Pet parents bringing home a new puppy also bring a lot of concerns with them. One of the major concerns is the disposal of puppy waste. In addition, puppies need more frequent potty breaks as compared to other pets. As a result, pet parents have to take them outside the house and becomes hectic.
In order to solve this problem, puppy potty pads are introduced. These pads are designed to give dogs potty training at home. But there are many concerns over the use of these pads. Are they good enough? How do they work? What are the pros and cons of using potty pads? Here’s the complete guide for pet parents to resolve these concerns.
Do Training Pads Really Work?
Yes, training pads do work. They are also called puppy pads, potty pads, pee pads, and wee-wee pads. They are made up of fabric with several layers of other materials inside. They absorb the urine and let the dogs defecate inside the home. Some are disposable, while some are washable.
Potty pads have many great features making them the best puppy pads ever. They are highly absorbent. They have a waterproof liner that won’t let the pee flow out of it.
They have activated carbon (also called activated charcoal) that helps in odor control, making the atmosphere clean and healthy. While the name of these pads has the word “puppy” in them, they are equally used for large dogs.
But there are many concerns as well. For instance, how to train the puppy to sit on it and actually use it? Can older dogs comfortably sit on a single pee pad? How to specify the pee pads from other rugs and mats in the house? Some dogs have seen chewing these pads; is it safe? What if they chew the used one?
Pros of Potty Training Pads
There are many benefits of using puppy pads, some of which are listed below:
Dogs Know Their Potty Spot
Dogs will probably confuse puppy pads with mats, but gradually they will learn what’s the purpose of these pads if you train them right. It will make the dog learn where his potty spot is, and whenever he needs to go to the bathroom, he will run to that spot.
If you want your dog to have successful potty training, it is advised not to change the place of puppy pads suddenly. Changing the spot might confuse them as they become accustomed to one place more.
Though this act is allowed during the training session, firstly, place the pee pads in the area where the dog likes to pee the most. Then, it will be easy to potty train him in that area. If the dog starts peeing elsewhere in the house, move the pee pads to that corner. But once the dog is fully trained, fix the potty area for him. Don’t switch between the places.
Easy to Use
It is quite convenient to use puppy pads. all you need to do is to open and lay them down on the floor. Unfortunately, the curious nature of the dogs won’t let them have the pad at a fixed spot, and they will drag them around the whole house.
For this purpose, use the pads with the adhesive tabs that fix the pad to the ground. As an alternative, you can also use the puppy pad holder. Open the plastic frame, insert the pad in between and close it.
If you have to move the puppy pad elsewhere in the house, use the holder as it’s easy to move. The adhesive tab tends to lose its adherence once it’s used.
You don’t have much to do in cleaning up the dog poop (only if the dog has been potty trained). Just carefully remove the adhesive tabs or the frame of the holder and pick all the four corners such that nothing spills on the ground.
Then, toss it in the trashcan. You don’t need to worry about the smell it will cause as they have a specific odor that overcomes the smell of the urine.
Though you will have to face accidents when the training process is continued. Dogs are not accustomed to the pads and end up peeing on the corner of the pad, spilling it all on the floor.
There are some temperature extremities that dogs cannot tolerate. For instance, very high temperature in Summer puts them at the risk of heatstroke. They also become prone to ear infections and skin injuries.
According to American Kennel Club, overheating in dogs is accompanied by excessive panting, extreme salivation, and red membranes. Severe conditions can result in dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures.
Another weather extremity is the temperature lowering than freezing point. Dogs become exposed to hypothermia or frostbite. Hypothermia can damage the brain, slow down the heart rate, and increase breathing.
Dogs can undergo depression with dilated pupils and paleness all over their bodies. Dogs can’t be out in rain too. When they are not dried completely after getting wet, they can get pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections.
You probably do not want your dog to suffer from any of the above-mentioned conditions. In such situations, it’s best to opt for puppy pads. Letting the dog have a potty break at home can save him from a lot of hazards.
If you are one of those pet owners living in an apartment that is on the fifth or the sixth floor, it would be difficult to get access to the ground or the grass. Taking the dog to the ground floor each time he feels an urge doesn’t seem a feasible idea.
The large dog might lose control over his sphincter muscles and urinate all over the building stairs or in the lift. How is a small dog supposed to control it all the way down? Thus, puppy pads work best for apartment dwellers providing maximum ease to the dog and the dog owner.
