Should You Use Puppy Pads?
The reviews on puppy pads are, at best, mixed.
Puppy pads, potty pads, fake grass…they’re all touted by pet supply stores as the “easiest” and “best” way to house train your puppy. But do they work? Some dog experts say they do more harm than good, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these popular training tools.
What Potty Pads Are Made to Do
In theory, puppy pads are supposed to be transitional. The goal of potty training your dog is to get her to go potty outside eventually. Puppy pads are used by well-meaning dog owners to bridge the gap between not being able to hold it all the way to the yard, but moving past going in the bed or crate. Their purpose is to train the dog to relieve herself on the puppy pad, then eventually transition to going outdoors.
What Are the Problems With Puppy Pads?
There are as many arguments against puppy pads as there are for them. A few of the most common complaints against the tools include:
They Can Confuse Puppies: Why add an additional step to the potty training process that will only confuse your dog in the long run?
They Create More Work: You still have to train your puppy to go on the puppy pad, so why create more work for yourself by having to train her twice?
They Can Get Messy: Dogs don’t necessarily understand the exact boundaries of a puppy pad. They potty around it, underneath it, next to it…what a mess to clean up!
They Can Make Owners Lazy: Knowing your dog has a puppy pad to fall back on can make dog owners stay out longer or skip walks more frequently, delaying long-term potty training.
Are there Any Good Reasons to Use Puppy Pads?
Although there are plenty of arguments against using potty pads, there are a few perfectly good reasons to consider them as a housetraining tool. If you don’t have a clean, safe space for your dog to regularly potty outside, pads might be a good idea! Particularly before your dog’s had all her vaccinations, keeping her indoors away from other dogs and diseases like Parvovirus can be a good idea.
If it’s completely necessary for you to be away for long hours, a puppy pad can provide you some relief from cleaning up carpet and hardwood messes. It’s always best if you can have a dog walker take your dog out at least once every 4-6 hours while she’s potty training, but pads can be helpful if that’s not possible.
And some dogs just aren’t able to effectively use the bathroom outdoors. Whether from old age, tiny size, or due to prolonged bad weather, puppy pads can be a safe haven for certain animals. They’re worth considering, too, if you have a difficult time getting up and outside quickly when your pet needs to go.
So, Should You Use Potty Pads?
In a nutshell: it depends on your situation. It’s always best to make potty training as simple and efficient as possible, and for some people, puppy pads only prolong the process. As with anything puppy-related, though, if it makes your life easier and doesn’t negatively impact your dog, go for it!
What’s your opinion on puppy pads. Bad news or lifesavers?
Talk to other DogVacay community members over on Facebook about your potty training experience. We’d love to hear from you!