When it comes to introducing a new puppy into your home, potty training is often top of the list. Little accidents can happen, but the earlier you start teaching your pup to use potty pads, the easier things will be, freeing up more time for snuggles and playtime with your pooch!
Routine is extremely important for puppies, and getting them used to going to the toilet in a specific area - in this case, a Potty Pad - is a quick and efficient way to teach your pup where to do their business.
In this blog we reveal all the basic tips and need-to-knows of how to potty train a puppy on pads, covering the advantages of using Potty Pads, where to put them in your home, introducing your pup to their pad, as well as training mistakes to avoid and how to encourage certain behaviors.
Why use Potty Pads?
Gone are the days of puppy-proofing floors with endless sheets of newspaper and flimsy disposable pads, as reusable Potty Pad technology means you can better protect your home and furniture, whilst more effectively potty training your puppy.
Potty Pads are a tidy and sustainable option for any new pet parent, and not to toot our own horn but we think we’ve cracked it when it comes to peeing pups.
Potty Buddy’s Reusable Potty Pads have a unique three-layered design which works to trap odors and stop leakage, making for a more mess-free training experience. Featuring ultra-absorbent, durable materials, they can be used again and again, saving both your floors and the planet!
And they are not only for potty training - they can also be used as crate or kennel liners, or to slip under food bowls, water bowls and even litter boxes to avoid excess mess.
Still need some convincing? Let us show you the numbers:
495 Tons of Waste Prevented - through the use of our reusable pads, our customers have prevented over 12 million disposable pads from ending up in landfill
$30/month Average Savings - we are not a one-trick-wonder: our pads can be reused for years to help with pet expenses
Long story short, potty pads are great for both your doggy AND the planet.
Where to place Potty Pads in the home
The most important thing, when placing potty pads around your home, is that they are visible to your dog and remain in the same area throughout the training process.
Puppies learn through repetition. So teaching them to get familiar with where you want them to go to the toilet, and then being rewarded for doing this each time, will encourage them to only relieve themselves on the pads and nowhere else.
We would recommend putting several around the home so that your dog gets comfortable with the look and smell of the pads, allowing them to choose as well as reducing the risk of accidents. Placing them in front of doors will eventually lead to encouraging your dog to go to the toilet outside, as they will already associate this area with going potty.
Introducing your puppy to the Potty Pads
Here is a step-by-step guide to introduce your puppy to their Potty Pads:
Allow them to be part of the unboxing process - let your puppy see and smell the pad so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to them and they aren’t frightened by it.
Place the pads in easy-to-see areas and let your puppy stand on and interact with them, getting them used to the feel of the pad. We would recommend placing the pads by a door that leads to outside, to make the transition to outside potty training easier.
Keep the potty pads in the same place and in several rooms, allowing your pup to get used to the sight of them until they become like part of the furniture.
Create a safe and calm environment when encouraging your puppy to interact with the pads - getting them overexcited can be confusing and over stimulating and can prevent them from wanting to learn.
How do you train puppies to use the Potty Pad?
When it comes to the best way to teach your pup to go to the bathroom on their Potty Pad, we would suggest the following steps:
Schedule - Organize a potty training schedule, encouraging your puppy to use the pad every few hours and at specific times of the day/night. You can take them out of their crate at certain times of the day and keep them on a leash whilst gently guiding them and encouraging them to try out the pad.
Commands - Give your puppy clear verbal commands such as ‘go potty’ so that they start learning to associate this one specific command with using the pad.
Eagle eyes - Keeping a lookout for signs and signals that your puppy may need to pee or poop is one of the great gifts of a pet parent. Puppies will often start to sniff, walk in circles or squat/lift their leg. You will have to use your lightning fast reflexes to get them on the pad quickly and reinforce this with your chosen verbal command. Each pup is different and you will get to know your dog’s individual tells
Repetition is key - Puppies respond super well to repetitive behaviors and reinforcement, and the more often you work this repetition into your dog’s daily routine, the faster they will learn.
Provide positive reinforcement for your puppy
One of the most important things to remember when teaching your puppy how to use their Potty Pad is using positive reinforcement.
By giving verbal affirmation, cuddles or treats to your pet when they perform a desired behavior, this will help them to associate this action with reward, encouraging them to repeat it.
Dog treats are a particularly good training tool, as dogs in particular are very food-driven. When teaching your dog to use their pad, try encouraging the behavior quite a few times in a row and rewarding each time they complete it with a small treat. By repeating this training exercise several times in a row, the action is more likely to solidify in your pup’s mind as a positive behavior.
Puppy potty training mistakes to avoid
There are a few training mistakes that are often made amongst new pet parents, especially when it comes to potty training:
Don’t punish your dog for unwanted behavior - One of the biggest mistakes that new dog owners make during the training process is punishing their dogs for unwanted behavior, whether this be physically or verbally, such as shouting or locking them in a separate room and ignoring them. All of these behaviors will only frighten a puppy and make them anxious when it comes to using the bathroom.
Remember, a puppy doesn’t know how to be naughty - they are simply learning and trying out new behaviors as they try to make sense of the world, just the same as human babies and children.
Don’t move the puppy pad too soon - When your puppy starts to excel in their potty training, it can be tempting to move the Potty Pad and move onto the next level of toilet training. However, this is often done too soon, and removing the pads too quickly can confuse a puppy, causing them to revert back to old behaviors and more frequent potty accidents.
Be patient - It can be very easy to get frustrated with your new puppy. You don’t speak the same language, and so you have to learn to communicate in new ways to make sure they understand you. By remaining patient and calm, your puppy will sense this energy and will want to do well for you.
Puppies can be unpredictable, and potty training will not always be smooth-sailing. Here are a few of our suggestions for troubleshooting accidents and unwanted behaviors:
Guidance - Until your puppy gets into the swing of things, they are going to need some guidance. They will often get caught up in something or distracted until they are too desperate and have to go potty wherever they are. As a pet parent, it is your job to gently guide them to their potty pad at certain times of day, sticking to a routine, as well as getting to know the telltale signs of a puppy who needs to pee!
Crate big issues - Many new dog owners will know the feeling of coming downstairs in the morning and being met by a little accident in their puppy’s crate. These can be avoided by making sure your puppy uses the pad before bedtime, that their crate isn’t too big (as this can encourage them to divide up their space into ‘sleep space’ and ‘potty space’) or even putting the pad inside the crate with them, further reinforcing to them that the pads are where they should go potty.
Routine is everything - Getting your puppy into a solid potty training routine is one of the most proactive things you can do as a new pet owner. Your dog’s body will get into a rhythm, making their potty times more predictable and less prone to frequent accidents.
With patience, love and a solid supply of Potty Pads, training your puppy will be a walk in the park!
Just follow the steps above and you'll be on to a winner.
Learn how Potty Buddy™ products help pet-parents keep their homes clean and their pets comfortable
Leak-Free Potty Pad
A durable and super-absorbent potty pad that can be washed and reused for years. It saves money and the planet.