Training Small Dogs: Potty Training Success With Pee Pads
by Bethel Farms on Oct 25, 2022
Did you know that 38.4 percent of American households own a dog? Whether you have a small dog who has accidents around the house or you've adopted a new pet and need assistance with potty training, you can have success with pee pads.
Since 20% of female spayed dogs can suffer from incontinence, pee pads are an excellent way to protect your floors. Pee pads are also great if you work long hours or live in an apartment, where walking your pet can be challenging.
Although they're not as environmentally friendly as natural grass pads like Gotta Go Grass, they can be used as a short-term alternative.
Indoor pee pads of all kinds can offer great success when training small dogs, but you need to follow guidelines to help your dog achieve potty training goals. This article covers tips and tricks to aid in your pee pad training, so keep reading to learn more.
What Are Pee Pads?
Dog pee pads are pads that contain moisture-adsorbing materials. They're used to train dogs and puppies to prevent pee accidents around the house.
While pee pads are a great option for training a dog, they're not environmentally friendly and work best as a short-term solution. A more viable long-term solution would be a renewable source such as individual grass pads like Gotta Go Grass.
Pee pads are similar to baby diapers in that they consist of sponge-like layers. Theor waterproof outer layer prevents liquids from seeping through to your floor or carpet. Sometimes the interior ingredients can be chemical absorbents, so if your dog chews, you may not want to use these.
Pee pads help train puppies and small dogs to pee in designated indoor spaces but are also great for older dogs who can't hold their urine all day or for dogs with incontinence issues.
They typically consist of gauze or an absorbent cotton material placed over a waterproof plastic film. These pads vary in size and absorbency depending on your pet's specific needs. Some include adhesive tabs to help them stick to your floor.
They may also come in square or triangular shapes to accommodate a variety of spaces. Pee pads are also great for travel, especially if your pet can't hold their urine for extended periods of time.
Pee Pad Training In Your Home
If you're looking to get a small dog or puppy to use pee pads inside your home, follow the following steps. Remember to be consistent throughout the training process.
Step 1: Harness and Leash
Begin by putting your puppy or small dog in its collar and harness and connect its leash, as if you were going for a walk. If you sense your pup has the urge to pee, direct them to the pee pad. You can also lift your small dog and place them on the pee pad.
If you've ever trained a cat to use a litter box, this is a similar exercise.
Step 2: Reward
Once your pet uses the pee pad, be sure to praise them and reward them. You want to use key phrases time and time again so they connect the praise to using the pee pad. Keywords include bathroom, potty, and pee.
Find a treat your pet enjoys and reserve that special treat for when they use the pee pad. Keep a bag of treats handy to give to your pet as soon as they use the pee pad. This will help to build positive reinforcement.
Step 3: Create a Schedule
One of the best ways to reinforce good behavior with your small dog is to create- and stick to- a schedule. Dogs thrive off of a schedule, and creating one can actually help reduce anxiety.
Step 4: Continue Praise
If you notice your puppy or small dog using the pee pad without you walking them to it, then be sure to immediately reward them. Food is an excellent reward system.
Step 5: Change Your Pee Pad Often
Be sure to change your pee pad often or when you notice it getting saturated. This will prevent bad odors from taking over your home and will encourage your small dog or puppy to use the pee pad.
It's important to remember that, while you can train your pet using pee pads, they can be expensive and their plastic backing makes them not biodegradable. A healthier solution for your pet- and the environment- is a renewable product such as natural indoor grass like Gotta Go Grass.
Travel Pee Pad Training
If you travel and bring your small dog with you, it's essential to stick to your pee pad training routine. Deviating from the process could cause your pet to regress, making it more difficult for you to restart your dog obedience training.
Travel pee pads are also excellent for aging dogs who require frequent use of the bathroom and who may not be able to hold their urine during short car rides. If you have space in your vehicle, you may opt to skip the disposable pee pads and use natural grass trays instead for a healthier, more odor-absorbant experience.
Here are some essential steps to follow when using pee pads to train your pet on the go.
