Guide to Puppy Training Pads
Okay, so this is not the most pleasant topic for a blog post. But it is a very important one for new dog owners. Puppy house training! So, with much trepidation (and a little dreaming of being someplace else), today’s post will cover such wonders as:
- Pad training a puppy
- Transitioning from puppy pad training to outside
- The benefits of dog diapers
- How to put on a dog diaper
- And, just to be helpful, a few product recommendations for effective dog pee pads, female dog diapers and male dog diapers (yes – there is a difference – we’ll get to that soon!)
If you need to know more about house training your dog, read on. If you’ve stumbled upon this post by accident and don’t need to read 1000 words about dog pee – see you later!
How to Train a Puppy to Pee on Pad
Training a puppy to use a puppy pad can be an excellent solution if your dog lives inside and does not have free access to the outdoors, as a nighttime toileting measure or as a transition between indoor and outdoor toileting. The best way to pad train a puppy is actually very similar to the strategies many parents use to potty train a toddler (not so much in the command words but definitely in the no blame, no punishment sense!). Here are the essentials:
- Decide on a command word to use for when your dog needs to pee or poo – it should be clear and authoritative and can be as simple as “PAD” or “POTTY”. Dogs are more than capable of learning and understanding commands – just think, they understand “SIT” perfectly well.
- Set up one area (e.g the washhouse) which will be the designated pee spot. Ideally, it should be near, but not too close to the dog’s crate. Lay your pee pad in this area.
- It can also be a very good idea to restrict your puppy’s access to the house during the potty training stage – a dog play pen can be a very effective way to do this.
- Introduce your puppy to the pee pad by lifting him and putting him on it. Use your chosen command word clearly so that the pup associates the word with the pad. Return your pup to the pad at regular intervals and repeat the word.
- Next is the tricky, but crucial part: get puppy to pee on pad! You need to closely observe your pup and, when he looks like he needs to pee or poo, say the word firmly and return him to the pad. You’ll be surprised just how quickly he gets the idea. Praise him enthusiastically whenever he goes on the pad.
- It’s absolutely essential that you don’t blame or punish your pup for those inevitable little accidents. You don’t want him to be confused or anxious whenever he needs to go. Just keep showing him the correct behaviour and praising him when he gets it right.
- If at first your puppy wont pee on pad, patience, perseverance and a kind yet firm approach is key. Try restricting his area, returning him more frequently to the pad, or even adding a food reward for when he achieves the goal. As we know it’s impossible to watch 24/7 and you don’t really want pee everywhere, a dog diaper might be helpful. More on this below.
- The transition from using a puppy pad to going outdoors is simpler than you might think because the basic principles of how to train puppy to pee on pad and outside are the same. To transition, simply take the dog outside regularly and give your “potty” command – he’ll catch on. Because your pup has been used to using his pad, it is advisable to keep this available to him as well.
- Puppy pads have more than one use, too: a puppy pad in crate makes a great protective lining in case of nighttime accidents.
LIFE HACK ALERT: You can also use layers of newspaper for a DIY option but it is not always as absorbent and can get messy! If you go with this method, make sure you use lots and lots of layers!
Best Selling Puppy Training Pads
All-Absorb Training Pads,22-inch By 23-inch
These pads are the number one best seller on Amazon.com and have more than 3000 reviews and an average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. They are very absorbent and will hold up to three cups of liquid. They come in handy packs of 100 or 200 and can be shipped worldwide.
AmazonBasics Pet Training and Puppy Pads, Regular
This popular and basic puppy pad has close to 1500 reviews on amazon.com and has an average customer rating of 41 stars. It has the added benefit of a 1.5 inch border to protect from overflow. They come in packs of 50, 100 or 150 and can be shipped worldwide.
Top Dog 80 Pack Deluxe Puppy Pads and Dog Training Pad with Extra Quick-Dry Black Carbon Technology
This is a newer product to the market which uses black carbon technology to help house train your dog, liquid is turned instantly to gel, odors are eliminated and pheromone attraction helps your dog find the right place. After close to 500 customer reviews, it has an overall buyer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
How to Put a Diaper on a Dog (and Why Would You do it?)
A dog wearing a diaper sounds absolutely ridiculous when you first think about it. But they can actually be really useful for a number of different reasons:
- To support house training, particularly if you live in an apartment and your dog doesn’t have free access to the outdoors. As you read above, training puppy to use pee pad requires very close supervision and you can’t always be there.
- If you dog is aged or had surgery and is suffering from incontinence the diaper can provide extra security.
- When your female dog comes on heat.
So, without further ado (no pun intended!) , here’s a little guide to putting a diaper on a dog:
- There are three kinds of dog diaper – unisex, female and male dog diapers.
- The male one is a simple wrap which covers his penis and prevents leakage.
- Unisex and female dog diapers are much like the diapers babies wear.
- You can buy either disposable or washable dog diapers.
- The diapers are simple wrapped around your dog’s pelvis and then secured with built in stickies, velcro or buttons.
LIFE HACK ALERT: If you’re on a budget, your need is sudden and unexpected or you just love a challenge, it is possible to make a diy dog diaper. How to make a dog diaper is pretty simple – take something absorbent (a sanitary pad or baby diaper?) and secure it to your dog with soft cotton or a bandage. Personally, I think the DIY method is good as a stop gap, but you’ll have to spend money to get something absorbent enough anyway and I’m not convinced the DIY version would be as comfortable for the dog as one that’s purpose built.
Best Selling Disposable or Washable Dog Diapers
Luxury Reusable Dog Diapers (3-Pack) – Durable Dog Wraps for Male and Female Pets
These washable unisex diapers are absorbent, leak proof and comfortable for your dog to wear. They are available in sizes for extra small, small, medium and large dogs and even come with a two year warranty! After more than 500 reviews on Amazon.com, they have an overall customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Washable Dog Belly Bands (3pack) of Durable Male Dog Wraps
These washable diaper wraps are made specifically for male dogs. They are absorbent, comfortable and unobtrusive. These diapers are a number one new release on Amazon.com and, after their first 42 customer reviews, they have an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars with more than 80% of buyers giving them the full 5 stars.
Vet’s Best Comfort Fit Disposable Male Wrap, 12 count
These disposable male dog diaper wraps are a number one best seller on Amazon.com and have an average customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars after nearly 500 reviews. They are available in sizes for small, medium and large dogs and feature a wetness indicator so you’ll know when your dog needs changing.
Summary: The Basics of How to Puppy Pad Train a Puppy & Using Dog Diapers
If you take nothing else from this post, the most important thing is that you need to be patient, firm and consistent when you’re house training a puppy. Never punish your dog for accidents, but do praise him effusively when he gets it right.
Tools like puppy pads and dog diapers can be very helpful in the process but the key factor is the relationship you build with your dog.