Helpful for Sick and Old Dogs
Old age can affect the motility of dogs. When getting any injury to the leg, Young dogs can have motility issues too. Besides these, there are certain diseases that make the dog have problems while walking or lose their walking ability completely.
The diseases include nervous disorders such as myositis, which cause the muscles to become weak due to inflammation or the destruction of the connection between nerves and skeletal muscles, as in myasthenia gravis. In addition, dogs can face issues of hip dysplasia or a fracture.
Arthritis is another common disease in dogs in which they lose the cartilage in their joints and become unable to walk. To help these dogs, puppy pads are the best.
Similarly, if your dog is not vaccinated for certain common diseases, it would be better not to take the dog outdoors. Not only he can get the disease, but if he gets infected, he can also infect the other dogs in the neighborhood. Give such dogs potty pad training at home to protect them as well as others.
Cons of Potty Training Pads
Are these benefits enough to start using puppy pads? Everything has got a positive and negative side too. It would be better to go through the disadvantages that you and your dog will have to suffer after using these pads.
These disadvantages might provoke you to reconsider your decision. Some of the disadvantages are as follows:
Dogs Assume Similar Things as Potty Pads
Potty pads look quite similar to the mats and rugs commonly used in the house. They only differ in size, shape, colors, and even stuff. But these differences mean nothing to the dogs.
They perceive all of them as pee pads. Accidents start happening at the home; for instance, you get out of the shower just to step in the dog poop again.
The reason behind this act is that when you potty train the dogs using puppy pads, the only thing that dogs have in their mind is that they are allowed to excrete their waste indoors.
After some training, dogs might get it that you only want to defecate on rectangular or square fabrics. The stuff of the fabric, its size, and shape don’t matter.
Dogs can even go potty on your essential documents or newspapers as they look similar – square and large enough to place the butt with all four paws.
There is one solution to control this habit. Use treats and rewards to train the canine for using puppy pads. Whenever the dog defecates on the training pad, feed him. If he defecates elsewhere, don’t give him any treat. Instead, interrupt the dog so that he should stop defecating there.
If you ever catch your puppy red-handed while he was busy doing business, give him a vocal marker – “Go to the bathroom” or “Go potty on the pad.” But these markers must be accompanied by a sign marker.
Point out the puppy pad with your finger so that he knows what you are talking about. Try this marker consistently, and the next time he runs towards the puppy pad, treat him with a snack.
Dogs Become Less Social
If you are an introvert or just have made up your mind to train the dog at house, he will have less or no interaction with other dogs and humans. Such dogs who are not much exposed to society and the crowds remain fearful. They get aggressive at times and show weird behavior.
They act like they have entered another world with strange creatures around whenever they are taken to markets, vet clinics, or other crowded places.
On the other hand, well-socialized dogs are happier and more confident. These dogs are capable of saving their lives in an emergency situation as they are not afraid of trying new adventures. Whereas the dog who is not much socialized will rely on the owner to save his life.
Other than the socialization training, dogs get the chance to socialize when the owners take them along on a morning walk or take the puppy outside for a potty break. If you start potty training at home, the dog gets even fewer chances for socialization.
Dogs Chew the Pads
It is the dog’s natural instinct to eat whatever is available to them. Potty pads are no exception to them. They can chew them too. However, ingesting potty pads is not safe for them. The uppermost layer is made up of fabric.
Fabric is not harmful, but the dog’s digestive system is not designed to digest it. Even a small piece can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal blockage. After the fabric come the harmful chemicals. They are not harmful until they are inside the pee pads, but their ingestion is harmful.
As these chemicals absorb the urine, they are capable of absorbing the water content from the dog’s body. It can result in severe dehydration. Similarly, the chemicals that cause the smell inside the scented pads are also hazardous when ingested.
After chemicals come to the plastic layer, whose purpose is to keep the pad leak-proof, dogs eating plastic can get severe gastrointestinal blockage as it’s indigestible.
Moreover, small sharp edges of the plastic sheet are formed during the chewing process. They are sharp enough to perforate the internal lining of the digestive tract. They can leave the lining bleeding with swelling at its peak.
As a result, dogs suffer abdominal pain and refuse to eat. If you suspect the dog has eaten some of the plastic because a part of it has vanished, it’s time to visit the vet as soon as possible.
