How To Potty Train A Puppy On Pads? Everything You Need To Know

Puppy potty training pads (also known as puppy pads or pee pads) are large, square, or rectangle sheets that absorb the urine. These are used to train the dogs to pee on them instead of the floor and the furniture. 

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Should you use puppy pads to potty train your puppies?

It is usually not recommended to potty train the puppies on pads because of their similarity with the carpets and rugs and unavailability of them when you’ll go outside, but sometimes using pee pads becomes an only option.

When to use puppy pee pads to potty train them?

There are certain situations when using puppy pads becomes an only option, like

  • When you live in an apartment and your puppy can’t go outside to relieve himself. 
  • When no one is available to constantly look after the needs of the puppy.
  • When the dog has arthritis or any other medical condition and you don’t want him to run a lot.

In these situations, these pads become inevitable.

So we’ve put up this article to help you with this. Make sure to read through the end.

Supplies you’ll need to potty train a puppy on pads:

You’ll need these things

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Read more: How do puppy pads work?

How to choose a puppy pad?

The idea behind the puppy pads is to provide a bathroom space to your puppy without messing up with your house. So when you’re choosing the pad, make sure to choose one that is highly absorbent and large enough for your dog. It should be easy to clean too.

Many people use newspapers or paper towels for this purpose. Although they are inexpensive, they are not easy to clean. Also, there is no size option too.

Store-bought pads are great for toilet training puppies indoors.

How to potty train a puppy on pads?

If you have chosen to potty train your puppy through pads, the first thing you should do is “stop reading the articles that are against the usage of pads.” 

Even though we are also not in favor of pads. But when the need to use them becomes inevitable, what could we do!

So stop reading those articles that make you double-minded. Now that, you have made the decision, you should be learning “how to potty train a puppy on pads” instead of “why potty training a puppy on pads is wrong”.

So here is the whole process you’ll need to follow to train your darling pupp.

1- Take some days off

Potty training a puppy is exhausting, you will be spending hours and hours with your puppy, keeping a spy eye on him, understanding his cues, and training him to follow the rules.

We recommend starting at the weekend, so you already have 2 days off. Take leave for 2-3  more days to have more time with the pupp.

2-  Stock some treats in your pocket

Treat! Treat! Treat! That’s what you are going to need to follow positive reinforcement.

Buy your pack of treats and stock them in your pocket.

Dogs need an instant reaction because they are masters in forgetting. So keeping the treat in your pocket will save your runs and you will be able to treat your dog instantly (means in less than 1.5 seconds) after they have done the deed in the right way.

3- Fix a spot

When your puppy is not fully potty trained, you must not make the mistake of providing them with the freedom of roaming around the house.

(We assume that you’ve read our article about top puppy potty training mistakes, if you haven’t, it’s better to read them so you could avoid making simple mistakes and speed up the process.)

Your puppy must be spending time in only a fixed area of your house. You have to fix a potty spot for them that is just within their range.

When a potty spot is near to them, they are more likely to follow the rules.

Also, make sure that the puppy and the potty spot are within your range too. And you must have a leash for your puppy.

4- Use a playpen

Do you have a playpen for your puppy? If not, go get it now.

Puppies are highly distracted creatures. Using a playpen is a great way to keep them within the range of the pee pads when they are doing the deed. They will not be able to run anywhere. You can just close the door of the playpen to keep them inside. Also, you can save your floor from being ruined out of the urine. 

5- Use more number of pee pads at first

First, use more pee pads. Place them side by side to make a large square. Place the playpen around the square.

Make sure that the pads are a few inches outside the playpen, so the mess couldn’t reach the floor. 

Using more pads will allow the puppy to choose his spot.

6- Follow their cues or routine:

The rest of the process of training will remain the same. Make sure you have read the article about how to potty train a puppy (step by step).

As a brief explanation, take your puppy to the potty pads first thing in the morning, right before bed, after playtime, and after meals. 

Understand your puppy’s cues, when he will need to go potty. Take him to the potty pad when he shows the cues.

7- Slowly start reducing the number of pads

Your puppy is more likely to fix a spot on the pads. When you know it. Slowly start to reduce the number of pads placed on the floor. Eventually use only one large pad as per the size of your puppy, when your puppy is partially trained.

You can remove the playpen too if you think that he is not going to run away. But make sure to have a leash, because they are easily distracted. Remember?

8- Slowly move the pee pad to the spot where you want them to relieve

When you think that the puppy is almost trained to go potty on the pad or he can hold the bladder for some time, you can move the pad to the area where you want them to go.

But it takes some time. They may take weeks or even months to fully understand that they need to go potty.

Here’s how long it takes to potty train a puppy. Read that too! It’s helpful

So now you must be aware of what to do. Here are a few more answers to commonly asked questions:

Q1- How often should I change the puppy pee pads?

