Being a dog owner means at some point you’re going to have to clean up your dog’s messes. It’s the one part of being a dog owner that we all hate, especially, for puppy owners. However, puppy pads offer a way to make these experiences less gross by giving your dog a place to relieve him or herself in your house. After all, all you have to do is change the pads once in a while. Unfortunately, puppy pads don’t come without their share of problems, therefore, this article’s going to go over both the advantages and disadvantages of using puppy pads, while, providing a step by step training method to show you how to potty train a puppy/dog using them.
What is a Puppy Pad?
A puppy pad’s a rectangular or square shaped pad that’s used to absorb your dog’s messes. Usually, they’re made out of blue gauze that is meant to be face down. In addition, some puppy pads have adhesive tabs to help them stick to the floor, in order to, keep your floors from being ruined. Along with the tabs, some puppy pads have an odor eliminator to make sure the awful smell doesn’t spread through your home.
Now, that we established what a puppy pad is, it’s time to look at its advantages and disadvantages.
- Puppy pads are comfortable for your dog; the padding on puppy pads’ feels a lot better than the rocks and bushes outside.
- As mentioned before, puppy pads make cleaning up after your dog a lot easier; puppies can’t always hold it for as long as you need them to and will relieve themselves inside your home. Therefore, puppy training pads are a good alternative to have.
- They’re convenient for potty training because they can be used as a first step before completely housetraining them.
- If your dog has a health issue that makes them unable to go outside, puppy pads are a good solution to have.
- Some puppy pads contain an odor eliminator to stop the smell of urine from spreading throughout your home. After all, they’re not a lot of things worse than the smell of urine stinking up your house.
- Puppy training pads are cheap and can last a long time; basically, you won’t have to continuously buy them.
- They will also help save your floors and carpets from the damage urine would cause them.
- They’re a lifesaver for smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas, who have small bladders and can’t hold it very long.
- If you do train your dog to use puppy pads as a puppy, it will be difficult to wean them off; therefore, it will be difficult to fully housetrain them.
- Puppy pads can be a crutch for your dog and can become their main source of relieving themselves; it’s important to use these puppy pads for emergency use only.
- Your dog might mistake other pad like objects such as floor mats or a bathroom rug as puppy pads. After all, you don’t want to find your yoga mat’s been soiled right before you start doing yoga.
- It may make you a lazy owner because now you won’t need to take your dog outside as often. However, dog’s need interaction and exercise outside; it’s essential to keeping your pup happy.
- Your pup might find it more fun to chew the puppy pad rather than using for its intended purpose.
- Unfortunately, puppy training pads adds another step to the housetraining process.
If you find yourself believing that the benefits of puppy pads outweigh the negatives, it’s time to teach your pup how to use them in a simple and an effective way.
How To Potty Train a Puppy Using Puppy Pads
Before starting training, they’re a few things you’ll need:
- Puppy pads (obviously)
- A dog leash, maybe, a Leatherberg one.
- And, most importantly, patience.
It’s important to understand your dog’s not going to immediately grasp what you want them to do on the puppy pads. It’s going to require patience and time to fully train your dog to use these puppy training pads effectively.
Step 1: Watch Your Dog
Keep your eyes on your dog while you play and interact with them. This will allow you to know when your dog’s about to relieve themselves. After all, you don’t want any accidents before you even get started with the training.
Step 2: Allow Your Dog to Get Familiar with Puppy Pad
After a couple of minutes of play, put your dog’s leash on them and walk them over to the puppy pad area. You should repeat this action every couple minutes to reinforce that this is where they're supposed to relieve themselves.
Step 3: Establish a Command Word
After walking your dog over to puppy pad, say a word like “Bathroom” or “Potty”. It will help them connect the puppy pad with going to the bathroom. It’s key to keep the command word consistent, so, your dog doesn’t get confused.
Step 4: Divert
Once on the puppy pad, it’s important to keep them there for only a few minutes: you don’t want to force them to relieve themselves out of fear, this isn’t training but rather abuse. If your dog doesn’t go to the bathroom, make sure not to let them play to enforce that they need to relieve themselves on the pad.
Step 5: Return to Your Dog’s Play Area
Use the leash to walk your dog back to the place where you engage in play. The act of not playing or engaging with them in this area should enforce the idea there’s something special about the puppy pad.
Step 6: Repeat Step 1-5 Until They Go
As with all dog training, sticking to a routine’s key to fully training a dog to do anything. Also, it’s important to know that once your dog does go to the bathroom, it will need to go again for every hour they’re old until they’re 8 months old. For instance, a 3-month-old dog should be able to hold their bladder for three hours.
Step 7: Give them a Treat
Rewarding your dog when they successfully relieve themselves on the puppy pad is imperative to reinforce this behavior. It will give them positive reinforcement and encourage them to keep using the pad.
Step 8: Use Your Dog’s Accidents to Help
Unfortunately, your dog will have accidents during the puppy pad training process: it’s inevitable. However, you can use this to your advantage by catching them and placing them on the puppy pad; it will help them understand that the puppy pad is the right place to relieve their selves. Remember, to use your command word and give them a treat if they’re successful.
Now, that you know all the facts about Puppy Pads…
It’s up to you to decide if you think using puppy pads is worth the time and patience.