It is common practice to use puppy pads to potty train your pet, but is this a good idea? We will explore why puppy pads may not be the best potty training solution and provide alternatives to effective potty training practices.
Rule of thumb: the number of hours your pup can go between potty breaks correlates with each month of age. For example; if your pup is 3 months old, he should be able to hold it for 3 hours +1 = 4 hrs. Obviously, there’s a cut-off point once the dog is older, and it varies by breed and size and age.
5 reasons why puppy pads are not great
- There are no shortcuts! You still have to train your pup to use the pad. It will take the same amount of time and commitment to teach your pup to pee outside as it does to teach him to wee on a pad. Eliminate the extra step and the stress and condition your pup to go outside from the get go.
- Dogs learn through environmental queues and their senses; if you train your dog to use a puppy pad inside he won’t understand that you really expect him to go outside. Instead of associating outside smells, trees, grass and dirt with the potty, your pup will learn to only associate the smells and objects inside your home with the act of going to the bathroom.
- Your pup can easily mistake your favorite rug, pillow or blanket for the pad; don’t risk ruining your favorite home accents for the sake of cutting corners.
- Training your pup on a pad will train owners to be gone for too long. Once your pup is pad trained it is common for owners to leave their pup for longer than they should. Pups should be taken out consistently and often in the first stages of potty training.
- Puppy pads can begin to replace walks. It’s easy to get lazy if your pup goes potty inside. Don’t avoid much needed exercise that your growing pup needs to maintain proper health.
5 alternatives to puppy pads
- Establish consistent feeding and walking schedule.
- Hire a dog walker if you cannot come home during the day.
- Install doggy door to an enclosed backyard.
- Enroll in doggy daycare – but don’t do this until your dog is fully crate-trained. Some facilities have the dogs “go potty” inside and clean it up. If they aren’t going outside regularly, they will just go anywhere at anytime – this defeating the purpose.