We have a small dog. I got some artificial grass from a home store, cut it to the size of a upturned Rubbermaid lid and added a puppy pad. She knows her place and we have not had any problems for months on end.
Here she is, you can tell how she hates the boat life!
You can JUST see the edge of the pad on the left.
By the way, I cut 4 pieces of the grass. I put a plastic grommet in the corner of each. At the end of the day, I hang it overboard for the night, then it has 2 days to dry.
I have a lab/chow mix dog... she is my baby... I bought a 3ft wide by 12ft long section of astro turf from Menards... I cut it down to 3ft by 4ft sections and place it on the back of the boat next to the aft pulpit... I too put an eyelet in one corner and tied a rope to it about 6 ft long... the other end of the rope is tied off to the aft pulpit... when she messes on it, I can then drop it in the water and clean it off.... I have 3 section of this, and can rotate them or keep the others as backup incase something happens to the one she is using...
once I put it on the deck, she found she could use it regularly and not need to get my attention to take her out... she is a lot happier now... when we are docked, she wants to go for a walk and go on real grass... but she also like the attention other people give her on the walks too...
I have a large, long haired mutt. I try to take her ashore every morning and evening. If I can't, she'll give me about 24 hours before going on the deck. She usually pees along the rail, and when I find it, I get a bucket and rinse it off with sea water. She usually poops on the cabin roof. That gets picked up with a poop bag, and stored in a gallon zip lock bag on the aft rear deck until I can dispose of it properly. It usually comes up cleanly, but if not, the deck gets washed with sea water. Even in a zip lock bag, it will stink up any other container it is put in, and my holding tanks are too small to use up flushing dog stuff that has already been bagged, plus I'd still have to deal with the dirty bag.
It is no more legal to dump dog waste in the water than it is to dump holding tanks - you should be 3 miles off-shore before you do.
I've tried pads, but its easier to clean the deck than the pads.
When we go ashore in areas without trash facilities, the poop also gets picked up, taken back to the boat and put in the zip lock bag to await proper disposal.
Haley wears her life jacket whenever we're away from the dock. She protests, but likes going out, so she comes and gets it on after singing some sad songs. She's not much of a swimmer - likes to wade, but wants her feet on solid earth. She just looks kind of like a golden retriever, doesn't have their personality at all.
I have netting between the toe rail and upper lifeline from the bow to stern pulpits, but she does like it on the swim step under the dingy on hot days, especially at anchor or when bow in to a slip.
I also wear my life jacket, and ask all guests to wear theirs or stay in the cockpit of below.
First time I catch someone heading on deck without a life jacket, the rule becomes wear it or stay below.