Puppy Pads for house training – Useful or not?

I have known people who have always used puppy pads for house training and, in theory, they seem like a good idea – the puppy urinates on the absorbent pad rather than your best rug.  Seems like an ideal solution when you have a young puppy in the house, right?  But what are the drawbacks, if any? – Holidays4Dogs looks into the subject of using ‘wee wee’ pads when housetraining puppies.

There are always pro’s and con’s to everything and puppy training pads are no exception.  On the one hand, they do have the potential to save carpets and soft furnishings from being soiled, but conversely, they do create confusion for the puppy when it comes to teaching them to be reliably clean in the home.

It’s not uncommon to hear that people who use puppy training pads find it frustrating when the pup is taken outside to do his business – which he is reluctant to do – and then uses the toilet pads as soon as he goes back into the house.  At other times, the puppy may still urinate on rugs, carpets, bath mats etc because to him, they are no different to the piddle pads.

While puppy training pads might be useful in the very short term, such as when you need to go out or overnight; the main issue is that they create confusion in the dog’s mind, so he just does not understand where he is supposed to go to the toilet.  Once the puppy is predominantly using the puppy pads, but then is ‘told off’ for using them when the owner wants him to learn to go outside, the puppy becomes even more confused.  It may also be possible that the puppy may begin to ‘hold on’ for longer because he is afraid of the consequences of relieving himself; this is not good for his physical health as puppies usually need to go to the loo much more frequently.

Puppy training pads might be a suitable short term solution for a new puppy – (although newspaper is just as effective!). They could be useful for a dog that is ill, elderly, infirm or incontinent and is unable to get outside quick enough, or to indicate to his owner that he needs to relieve himself.

Essentially, however, if you rely too long on puppy pads, you are simply creating an unnecessary extra step when it comes to the ultimate goal of teaching your puppy to eliminate outdoors.

For healthy puppies, the alternative to using puppy pads is to create a regular schedule.  Feed your puppy at set times and take him out every time he has eaten, slept, or played – generally speaking, for very young puppies of a few weeks old, you are looking at every hour or so.

By all means use puppy training pads in the early days while both you and your puppy are building a routine. It is still imperative to keep taking your puppy outside at regular intervals.

It is a good idea to place them as near to your exit door as possible so that the puppy at least associates the training pad with the door to the outside.  The more you place around the house, the more confusion you will create – and another downside to potty training pads – lots of puppies will revel in ripping them into tiny pieces!  Have you had success with puppy training pads?  Have you never resorted to using them?  Holidays4Dogs would love to hear your stories.