Dogs Start Eating Their Poop
The worst act of the dog that can disgust any dog owner is the dog eating his own waste. According to American Kennel Club, the process is called coprophagia. It is a completely normal process for dogs and many other animals.
Unlike rabbits who eat their pellets to reingest the nutrition they excreted, dogs don’t depend on their feces to fulfill nutritional requirements. If one stops a rabbit from eating his poop, he can get severe health problems. Fortunately, that’s not the case for the dogs. One can stop the pooch from eating its poop, and he will be perfectly fit and healthy.
But how can one stop the dog from eating the poop when the potty area is right inside the house? That’s the reason potty pads are discouraged, as the sight of the poop encourages the dog to eat it. The best solution is to train the dog outside for taking potty breaks.
Dogs even tend to eat other dogs’ poop. If you have two or more dogs, you can observe them. If one dog has some sort of sickness, he can eliminate bacteria, viruses, or parasites in his feces.
However, if the other dog eats his poop, he will also acquire the same disease due to these microorganisms’ transmission. This is most commonly observed in females than in male dogs.
Veterinarians explain a lot of reasons behind coprophagy. Some dogs eat their feces when they are anxious or have some sort of depression. Some of them eat poop for getting attention.
Many dogs eat poop because of the diseases (such as diabetes) that increase appetite. Dogs might be suffering from malnutrition, and they prefer eating their poop. Fulfilling their nutritional requirements by adding supplements to their diet can help them avoid eating their feces.
Dogs Start Sleeping on Them
Dogs love sleeping on puppy pads. There are many reasons behind this. First, they are not very cushioned; hence feel comfortable for dogs.
As pee pads lay on the ground, their temperature is similar to that of the ground. Dogs love to sleep at this temperature and prefer pee pads over their hot beds. Another reason dogs sleep on pee pads instead of their beds might be that the pee pad is closer to you than their bed.
It happens mostly when the dog has strong bonding with you. You can stop a dog from sleeping on the pee pad by resolving these issues for him. Move his bed closer to yours. Keep the potty pads away from the sleeping area. Make sure the temperature of their bed is not too high, and they are comfortable in there.
One may ask, what’s the big deal for a dog to sleep on a pee pad? There’s no problem if the dog is sleeping on the clean pee pad. But if it’s used, the dog will completely smell like his urine, and that’s hard to tolerate.
You might have to bathe him. In order to stop the dog from sleeping on the used pee pads, one should give them training not to sleep on clean pads either. Dogs must learn manners and differentiate between the purpose of their things.
Dogs Start Shedding on Them
Many dogs use puppy pads for shedding their hair. Shedding is a normal process through which the dogs lose their damaged old hair to make space for the new strong coats to grow. In winters, they let the coat grow thicker, and in spring, they shed their hair so that the body temperature won’t rise more than the tolerable range.
Though shedding is normal in dogs pee pad is not the right spot for this purpose. It’s not like shedding on pee pads is going to obstruct the urination, but it’s contrary to manners. Dogs should know the purpose of their things.
Puppy Pads Will Make the Dogs Lazy
Once you start potty training at home, your dog will think he is allowed to poop at home – anywhere. At first, he will not know that you are training him to poop at the puppy pads and not in the entire house. Besides facing a lot of accidents, the dog can become lazy.
He has nowhere to go and has no one to socialize with. All he has to do is sleep, eat, and poop at the same place. This lethargy can lead to obesity if you include no physical activities at all.
In the U.S. currently, 56% of the dog population is obese. This number is assumed to increase if this behavior continued.
But if you play with your dog and engage him in physical activities and still become obese, he might be suffering from a medical condition. He either has heart disease or is not well mentally. Take a visit to a veterinarian.
Outdoor Potty Training Can’t Be Carried Out at the Same Time
Dogs don’t multitask. Their mind is not designed to focus on two or more things at a time. They will get confused about whether you want them to poop inside or outside the house. In this dilemma, they will end up mixing both the tasks giving no good results in both.
They will not learn how to sit on the puppy pad completely because their mind is wondering that last time my owner taught me to go outside, but now there’s this pee pad here; what should I do? Similarly, they will think twice before going outside because the puppy pad is right in front of their eyes.
It is just like training a dog to smell and detect things while wanting him to walk on a loose leash. This will never happen, right? He will be too focused on sniffing the ground that he will not mind at what speed he is going.
