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Wee it and weep
By Tibo, Tree-Hugger
Oct 2015

On average dogs go potty maybe four or five times a day, every day.  As an apartment dwelling dog owner in Hong Kong, you are most likely using wee pads.  After one week, the little furry guy has used more than 30 wee pads that head to the trash.  In a month, he’s used 120.  In a year, it becomes 1,440.  In a lifetime?  More than 17,000.

That’s only for ONE dog.  I don’t know the estimate for Hong Kong, but in America around 4 million puppies are born each year (coincidentally the same as the number of human babies).  It’s a lot of garbage (the wee pads, not the babies).  In America, we are now seeing a lot of innovative eco-friendly baby diapers that are reusable or biodegradable.  But what about for dogs?  Here are the options:

1. Reusable pads

These are pads that can be washed and used again.  Clearly an environmentally and wallet friendly choice, though it does require you to do some extra housework.  For those of you germ freaks with one washing machine in the house, this might seem a bit dirty though.

2. Pads made with recycled materials

I haven’t come across one that’s made with 100% recycled materials yet.  Most of them use around 70% recycled materials, which is still friendlier to the environment compared to normal wee pads.  They are more expensive than regular pee pads though.

3. Grass pads

No I’m not talking about the artificial grass ones.  This is a real, fresh grass patch, and thus 100% biodegradable.  It comes with a tray to contain it, or you can use your own tray.  Because the grass is hydroponically grown (i.e. in water only), there is no soil which means less mess.  You can replace the patch with a new one whenever you want (the suggested frequency is 1-4 weeks).  The smell and feel of real grass is a double edged sword though, in that it naturally attracts your dog to do his business, but he might also like digging into the patch!  This could be solved with some training though.

4.  Potty tray with grate

This is simply a tray on which your dog does his thing, and you wash it afterwards.  Won’t his paws get wet with pee though?  No, because the tray has a grate on top where the dog actually stands, and the pee goes through the grate onto the tray underneath.  It also comes with disposable biodegradable absorbent liners that you can use to line the tray with, for easier clean up.  Ah, why can’t I just use the biodegradable liner by itself, you may ask?  Well because there’s no layer of waterproof plastic which prevents the liquid from seeping through and wetting the floor.  The tray serves this purpose.

So does Hiccup Dog sell any of these eco-friendly wee things?  Not yet, we are still doing more research into what would be the best choice for our customers.  Let us know what you think!

Got some other question about the article?  Ask Tibo, our resident tree-hugger via blog@hiccupdog.hk.