Step 1: Line The Area
Begin by lining your pet's area of your vehicle with pee pads or grass trays. Remember to overlap them, spreading them out so they're flat and completely covering the area your pet will reside during your trip.
If you don't confine your pet to one space during car rides, then choose one area to line, encouraging your pet to use that space for going to the bathroom.
Step 2: Visit Your Vehicle
Now that your vehicle is lined with pee pads, it's time to let your pet inspect the area before your trip. This gives your pet the opportunity to see and sniff where the pee pads are.
Let them know it's okay to use the pee pad- you can even encourage them to do their business there prior to leaving on your trip.
Step 3: Reward
Just like with indoor pee pad training, travel pee pad training also relies on a positive reward system. Be sure to bring plenty of treats and rewards for your pet so you don't run out.
Ensure that your pet receives a treat every time they use the pee pad, so be mindful of when they use it. Positive reinforcement helps to alleviate accidents while the vehicle is in motion.
Step 4: Change Pee Pads Frequently
While traveling, you want to throw out pee pads as frequently as possible. This will prevent odors from consuming your vehicle and provide your pet with ample clean space for them to use. Pets shy away from dirty, smelly areas to do their business, so change soiled pee pads frequently.
When possible, it's best to set up a Gotta Go Grass tray in your car for optimal absorption and odor control. Your pet will have the same experience of using their favorite spot- outdoor grass- to safely and comfortably do their business while traveling.
Senior Dogs and Pee Pads
If you have a senior dog with special considerations, you may need to alter your training routine. Follow these steps to help your aging pet use pee pads.
Step 1: Introduce Pee Pads
Since your dog is used to peeing outside, there will be a learning curve with using pee pads. Start by unfolding a pee pad so your dog can sniff it.
Once they've familiarized themselves with the pee pad, leave it in the crate they sleep in or the room they spend most of their day in.
Step 2: Place Pee Pads Elsewhere
If your senior dog has accidents on furniture, then it's best to place pee pads on these surfaces. If your dog happens to have an accident in one of these areas, it'll be protected.
It's also a good idea to place a pee pad near where your pet asks to be let out, just in case your pet can't hold their pee till you get them outside.
Step 3: Reward and Praise
Just like any type of pee pad training, you have to praise and reward your pet. This should include plenty of affection, praise, and treats. This helps your dog to understand that it's okay to use pee pads if they have an accident in the house.
Your senior pet would benefit from a soft, non-toxic, natural product such as indoor grass. This will provide them with the same experience of using outdoor grass, but without the stress of having to go outside. You can use this grass just as you would with an outdoor walk, making it the healthiest type of indoor potty system for your pets.
Creating a Schedule
A pee pad training schedule can help your pet adapt to potty training. There are also basic rules of thumb to follow, especially with pee pad training a potty.
For example, however old your puppy is in months, add one to it. That's the maximum amount of hours your puppy may be able to hold urine and bowel movements between potty times. So if your puppy is four months old, it should be able to hold its business for up to five hours, although this is just an average.
It's important to bring your puppy (or dog) to the pee pad if it's been more than an hour or two. If you suspect your pet may need to use the pee pad, then bring them over to it.
However, if your puppy fails to use the pee pad and wants to play instead, put your dog back in its crate instead. Then, try again in 10-15 minutes.
As your puppy gets more and more accustomed to potty breaks, you can move them to three hours apart or whenever you sense your dog needs to relieve itself. And remember that praise, attention, and rewards for a job well done are key.
It's important to remember that pee pads are not a natural product, so your pet may shy away from them, especially if they're used to outdoor walks. Your best choice for training your pet to use an indoor pee pad would be to use a natural grass product.
Training Small Dogs
When training small dogs how to use pee pads, remember to place the pads in an area your pet can easily access. When potty training dogs, consistency is key, as dogs thrive with a routine. Keep plenty of treats handy, and remember to positively reward your pet as soon as they use the pee pad.
If you're looking for a safe, sustainable alternative to pee pads, then Gotta Go Grass has you covered. Our pee pad alternative is made from farm fresh grass and has natural absorption and odor control.