As an apartment dweller, I needed a solution to let my dog relieve himself without a trek down the street to the grass. This was even more important when he was a puppy requiring a safe, non-communal area. To solve this problem, I started looking for grass delivery services. Enter: Fresh Patch.
Fresh Patch offers regular delivery of a patch of grass to make potty trips easier for you and your dog. We’ve used them for over a year now, so I can give you a genuine Fresh Patch grass review. Let’s dive in!
Bulldog enjoying a Fresh Patch on an apartment patio
What Do You Get?
When you order Fresh Patch, you get real grass shipped to your front door. The grass comes in sizes ranging from 16″ x 12″ to 2′ x 4′. The mini, standard, and large sizes come in flat, cardboard boxes shipped for free via FedEx. Once you take the lid off, the grass is ready to use. The XL size arrives rolled up. You can buy a tray for it, so with each new shipment, you’ll receive new grass but continue to use the same tray.
The grass allows your dog to relieve themselves without requiring a trip outside or downstairs. Please note, though, that a Fresh Patch subscription is not a replacement for walking your dog. They still need their exercise and fresh air!
Who Is Fresh Patch For?
Ultimately, it’s up to you if having an accessible piece of grass would make your or your dog’s life better. There are many instances when this might be the case.
Fresh Patch is a great option for unvaccinated puppies. Regardless of the breed, your puppy will likely only need a “small” size that can easily fit in your home. Here is a two month old bulldog puppy getting used to his Fresh Patch.
Until a puppy is fully vaccinated, you need to be careful about bringing your him or her out in public. Depending on where you live, you may, like us, not have an outside grassy area that you can be certain is free from disease. Fresh Patch may be a good choice to begin grass-training your puppy before you can go to communal areas.
Old, Injured, or Delicate Dogs
On the other side of the spectrum, Fresh Patch may be a good match for dogs that are older. If you have a dog that is old, injured, or delicate, having an easy-access release location may be a helpful solution. We have a breed of dog that has delicate joints, and we wanted to protect those joints from overuse as the surrounding muscles grew in. Getting the grass was a good way for us to protect our dog from needing to use the stairs too often.
Upstairs Apartment Dwellers
Dog lovers live all over the world – including in cities with high rises. Why go to grass when the grass can come to you? Fresh Patch could be helpful to people who don’t live on ground level but who want their dog to have easy access to a bathroom.
Extreme Weather Conditions
Because of the flexibility of Fresh Patch’s delivery service, you can decide to solely order during the hot or cold months. Small dogs may not fair well in the cold weather, while brachycephalic dogs or dogs with thick coats may not fair as well in the heat. Use your judgment and consult your vet to see if certain extreme weather conditions are worth avoiding or minimizing for your pet.
Owners With Limited Mobility
If you have difficulty bringing your dog out, Fresh Patch offer a way for your dog to go the bathroom without you needing to bring him! Make sure to also problem-solve a way for your dog to still get regular walks.
What are Alternative Options?
If the idea of having an accessible bathroom for your dog appeals to you, do you have to use Fresh Patch? Nope! There are plenty of good options, and you get to choose the one that is best for you, your living situation, and your four-legged friend.
While some dogs take well to pee-pads, some dogs find shredding them overly tempting. Here is a four-month-old bulldog puppy looking guilty after being caught shredding his pee-pad.
Pee-pads are just what they sound like – absorbent pads that you can unfold, leave on the ground, and train your dog to use as a bathroom. They come in various sizes, brands, absorbency levels, and quality levels. Some people like them because you can buy them anywhere, and they are simple and effective. Others don’t prefer them because of the waste, constant need to replace them, and the fact that sometimes dogs (like ours) will shred them if given the opportunity.
Artificial grass is another alternative to Fresh Patch! This fake grass comes in various sizes designed for your dog. Instead of a regular delivery service, this is a product that you can buy once and not need to worry about replacing. Because it’s artificial, though, some dog owners report having difficulty getting their dog to use it. It also needs to be cleaned at least weekly. Still, this is a great options for people who like the grass idea, but who don’t feel the need to have fresh grass or don’t want to pay for regular delivery.
DIY Grass Box
If you want real grass but don’t want to continually replace it, you can consider making your own “potty box”. Whereas Fresh Patch grass grows hydroponically, this grass would grow in dirt on own porch. You need to have some amount of comfort with tools and hardware stores, as well as a bit of time, but this is a great choice if you want a long term solution! Just don’t forget to include drainage in your plans.