While some people say, wild dogs can multitask. They need to find food and dodge predators at the same time. We really need to focus on the word “wild” here. Both wild and pet animals have got different characteristics. Both of them have adapted themselves to different lifestyles.
So how can they be the same? In fact, wild dogs have to multitask all the time. Whatever they do, even if they go potty, they think about ways to escape predators. So they can never be compared to pet dogs and puppies.
Types of Dog Training Pads
There are the following main types of puppy pads commonly used by the owners:
One-time Use Pee Pads
One-time use puppy pads, also called disposable puppy pads tell a lot about themselves from their name. They can only be used once. It doesn’t mean you have to throw them each time dogs pee on them. If the dogs have peed on one side and the other is still dry and intact, let them use it.
After that, you can toss it in the dustbin. Some people consider them more clean and hygienic. As every time the dog is going to use the new pad hence no germs by any chance. They have a gel core that instantly converts the urine into the gel, imparting no smell.
They are easy to clean as you only need to pick up the pad and throw it in the trash can. They can save your washing time.
But the disposable puppy pads are made from a fabric that feels just like paper. Therefore, dogs can chew and shred them easily. Though picking up clean shreds is not a problem but picking up the shreds soaked in pee is no less than a challenge.
Moreover, disposable pads can cost you more than you think. Each pack costs between $15 to $20. If you are going to use these pads regularly, a mere $20 can be a burden on your finances.
Moreover, disposable pads are not made from recycled materials and hence are not environmentally friendly. Besides the finances, you are also increasing the burden on the landfills on regular basis.
Washable Pee Pads
As the name refers, washable pee pads can be washed after the dogs have used them. If they potty on the pad, just pick it up with toilet paper and flush it, and make the pad useable instantly for the second round. If dogs pee on it, no need to change them immediately.
They are highly absorbent and dry out at a great speed. You can change the pads once a day. Though some sensitive owners like to change them twice. As you don’t have to buy them regularly, they turn out to be cost-effective. You only need to buy the new ones when the old ones get damaged.
But given the material of these pads, they are quite durable and long-lasting. They can last up to 300 washes; doesn’t it make them better than buying 300 disposable pads? Moreover, they are not easy to chew on.
But there are certain things that you really need to take care of while washing these pee pads. Using fabric softener is a big NO for these pads. The material will not remain how it was supposed to be. The pad can lose many of its properties. It will not be sturdy and can leak.
Some owners who are very conscious about cleanliness are worried if the pads really get cleaned. Does the urine get removed after washing?
To ensure that the puppy pads are completely cleaned, wash them in hot water. Hot water can clean the pad and kill the microorganisms, thus sanitizing the pad. One can’t hand wash the pad with hot water, so definitely, the pads are going in the washing machine.
Doesn’t the washing machine get dirty? Can one wash his clothes in the machine again? Definitely yes, the hot water won’t let any germs or pee remain in the washing machine. So, it’s completely safe and hygienic.
Grass Pee Pads
Like other types of puppy pads, you have exactly guessed the right thing from the name of the grass pee pads. They are made out of grass that is sometimes artificial and sometimes it’s real grass.
Don’t worry there is no mud, and the grass is attached to a sheet. So there is no reason to worry about the dogs printing their paws, filled with mud, all over the house floor. There’s no mud; there’s no risk of getting diseases like blastomycosis or melioidosis.
Real grass pee pads feel like a natural potty spot for the dogs as they are used to going potty in backyards. They are eco-friendly. But they have got a downside too. Natural grass dries out after some time, leaving it inefficient for further use. You have to replace them after some time so they will be expensive.
Moreover, dried grass affects the aesthetic touch of the home. On the other hand, fake grass lasts longer than natural ones, and you don’t need to replace them after a short time. But they are not eco-friendly. Moreover, they smell different than the natural grass, and most dogs don’t like it. So they often end up using the floor instead of the grass pee pads.
You don’t have to buy grass pee pads or literally any pee pad if you have a backyard. Furthermore, you can’t switch between the in-home potty training and the outside potty training as it gives mixed signals to dogs, and they end up learning none of them.
In the same manner, don’t switch between regular pee pads and grass pee pads. If you have a large dog, use multiple grass pads. Ideally, the length of the grass patch must be enough for the dog to walk with all its four paws.
Some concerns arise regarding cleaning the grass pee pads, so this aspect should be discussed no matter what. Large trays are available to put the grass pads in them. They will collect the urine from the grass, which you can drain and dry for reuse. Grass also dries but can smell of urine.
