A puppy is fun and can quickly become a beloved member of the family. But first, owners must potty train their new pets. Ideally, everyone would have space and the ability to walk their dogs outside in areas where they are free to go. However, many pet parents are apartment dwellers or live in homes with few or no green spaces. They might also have homes in places where it gets too cold to take a young dog outdoors. Many older people aren’t mobile enough to walk their dogs. In these situations, puppy pads provide solutions. They allow owners to potty train young pups indoors and help them quickly become model family members.
How Puppy Pads Work
Puppy pads, also called “pee pads,” are either disposable or washable products manufactured with built-in attractants that draw a pup’s attention. Pet parents who need puppy pads can order them online or purchase them in stores. While all pads absorb liquid, disposable versions hold less than reusable products. It is also easier for young dogs to shred disposable products. With that in mind, many owners keep disposable pads for emergencies but invest in sturdier, washable brands for everyday use.
Washable pads cost more upfront but are durable and difficult for pups to destroy. They are also more environmentally friendly since owners avoid tossing them into the garbage after a few uses. Every year, tons of disposable pads end up in landfills.
Training Young Dogs Takes Patience
According to the AKC, it is important to be patient while potty training young dogs because they cannot control their bladders until they are approximately 16 weeks old. No amount of training will make it possible for a younger pup to wait. A good rule of thumb is that dogs can hold their bladder as long as their age in months, plus one. That means a four-month-old dog can hold his bladder up to five hours.
It’s also important to note that breeds differ. Some smaller dogs need more potty breaks because they have small bladders. But, even within breeds, dogs are different, and each trains at their own speed. One might catch on in a few weeks, while another could take months.
Always Supervise Potty Training
Pet parents can train their dogs by taking them to the pads frequently. Very young pups might need to go every fifteen minutes. Setting a timer can help owners remember their pet’s schedule. While potty training, it is important to watch puppies for signs like whining, sniffing the ground, or circling. These are indications he needs to go straight to his pads. Animal professionals suggest using a long leash if it is difficult to keep a pup in sight.
A Crate Is Important to Learning
It is important to have a crate during potty training and make sure a pup considers it his home. Dogs do not like to soil their sleeping areas, so they will look for other spaces to go. A crate should be comfortable enough for a pup to move around and lie down, but not too big. An over-sized model might tempt a pet to sleep on one end and use the other as a toilet.
A crate also serves as a safe place for a puppy and, if owners add treats and toys, a young dog will soon associate the crate with comfort and happiness. Pet parents should take their pup straight to pads as soon as they are out of their crates.
Routine and Consistency Help
Puppy’s potty train faster when they are on a regular schedule. Sticking to a routine makes it less likely that a pup will have accidents and increases their chances of getting things right. It is easier to remain consistent if you:
- Learn when the puppy needs to go. Most need their pads as soon as they wake up and after eating, playing, and napping.
- Take a young dog to a pad any time they have not gone for an hour or so.
- Bring the puppy to the crate when he or she feels like it’s time. If the pup doesn’t use the pads, avoid letting the pet play. Instead, place the put in the crate for 10-15 minutes and then try again and continue the process until the process is successful.
- Do not move the pads during the training period. Pups can get confused, and that could lead to accidents.
Reward Puppies When They Succeed
The best way to turn a young pet into a well-behaved member of the family is to reward good behavior and avoid punishment. The Animal Humane Society says that yelling things like, “bad dog” or punishing in other ways just teaches puppies to go when their owners are not around. They learn that getting it wrong is unsafe. Accidents are inevitable when dealing with young animals, but the best thing to do is clean up messes and continue training. Enzyme-based cleaners like Nature’s Miracle will remove stains and odors.
Positive reinforcement works very well with puppies. Pet parents should reward pups as soon as they go in the right place. It’s a good idea to keep a supply of treats handy for this purpose. If necessary, keep a leash near puppy pads to prevent dogs from getting distracted. When the leash is unclipped, they will consider the freedom a reward.
Puppies Can Transition to Going Outdoors
Owners can use pee pad training methods should they plan to transition dogs to going outdoors. When pet parents use a cue like “Go Potty” during early training, their dogs will associate it with going to the bathroom. If parents repeat commands often enough, they will be able to ask their pups to go anywhere.
The best way to ensure a smooth transition is to shift pads toward the door and then gradually move outdoors. It’s essential to move them away slowly, to avoid confusing the dog. Decrease the pad size a little at a time until the pet goes on the ground. This step, combined with verbal cues, works well.
Puppy pads allow owners to potty train very young dogs. The process takes patience, calmness, and a system of rewards. It is also essential to use a crate during training to create a sense of security. Pet parents can also use the pads to transition their dogs to going outdoors.