Are Pee Pads (Wee Wee Pads) a Good Idea?


One question new puppy owners face is whether or not to use wee wee pads or pee pads to help with house training. To further complicate things- depending on who you ask, you will get different answers. None of this helps when you desperately trying to keep your puppy from going potty in the house.

Sometimes people refer to them as pee pads others refer to them as wee wee pads. They are one in the same. For the purpose of this blog, we will refer to them as pee pads.

In my experience, puppy clients who have tried pee pads prior working with me come to me frustrated about their puppy’s potty training progress. This doesn’t come to a surprise at all. Let’s take a ‘wee’ moment to explore the pitfalls of pee pads.

Most people gravitate towards pee pads because they think the pee pads are going to make things easier for them.

Top reasons why people use pee pads for house training:

  • If their puppy is going to have an accident, at least they can go on the pee pad- easier clean up
  • It’s easier for them to have their puppy use the pee pad early in the morning or late at night
  • It’s convenient during bad weather days
  • They are used when a puppy parent is going to be gone for an extended time and now their puppy will have to potty while they are gone

These reasons might make it easier for us (who doesn’t want to make things easier??), but they also make it harder for your puppy.

Top reasons why puppies shouldn’t use pee pads:

  • It’s confusing for your puppy- sometimes they are allowed to potty inside
  • Puppies don’t instinctively know they should only relieve themselves in certain places
  • Your puppy may use other surfaces such as door mats, bathmats, area rugs, hallway runners, and even your bed, as pee pads
  • Given the option to potty inside vs. outside, your puppy may choose the comfort of indoors to potty
  • Pee pads often delay your puppy being reliable with house training and “accidents” continue
  • It can be hard to wean puppies from pee pads to going potty on outdoor surfaces

House training takes time. There are no short cuts. If you are patient and consistent with potty training you will be on the path to a reliably, house trained puppy with less headaches.

Reasons why pee pads might be the better choice for you

If you live in an apartment or somewhere without easy access to a backyard, then having a few potty pads around can make life much easier for both you and your pup.

There is also the occasion where a puppy ends up with a urinary tract infection. You can kiss any house training goodbye while your puppy isn’t feeling well. Putting pee pads down in the area they are contained to catch the sudden and frequent urination can help you keep your sanity until the meds kick in and your puppy is healed from the infection.

Whether or not to use pee pads as part of your house training plan is a personal decision that every puppy parent must make based on their own circumstances. There are pros and cons to both approaches. If you decide to use pee pads as part of your house training plan, be advised that you will need to train your puppy how to go to the pee pad to do their business just as you would train your puppy to go potty outside. Puppies need to learn which spot to go for potty whether it is inside on a pee pad, in a certain area of the house, our outside on the grass, in certain area of the yard.

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