Other Real Grass Companies
The other real-grass provider on the market is Doggie Lawn. While I don’t have personal experience with their products and can’t speak to the ease of working with their company – they look like a comparable option. Like Fresh Patch, they deliver fresh, hydroponically grown grass straight to your front door on a regular basis. They even have complimentary gifts for new customers!
How Does It Work?
An example of a Fresh Patch command center. The command center allows you to change the date of your next order, your frequency of delivery, or your size of grass patch.
The mechanics of working with Fresh Patch are very simple. Once you get started, you’ll have a login to their website. Your control center allows you to choose the size of grass that you need and how often you want to receive it. Most people choose to receive their grass every 1-4 weeks. When it’s time for a new shipment, you will receive an email that your new grass is on its way and your credit card will be charged. A few days later, you will receive your new grass at your front door. Simply throw away the old grass patch and replace it with the new one.
If you start receiving Fresh Patch for your puppy, like we did, you will likely want to get increasingly larger sizes as your dog grows. Updating your order to a larger size is easy, and the website guides you through which size is right for your dog.
On your control center, you can also pause, reschedule, or cancel the service. There’s no long term commitment. You are in complete control the whole time.
How is The Customer Service?
The Fresh Patch customer experience is excellent. They are available by phone or email, and they are quick to solve problems.
In one instance, I received a damaged piece of grass. It wasn’t kept flat in transport and was dying quickly. When I reached out to Fresh Patch, they were apologetic and sent me a new one right away, free of charge.
In a different instance, I was trying to schedule around a multi-week vacation. This is typically something I could do in my control panel, but because my credit card had also expired, I needed some help. I told them when we would be returning, and they quickly adjusted our shipment schedule to accommodate.
The customer service is there not only to help you, but also to help your dog! While most dogs take quickly and easily to the grass, if you have trouble with training your dog to use it, they can help. Their website offers tips to help train your dog, and they are available by phone or email if you have specific issues.
What Do I Need?
Fresh Patch will provide most of what you need – namely, the grass. However, you do need a place to put it. Make sure you have a big enough space either in your home or outside to place your grass.
You will also need a place to dispose of the old patches. Most likely, you have a dumpster or large trash can accessible to you, but make sure to think it through before placing your order. You don’t want to end up with soiled grass that you can’t dispose of.
Does It Look Okay?
While fresh grass is naturally appealing, there a few different ways to dress up your cardboard box. Pictured is a DIY wooden box frame to hide the majority of the cardboard. Fresh Patch also offers these to purchase in a variety of styles.
Fresh grass naturally looks better than options like pee-pads, but if making sure it always looks good is important to you, here are some actions you can take.
Make or Buy a Box Frame
For the majority of sizes, the grass is delivered in a cardboard box. While this is convenient, it’s not necessarily attractive. Fresh Patch offers a collection of wooden frames to help your grass match your home. Alternatively, you can make your own with a quick trip to the hardware store, like we did.
Get Your Grass More Often
The more often you have your grass delivered, the lovelier it will look. As your dog uses the grass, it will gain brown spots. If you want grass that looks constantly fresh and alive, increase your frequency of delivery.
Mist Your Grass
While you shouldn’t water your grass, you can mist it. Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the grass periodically. Doing so will prolong the life of the grass and keep it looking fresher longer without the added cost of increasing your delivery frequency.
The Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?
The bottom line about Fresh Patch is that you are not paying for grass, you are paying for the convenience. You could go weekly to a garden store and buy inexpensive grass, or you could walk your dog outside to find grass for free. Grass is not the issue here.
The question you need to answer is, “How much is this convenience worth to me and my dog?”.
For us, it was worth it. We were glad to have a safe place that our puppy could use, and as he got older, we were thankful that his still-developing joints didn’t need to brave the stairs each he had to go to the bathroom. Now, we’re thankful that in early mornings and late nights, he can go on our porch, and we don’t need to walk him out to the street in our pajamas. I’ve been satisfied with the products and customer service from Fresh Patch, and as a result, we plan to continue using them.
Whether the convenience is worth it to you is a question only you can answer.
Fresh Patch delivery box.
If you end up using Fresh Patch, comment and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear from you!