Should I Actually Use A Pee Pad To House Train My Dog?

A trainer gives it to you straight.

puppy pee pads

House training your puppy can seem pretty intimidating, especially since you really want to get it right.

Otherwise, your home will turn into your dog’s own personal bathroom, and no one wants that.

Pee pads might seem like an effective tool to teach your pup that she has to do her business in a specific spot.

But The Dodo spoke with Iris Ulbrich, a behavior consultant and trainer with Tully’s Training in Los Angeles, who explained why using pee pads might not be the best move long-term, even though it seems like a convenient one.

What are pee pads?

A pee pad is essentially a piece of absorbent material (usually square-shaped) that’s used for house training by teaching pups that the pad is their designated indoor bathroom area.

“Pee pads are used for potty training puppies that have not been fully vaccinated,” Ulbrich told The Dodo, “or if the owner has to leave the home for a longer duration than the puppy can physically hold its pee.”

According to Ulbrich, pee pads are fine to use as a temporary tool, but only if you absolutely need them.

And they’re definitely not recommended as a long-term solution.

“Pee pads are a convenience tool and, in my experience, every owner I aided in potty training their dog managed to not need the pee pads within a week of training,” Ulbrich said.

The problem with pee pads

A big issue with using pee pads is that they can backfire and end up teaching your dog to pee on things inside your home.

“Unless really necessary, I do not recommend pee pads, as a lot of dogs who are exposed to them for too long tend to start peeing on rugs [of] similar size, carpets, pillows or even couches,” Ulbrich explained.

And even if your pup only goes on her pad, it’s not always guaranteed to keep your floor pee-free.

“Dogs struggle to perfectly aim for the pee pads ... and with age produce a volume of urine that is not appropriate for pee pads any longer,” Ulbrich said.

Alternatives for pee pads

It may seem obvious, but the best alternative to using pee pads is to train your dog to do her business outside.

“It is relatively easy to transition a puppy from a pee pad to eliminating outside,” Ulbrich said. “It is also possible to train a dog [to go to the bathroom in] a designated outside area the owner would prefer the dog to consider [a] pee spot.”

Plus, ditching those pee pads helps the planet — and your wallet.

“From a financial and environmental point, pee pads are also not sustainable.”

But if you feel like you really need some sort of pee pad in your home, Ulbrich recommends grass pads instead of floor mats, but only for small dogs.

Try this faux grass pad from Chewy for $69.95

There are pads made of actual grass too, but be careful if you decide to buy one because it could get super messy and even bring some bugs into the house (it is grass, after all).

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