To eliminate the odor, wash the grass regularly. Run fresh water through its blades and thoroughly from its bottom. If the smell is not tolerable, use soap. You can also use vinegar or other cleaners available at the stores for cleaning pet waste.
Some of them might contain chemicals, so make sure to run water through them again. While trying to make the fresh grass grow, don’t use any sort of fertilizers or pesticides. They are not safe for dogs and cause several health hazards.
Qualities of a Good Pee Pad
You are not just going to buy a pee pad without knowing its properties. It is not just any piece of fabric. There must be something inside that absorbs all the waste, won’t let it leak, and there’s something that dog sniffs from it. Maybe there’s something that attracts the dogs and encourages them to use the pads. So, let’s have a look:
Have Absorbent Core
If a pee pad is not absorbent, is it a pee pad? That’s a legitimate question. The first purpose of pee pads that comes to mind is that they will absorb all the pee and keep the floor clean. For this purpose, Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP,) also called slush powder,r is used for this purpose.
In accordance with its name, it can absorb a large amount of water, even more than its own weight (50 to 300 times more than its weight depending on the type of fluid).
Another amazing reason why puppy pee pads companies have selected this material is its characteristic of turning it into a gel on contact with water. The underlying layer of the pad is not porous enough to let the gel leak through these holes. So, the same material that absorbs all the urine in it also makes the pad leakproof.
Along with absorbency, the rate at which the surface of the training pad dries out also matters. No one would like the dog to wander around the home with a wet rear, so the pee must dry before the dog gets up. Or in other words, it should dry out as soon as it’s absorbed.
Have Plastic Liner
The absorbent material can sometimes get leaked. In order to protect the floor from the leaked pee, the last layer of the potty pad is made out of the plastic liner. It is made up of low-density polyethylene.
That’s a polymer; you must have heard of it. Polymers are made up of a number of molecules joined together, leaving no room for a liquid to flow between them. Though they are leakproof, they are weak. When inserted into the sheet, anything sharp can make the liner leak.
While most pads have been seen with 5 layers, the pads made by American Kennel Club have 6 layers in them. The more layers, the lesser the fear of leakage. If the dog is naughty enough to make holes in the pad without you noticing, a silicone pad holder would be a great idea. But in most cases, when dogs try to rip off the pad, you will know then and there. So, instead of reusing it, replace it.
Have Adhesive Tabs
A good puppy pad must have adhesive tabs on its sides. Their purpose is to hold the pad in its place. It is necessary because the curious nature of dogs stimulates them to analyze the pad by picking it up and moving it around.
If you are not keeping a check and the puppy has displaced the pad, he might end up pooping on the floor. In another worst-case scenario, suppose the puppy had already pooped on the puppy pad while trying to be a good boy, but here goes the good boy examining the pad and picking the one corner with its mouth and roaming in the home. Would you prefer cleaning the entire living room or attaching the pee pad to a place?
So, it is necessary to keep the pads in their place even in your absence. But, if you think the same as many other pet owners do, it is not a necessary feature of the pee pad, and one can just buy the pee pad holder.
Well, well, well, my friend, that doesn’t make the pad cost-effective as it is causing you to buy the pee pad holder along with the pack of pee pads. The best version should have an all-in-one feature. But if you already have the holder at home, then you can consider buying the pads without adhesive tabs because, in the end, the sole purpose is to keep the pads in one place.
Many male dog owners have been seen to be fond of these pee pads. They like hanging the pad with the wall. One tape on the wall and the other on the floor, making a 90 degrees angle at the junction of both. They say it makes the potty pad stand out from other mats in the house as they all lay flat.
Have a Bullseye or Similar Sign in the Center
The plain white pee pads have a downside: they don’t direct the dog where to sit and excrete. The new puppy (and sometimes trained puppies, too) just sits on the corner of the pad. When he is done with his business, one can easily see the pee flowing on the floor.
There are many pee pads available in the market that have a bullseye sign or other similar sign in the middle directing the dog towards it. It’s not like there’s a “sit here” tag in the middle, and the dog will read and put his butt with all four paws on it.
Instead, the sign will attract the dog; the curious being will go to check it out and will sit there automatically. It saves the floor from getting dirty and saves you from extra cleaning.
