August 15, 2022

Are puppy pads a good idea?

Puppy pads, a great tool for potty training your pup. They're absorbent, easy to clean, and provide a designated pee pad area for them to relieve themselves. I strongly recommended them.

However, there are also some downsides to using them so in this article I try to give a balanced view on potty pad training!

Are puppy pads a good idea

Puppy pads can be expensive, and if not used correctly, can actually delay the potty-training process. If you are considering using potty pads to help train your new family member, weigh the pros and cons before deciding.


- They are absorbent, making them easy to clean up. No fuss. no mess!

- They provide a designated area for your dog to relieve themselves, which can help with potty training.


- They can be expensive. Using old newspapers is a lot cheaper, but not as efficient.

- If not used correctly, pads can actually delay the potty-training process.

Here you'll find a longer more in-depth article about potty training puppies, written by a different author with a slightly different view.

How long should you use puppy pads?

So, how long should you use puppy pads? They pads can be a helpful tool during the potty-training process, but ultimately you will want to transition your pup to go to the bathroom outdoors as soon as possible.

The timeframe for making this transition will vary depending on your individual dog, but most dogs will be ready to make the switch no later than 6 months old.

If you start using pads, be sure to slowly phase them out as your dog becomes more reliable with going outside. Puppy pads are not meant to be a lifelong solution - eventually, your goal should be to have a pup that is fully potty trained and does not need the use them anymore.

Read here about the dangers of urine not being cleaned up effectively.

Should I use puppy pads at night?

When they are babies, it is fine to use them all the time, but the best way to start to get them off them as they grow, is to reduce their usage down during the daytime first of all.

Assuming you are home during the day train you can quickly take them outside as soon as they look like they are about to pee. (you’ll soon pick up on the signals)

However, keeping a pad for them to use during the night when you may be asleep and not able to catch them in the act!

I found the pads to be a great tool for potty training my pup, Bean. However, there are also some downsides to using puppy pads.

Puppy pads can be a helpful tool during the potty-training process, but ultimately you will want to transition your pup to using the bathroom outdoors.

Don’t worry so much if your puppy is a slow learner. He/she will get there in the end even if they need some additional training.

When to take puppy pads away?

As you pup grows their bladder size and control of it will naturally get better. You should know yourself when the time is right.

If you are feeling the pinch financially from buying pads you could try using a sheet of newspaper instead of pads. Newspaper isn’t as good absorbency wise but if you can use them only in the kitchen or any other con-carpeted floor its better than nothing.

Cheaper alternative to puppy pads.

My nan told me that “we didn’t have pads in my day” we used newspaper. She said that they used to start off putting loads down (6 or 7 sheets) covering a large floor area, so they couldn’t really miss.

She would then praise them heavily when they used the paper. As time went by she would put less and less down, making the area smaller and smaller, as the pup got used to it.

So eventually just one sheet of paper was enough.

My nan told be a funny story, that one of her dogs (she had loads over the years) when quite grown up was out with my nan for a walk in the park.

My nan was horrified when the dog ran over to a man lay on the grass and peed on his newspaper!

Positive reinforcement

Using potty pads to train a puppy not to make a mess until you take your puppy outside is certainly what I'd recommend. With my puppy Bean I was unable to have easy access to a door to the outside, so I would encourage him to use them.

Just talking to them and giving them encouragement, (and treats) quickly helps and you may want to consider intensive pad training if you are at home with your dog through the day.

I would play with him and try to keep him occupied with his favourite chew toys whenever I could. When you spend quality time with your new pup you can start to pick up on the signs when they are ready to pee. That means you can steer them to the appropriate place.

Summary: Are puppy pads a good idea?

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use them is up to you. If you decide to use them, remember they are only meant to be a temporary solution.

From a financial viewpoint the quicker you stop buying them the better.

Also you really don’t want a full-grown dog doing its business on your kitchen floor day and night!

Read my latest puppy articles here:

This is Beans Blog

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