It depends upon so many factors.

“On average you should change the puppy’s pee pads after 1-3 uses, or when your puppy poops on it.” pee pads are made up to absorb the urine but not the poop. 

Read more: How to pick up dog poop without touching it?

Other factors determine the answer to this question

  • Size of the puppy and the quantity of the urine.
  • Absorbency power of the pee pad.
  • If the pee has a terrible smell.
  • Your budget (if you can afford to change the pee pads with every use).
  • The dogs personality and patterns.

Q2- Should I place a puppy pad in the crate at night?

NOT AT ALL! Why are you even asking this? (if you are asking this)

Placing a pee pad in the crate at night means you are pushing your puppy to relieve himself in the crate.

(puppy peeing in the crate at night, what to do?)

It develops bad habits and the time is taken to potty training your puppy will become longer. So, don’t make this mistake.

Q3- What to do if the puppy starts to chew the pad?

Huff! These puppies! 

Well, what can we do! It’s their nature to start to chew everything, that’s why we have sprays to use to stop a puppy from chewing everything.

When your puppy starts to chew the pad, Do Not Yell or try to snatch it. It will give them a sense that you are playing with them. You should just hold the pad firmly, look them straight into their eyes with no expression. When the puppy leaves the pad, smile and praise them “good boy”. If you will make the mistake of making them think that you are playing, be prepared to encounter more chewing sessions. 

Q4- How to train the dog to poop on the pad?

Unlike toddlers, puppies will not try to hold their poop when you are potty training them. So when you are training them to pee on the pad, they are likely to poop there too.

Still, if you think that he is holding the poo, it’s better to rule out constipation. 

Better to see a vet.

Read More: How to pick up dog poop without touching it?

Q5- Why won’t my puppy pee on the pad?

Because he doesn’t understand that the pee pad is a “pee pad”. Make sure you are following the procedure properly and not making any mistakes.

Read this article thoroughly to know what you are supposed to do step by step.

You can use a potty training attractant spray too. (Read more about potty training sprays here).

Q6- How to stop the puppy from peeing on the carpet?

It’s a usual side-effect of trying to potty train a puppy on pads. Puppies mix up between carpets and pee pads because of the same feeling of softness.

You can use puppy repellent spray on the carpet to keep your puppy away from the carpet.

You can make this spray at home too. (Get more information here)

(Here’s how to clean the pet mess from the carpet and find out the best enzyme cleaner for carpet here)

Q7- Do puppy pads hinder potty training?

Yes, it can. But if you’ve appropriately trained them, it can actually become useful in potty training.

Consistency and persistence! These are the keys. The process should be gradual and slow. 

How to potty train a puppy to go outside when they are used to potty pads?

Easy! If you are consistent, you can do this easily.

When your puppy becomes used to peeing on the pad, slowly move the pad towards the door from where you want him to go outside. 

Then the training starts again, don’t worry, it shouldn’t be as exhausting as it was the first time.

Take your puppy outside when it’s time to go potty and when your puppy shows the cues.

Your puppy will eventually become trained to go potty on the grass/outside.

You can place the pee pad on a grass pee pad and slowly remove the upper pad, the soft one. 

~Buy your artificial grass pee pads on Amazon.

Read our guide to get a dog to pee in a new place.

Pros and cons of potty training a puppy on pads

It’s helpful when you live in an apartment.
It can develop bad habits to pee and poo in the house.
Helpful when the weather is extreme.Pee pads are not great for the environment.
No one needs to be always there to take him outside.
The puppy is likely to be confused between choosing the pee pads or carpets.

Somehow if you do the training the right way, you can successfully train him. 

Is there any alternative to puppy pee pads?

Yes, If you are going to choose puppy pee pads to potty train them, there is another better option that is artificial grass pads. 

They are almost like pee pads but made up of artificial grass and come with changing pads.

You can use one pad a few times and then change it. 

There is also a tray that sits under the pad which makes it easier to clean up.

Sr. noSuppliesBuy on Amazon
1.Puppy padsShop Now
2.CrateShop Now
3.PlaypenShop Now
4.LeashShop Now
5.Poop BagsShop Now
6.Enzyme CleanerShop Now
7.Spare ClothingShop Now
8.TreatsShop Now


How to potty train a puppy on pads?

“If you are going to potty train your puppy on pads, initially use 3-4 pads placed side by side to make the area wider and cover it with a playpen. When your puppy becomes familiar with the potty spot and chooses one area to relieve himself, slowly reduce the number of pads and then slowly move the pad to the place where you want him to go. Later on, you can train him to go outside too.”

Read our complete guide to potty train a puppy- step-by-step

Best Enzyme Cleaner For Dog Urine – (Considering Surface Type)

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