Why would a piece of several layers of cloth attract a dog to use it? For this purpose, manufacturers have smartly used scent in the wee-wee pads. Most of the time, the smell is that of grass or ammonia. Both are the things that attract dogs to pee. It is the exact reason why ammonia-based products are often prohibited to clean the floor if you have a dog at home. As the ammonia smell will attract hi, he, he can pee literally anywhere in the home.
Some pads have the smell of pheromones. It is a built-in attractant spray that, naturally, dogs produce to attract each other. Pee pads having pheromones in them attract dogs more than any other scent.
All the pee pads out there don’t have an odor. Some are plain with no smell at all. In this case, you need to make the attractant by yourself. Take a paper with some of the dog’s urine on it and place it over the pad. The smell of his own urine will send signals to his brain that this is the place to do business.
Are Puppy Pads Expensive?
Puppy potty pads are not that expensive. You can get one complete package with multiple pads inside at a price range of $20 to $60. A low price definitely means fewer qualities, whereas an expensive one can be better and safe for the puppy’s health.
To check the quality of the pads by yourself, you can drop some water and check how much is absorbed. Also, notice the time it takes to dry.
Well, there is no reason to check them by yourself; surf the internet for the best puppy potty training pads and will have the lists showing the pads with the most sales on Amazon. Then, you can check that list and buy the best one for your puppy.
Are Puppy Pads Recommended?
Some owners recommend puppy pee pads, while others advise staying away from them. Even in this article seeing the pros and cons together, you might be still confused about whether to buy pee pads or not. To put a long story short, they are an excellent choice for small puppies.
In fact, they were made for these small creatures and have the word puppy in their name. But as soon as the dog starts growing up, train him for pooping outside the home. It is way much better and safer for both you and the dog. Still, keep some pee pads in your approach as the weather can turn bad anytime. Secondly, you can use them for sick dogs.
Many dog owners have still got the mindset of training the puppy for everything. These owners have trained their puppies for pooping in the back yard, and the training went well.
So, if you are one of those pet owners who consider a puppy smarter than an adult dog, go for the training. Still, keep some pads at hand in case of any emergency.
Tips for Potty Pad Training
If you have decided to buy some potty pads for your dog and are thinking about training them, it would be great to go through the following tips. These are just like cautions and will help a lot with the training.
Choose the Potty Spot
Before starting with the potting training process, choose a specific spot. If your dog pees or poops around the house in a specific corner, use that corner as the potty spot. If not, then use the corner near the crate (if you are using any) or near the exit of the house.
Make sure it’s not a closed corner and is accessible to dogs. It would be difficult to search for the potty spot in an emergency. Instead, he would end up excreting on the floor. Make sure there are no other rugs or mats nearby, as the dog might confuse them with the potty pad.
Moreover, puppy pads should be placed over the tile floor so that even if the pad leaks or the dog excretes at the corner which spills on the floor, you can easily clean it up. It would be difficult to clean the carpet.
Specify the Potty Spot for the Dog
Turn the potty spot in a playpen or a crate. Make the walls from some plastic material. It would be better to use multiple pads as the base of the crate for large dogs, while one is enough for small dogs.
The reason behind specifying the area is that the potty pad will stand out from other mats and rugs, and whenever the dog feels the urge to go to the bathroom, he would know I have to go to the crate.
Moreover, helping the dog to go potty at the same spot will make him know the purpose of the potty pad. The dog will gradually learn and stop excreting on the floor.
If you have a hard time attracting the dog to the potty pad, buy the ones with attractant odor. You can also try putting a newspaper or any old cloth with some of the dog’s urine on it. It will attract them to their own scent.
Treat Them for Using Pee Pads
If the dog has learned where he has to go to the bathroom each time, it’s time to treat him. You must have seen that dog trainers always encourage positive reinforcement and thus advise feeding the dogs after completing each task.
The psychology behind this is the dog’s love for food. Just like humans do to their babies, they always say that they will buy them a beautiful toy or a tasty snack if they complete their homework.
Amazingly, it always works. The same goes for the dogs. They don’t need toys, but their love for food and treats is never-ending.
Feeding the dog encourages him more to obey the owner. Each time he excretes his waste on the potty pad, just hand-feed him his favorite snack. Though one can serve him in a bowl, hand-feeding makes the bond stronger and gives the vibes of trust and love.
You can opt for dry foods. If the dog loves the wet food more, use a spoon or glove. Don’t feed him before or after the excretion. Feed him during it. That’s the rule of training. It will make the dog understand what he is getting rewarded for. After several tries, he would be encouraged to use the potty spot to get the treat in the end.
