How To Choose the Best Puppy Pads

by Janice Jones     |Last updated 11-03-2023

Puppy pads can be a life saver when it comes to potty training your puppy.  There is no question that potty training should be the first task of any new puppy owner and pee pads often make the task so much easier. 

Why use pads? There are several reasons why you might decide to use potty pads over depending on the great outdoors.

A Pomeranian is standing on a puppy pad

Why Consider Puppy Pads?

Residents of Apartments or Condos

Do you live in an apartment or condo where there is no easy access to an outside grassy area? If you live on the third floor and must maneuver down three flights of steps, chances are a puppy is not going to make it to the bottom. 

Likewise if you live in a building that requires you to use an elevator, the time to get to that grassy knoll can seem like an eternity to a young puppy. 

Puppies need to urinate about every two hours and that adds up to a substantial number of visits to an outside potty area.  

On the other end of the spectrum are older, senior dogs that may also not make it in time.  Consider puppy pads for them too.

Seniors or Retiree Dog Owners

Elderly man is walking a small dog

Are you a senior or someone with limited mobility where quickly getting outdoors is out of the question?  (When a puppy has to go, he HAS TO GO)

It's far easier to set up an indoor puppy potty area if you know you are not going to make it 

Puppies Born in the Wintertime

A young puppy dressed in a thick sweater is standing in the snow.

Is yours, a winter baby—a puppy born in the winter in a cold and/or snowy area where going outdoors is impracticable?  Many puppies born in colder months in northern latitudes don't do well outdoors especially if there is a significant snow fall.  It's often easier to train indoors until spring.

Tiny Puppies Don't Do Stairs Well

Some really small puppies are well, too small to go up and down steps because the height of the rise is taller than they are.  If there are a lot of steps, you must plan on picking up the puppy which may defeat the purpose of teaching your dog to walk outside to eliminate.

Personal Choices

Do you prefer to keep your dog indoors for personal reasons?  Many small dog owners do and will train them to use an indoor potty system.

There are probably many more reasons you might want to consider puppy pads, but whatever the situation, you will wish to find the best one that will do the job.  You want a pad that will hold the urine in, not stain your floor, and prevent your puppy from tracking liquid from the pad throughout your home.  

You have two choices when it comes to puppy wee wee pads:  Disposable and Cloth/reusable.

Disposable Puppy Pads

As a breeder myself, I have trained puppies for many years using many different approaches.  My puppy buyers are always shocked that their eight-week-old puppies come “almost potty trained.” 

This didn’t happen over night.  I had to try many different methods and products to find the one that worked the best.  Puppy pads may not be the product that you want to economize on, yet you don’t have to pay top dollar to get the best pads.

I’ve tried many different brands and the ones below are ones I have used and can recommend if you are looking for disposable puppy pads.

Mavel 100% Absorbent Training Pads

  • Comes in a 50-Pc. Pack
  • Holds up to 4 cups of liquid
  • Contains a core of polymer and USA produced pulp that turns urine to gel to prevent leaks
  • Contains a natural attractant and odor neutralizer
  • Size- 23” x 22”
  • Top layer is a quick-drying cover that prevents dogs from tracking the urine onto floors.

Nature's Miracle Advanced Ultra Absorbent Pads for Pets

  • This pad is advertised as being extra large for large dogs but in reality it is not that much larger than other brands.  The additional size works great for small dogs or multiple dog families where you don’t want to change the pad after each use.
  • Has a quick dry technology that prevents wet paw tracking
  • Contains Nature’s Miracle Odor control technology
  • Treated with attractant scents that encourages dogs to use the pad.
  • Purchase in packs of 10, 30,50 or 100
  • 23” x 27”

Four Paws Wee Wee Pads for Puppies to Adult Dogs

  • Uses 5-ply leak-proof Floor Armor system with 100% leak-proof guarantee; heavy-duty leak-proof liner protects floor and carpets
  • Built-in attractant draws dog to pad; super-absorbent quilted core provides maximum absorption, and quick-drying top layer prevents tracking
  • Comes in Standard, Odor Control, Super Absorbent, Gigantic, X-Large, Little Dogs, and Décor (which looks like grass or tile)

Re-usable/Washable Puppy Pads

If the thought of buying disposable puppy pads year after year, gets you down, you might want to think about the washable kind.  Most are very durable and withstand hundreds of washings.  You can purchase those made especially for dogs with cute doggie motifs or buy the ones designed as incontinence pads for human use. 

Be sure to find ones that have a plastic backing so they don’t leak.  Puppy Pads are not the same as whelping pads which do leak.  They come in a variety of different sizes depending on your needs.  Smaller ones work just fine for one or two dog households. 

You might want to consider the larger sizes if your dog stays at home alone for extended periods of time.  These pads normally do not have the special attractants infused into the disposable type so if you need that extra odor, you can do one of two things. 

Buy a spray bottle containing the pheromones that encourage pets to  eliminate where you spray.  Alternately, you can use the cloth pad to wipe up a little of your dog’s accident so he will find it on the pad the next time he needs to go.

I have found that over time, I can’t smell the urine but evidently dogs can, so using a spray pheromone is not necessary.  If after washing many times, the pads do not come out smelling wonderful, a little vinegar or enzymatic cleaner will neutralize the odor.

NAC Home Playpen Floor Mat Dog MAT Dog Training Pad Underlay – Reusable, Waterproof and Unrippable Surface Protection

  • Industrial Grade Waterproof Dog Mat that comes in 3 sizes:  Small - 40" x 40"; Medium - 50" x 120"; Large - 50" x 200"
  • Fully waterproof no trip-hazard
  • Eco-friendly - 100% recyclable; Lays flat every time due to patented "memory" technology
  • Tough, robust woven top layer - To avoid tearing; Can be quickly cut to required size - perfect for playpens & pens
  • Reusable - Simply wash the mat (hand wash only) 

All products above can be purchase directly from this site on Amazon. 

Small Dog Place receives a very small commission of all products purchased directly from this site.  

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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