and live grass (hmm, this is interesting). In the winter of 2016/17, we tried a local company in Chicago that delivered real patches of grass to your door at the frequency of your choice at about $80 per delivery. They have a generous trial period that we took advantage of but do require a subscription and contractual commitment. Our oldest (and only pooch at the time, Abigail) didn’t take to it one bit. In over a month, she never once let so much as a drop out on that thing. We tried all of the training tips, even bringing other dog piles onto the mat to give Abby something to sniff out. That was the last ditch effort, to no avail, so cost notwithstanding, we thought it was the end.
That was a tough winter, trying the grass, everyone getting frustrated, taking her out into the exceptionally harsh conditions that year just to watch her shake and cycle through lifting each paw one at a time because the ground was too cold and icy. I suppose we can consider ourselves “fortunate” that we were in a rental loft that was going to be rehabbed after we left so it was “OK” that the dog would only go the bathroom inside on the carpet. Talk about disgusting, but at the most basic level at least she had somewhere to go.
Sadly, we thought that was what the rest of our winters would be like.
In the summer of 2017, we got another Chihuahua, Franklin. We noticed on our walks that he was far more adventurous than Abigail and was absolutely dialed into the principal of the indoor wee pad so we thought we’d be stuck with that the rest of our lives. We all suffered again through that winter of 2017/18 and in fairness, it was much milder than the previous year and Franklin didn’t seem as affected by the cold. Abby still acted like she was being abused anytime she was taken outside when it was less than 40 degrees out. My wife and I had a running joke when we woke up every morning – ‘what’s the weather, will Abby go out?”
At the end of my wee pad and potty-in-the-house rope, I once again took the task of finding a solution to this disgusting problem. After some research, I found Fresh Patch, a real grass solution that is delivered at no cost via FedEx at whatever frequency you’d like. I was intrigued when I saw the endorsement from Shark Tank (I must have missed that episode because I’d never heard of Fresh Patch before) and even more intrigued when I saw the price! Ranging between $24 and $40 per patch (with FREE delivery) depending on your sizing needs, there are many configurations to choose from. All but the XL come in a tray so you literally unpack it and it’s ready to go. Because we have two dogs and potty has always been an issue for Abigail, I elected to go with the Fresh Patch XL at $40/delivery. You can also get a 2’x4′ plastic tray for a one-time fee of $39 to set the patch of grass into. So for the same price as the locally sourced 2’x2′ piece of grass for the first delivery, we were all set and could basically count on a two-for-one pricing model compared to our previous vendor. It pained us to not use the local company, but the price difference was significant and the quality of Fresh Patch’s hydroponically grown grass is top shelf.
The Results? Well, Franklin took to the grass immediately, taking no time to make his mark on his own little slice of heaven! It took Abigail a while (her issues run deep, and we all probably need some counseling with her to get straight, but that’s another ball of wax), but she now uses the grass. She watched and watched Franklin get praised for using the grass and I guess finally had enough of the cold and frustration that she let it rip. It brought tears to our eyes to see her using it after countless failed attempts and mounting frustration. I’m certain it helped with her training to see her brother using it.
We could probably go with a smaller patch now that both animals use it regularly, but at this point they’ve earned the extra space! Our XL patch lasts 4 weeks easily, so at $40/month you just can’t beat it.
If this sounds like something that could help your family, check out Fresh Patch and get started today!