Teach Them Not to Chew the Pads
Don’t scream if you see the dog chewing the pee pad, don’t scream. Screaming and yelling can scare the dogs. Experts say most dogs undergo depression when their owners scream at them for not obeying them. However, some dogs show the complete opposite by repeating the action again.
So the rule of thumb is never scream at dogs while training.
A brand new puppy might not know what is it, so just pat him and take the puppy pad out of his mouth. If he does not let the pad go, don’t force him. Be gentle and offer him a treat instead; it will work. Feeding him a treat will encourage him not to chew it again when he let go of the pad on the first try.
Puppy pads have a plastic liner that can upset the stomach if ingested. In addition, all the puppy pads have chemicals in them that act as absorbents.
They are safe to use inside the pee pads, but if a dog ingests any of these by mistake, the chemicals can absorb water from his body fluids, making him dehydrated. If he has ingested them for long hours, look for symptoms like; panting, dry nose, sunken eyes, sticky gums, loss of skin elasticity, and vomiting. These are signs of excessive dehydration in dogs. Take a visit to the vet as soon as possible.
Teach Them to Prefer Pee Pads Over the Floor
For this purpose, you can use your laundry room or any other confined space. Cover the entire floor with the pee pads and let the dog pee wherever he needs.
After a few days, take away one pad. It must expose a bit of the floor. If the dog pees on the pads, you are going right with the training, but that’s not a good sign if he pees on that exposed corner. Direct him towards the pad and reward him when he does so.
After a few more days, take away another pad—similarly, the passage of time takes away all the pads, except one. Your dog is now completely potty trained and knows that he has to use a single pad only.
Keep Them on a Leash When It’s Potty Time
Unlike humans, dogs’ metabolic system is fast, and they are capable of digesting their food way faster than humans. Humans digest their food within 24 or more hours, while dogs can do the same within 8 to 10 hours, which means they need frequent potty breaks.
If the dog ate his food a few hours ago, and you think it’s about the time for him to excrete, put a leash on him and tie him in the crate. It is for the small dogs who are still in the crate training process.
There is no need to tie an adult who uses his potty pad frequently. Tying the dog to the crate for successful potty training each time he feels the urge to defecate and treat him.
Keep a Check on Them
To avoid potty accidents at home, it would be better to keep an eye on the dog. If he shows signs of restlessness, take him to the potty area.
Even if does not defecate, keep checking on him so that he doesn’t poop on the floor instead of the pad. As soon as, he is done with the process, remove the pad from the pee pad holder and discard it. Pick up the waste before they even think of eating it. Replace it with a new one. Clean the dog if he has gotten some poop on him too.
If your dog has separation anxiety, showing up before him while he is popping might relax him.
What to Do if Dogs Have Excreted on the Floor?
Dogs pooping on the floor is normal. In house training, tackling the dog who defecates on the floor is also a concern. First of all, as said above, don’t scream at the dog. He is not a human to whom you can tell in words where to defecate so you have to be patient in the first few weeks of crate training.
Just pick up the dog and put him in the crate. He will gradually learn where he is supposed to go potty. If you catch him pooping on the floor, interrupt by saying a firm No. Dogs are not good at generalizing. When you potty train them indoors, they definitely take it as they are allowed to excrete their waste in the home.
But they don’t have made up their mind that they are only allowed to use the wee-wee pads and not the floor or any other mat they see. Let them take their time until they figure out what you are trying to teach them; meanwhile, continue the potty training.
Moreover, learning their potty signals will help a lot in house training. Some signs include restlessness, diverted attention, circling, sniffing the ground, whining, scratching at the door, and licking or sniffing his rear.
With the emergence of any of these signs, take the dog to the potty area. Don’t look for these signs in a puppy. They don’t have control over their muscles and need to defecate as soon as the urge arises. It is one of the things human babies and puppies have in common.
To discourage this act, don’t give the dog any treats. As said above, you have to treat a dog when he defecates on the potty pad, but in this case, do the opposite, so the dog realizes the owner will not give him any treat if he poops on the floor.
Furthermore, clean the floor as soon as possible because the fecal matter contains a lot of bacteria that are harmful to humans. Clean and sanitize your hands as well as the floor after cleaning it with detergent. If you skip this step and touch food or water, it gets contaminated, and you are susceptible to cramps, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal upsets.
Alternatives to Puppy Pee Pads
The one and the only alternative to a puppy pad is giving the dogs potty training outdoors. Dogs get a chance to socialize more. No extra cleaning, no smell, and no coprophagy. Before training the dogs to go outside to do their business, make sure they have been vaccinated so that they don’t bring any disease.
How to Potty Train Your Dog Outdoors?
If your dog has been trained for defecating inside the house, you need to follow the step-by-step guide to give them potty training outdoors. But before starting the training make sure the dog is completely used to the pee pads. Then you can opt following steps:
Move the Pee Pad Towards the Door
As the first step, you need to move the pad from its original position. Move it towards the main door. Move it slowly, day by day. Just move it over a tile or two so that the dog does not notice the change. Moving the pad over a great distance can confuse the dog.
Moreover, don’t move it daily. Just move a few inches after a few days. Then, slowly move it in front of the door of the house.
Remember, it would be a slow process; if dogs have been trained for something perfectly, they will take some time to learn the same thing in another method. Don’t assume the dog will start going outside on the first day of the training. Forcing the dog or using harmful reinforcement methods won’t make them learn fast; instead, they will lose their trust in you.
Move the Pee Pad Outside the Door
Move it outside the door after the dog gets accustomed to using the pee pad right in front of the door. By the word outside, it never means to be the road; rather, it’s towards the backyard. Yes, the pee pad is still necessary to be outside; eliminating the pee pad from the scene will make the dog wonder where is he supposed to pee?
So, moving the pee pad out of the house is the first day when the dog will start peeing in the open atmosphere. But it’s still not in the backyard or the grass. He is still lying on the floor outside the home.
Move the Pee Pad to the Backyard
Start moving the pee pad in the backyard where you want him to pee from in front of the door. Choose a particular spot and place the pee pad there.
Just like the first step, this step will take time too. Still, the pee pad is necessary as the dog has been accustomed to it. Make sure the dog is using the pee pad well, and there’s nothing around that spot that will hurt the dog.
While choosing the spot for this purpose, consider your dog’s age. If it’s a four-month-old puppy or younger, then choose a spot near the house. These dogs can’t hold on to their bladders for so long. Whereas, for larger dogs, you can choose whatever spot seems perfect for them.
Whenever the dog runs outside and does his business, give him treats, and don’t forget to say “Good boy” or “Good job.” He still needs the verification that he is doing well.
Remove the Pee Pad
After the dog has started using pee pads outdoors completely, it’s time to remove the pee pads. The dog must know that he is now supposed to pee outside on the grass.
At first, if the dog is confused with the removal of the pee pad, accompany him outside, take him to the same spot, and command him to do his business on the grass.
It is a bit of time taking process, but the dog will gradually learn to use the grass. All you need to do is motivate him that he has been doing everything right and needs to keep going.
Even after the dog has been completely potty trained outside the home, you must never get rid of the potty pads. Keep some of them as the weather can go bad anytime. The dog can get sick as well. In such emergencies, what would you do if you have gotten rid of all the potty pads from the home?
Dog training pads are quite good. There are three main types of pads. Firstly, disposable, and secondly, washable pads. Then comes those that are made to look like grass, creating a natural potty spot for dogs. Training pads have many advantages, like dogs getting to know where they need to go potty each time.
In addition, they will stop urinating over the entire house. Owners don’t feel any difficulty in using these pads. They just need to be unfolded and laid down on the floor. After the dogs are done using them, they can be picked up and thrown in the trash can.
They turn out to be very helpful when the weather is not fine, like excessive rain, snow, or a hot summer mid-day. Pet parents living in an apartment have no backyard or ground floor accessible; thus, they prefer pee pads. Moreover, sick and old dogs can use them conveniently.
But everything has got some disadvantages; pee pads are no exception. Dogs start assuming mats and newspapers as pee pads and start peeing on them.
Dogs get less chance to go outside and socialize less. Dogs chew the pee pads out of their curious nature. Sometimes, when the owner does not clean the pad immediately, they start eating their own poop.
Sometimes they consider them the bed, sleep over the pads, and wake up just to smell like their urine. Indoor potty training tends to make the dogs lazy.
After considering the pros and cons, many owners tend to use them. But some don’t consider them good options and prefer training the dog outdoors. So, whatever option you choose depends entirely on you.