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Buying guide for best dog training pads

Bringing a new puppy into your home is always exciting, but it also involves a lot of hard work. Puppies are full of energy and curiosity, and they can wreak havoc on shoes, furniture, and other items around the house. But the biggest challenge with a puppy is usually house training, which is why the right dog training pads are so important.

Dog training pads, also known as wee-wee pads, are pads of multi-layered absorbent material that allow your puppy to urinate inside the house without ruining your floors. The pads help teach your dog to only pee and poo in a specific area, which makes it easier to transition to only relieving himself outdoors. Dog training pads also come in handy if you live in an apartment and can’t take your dog out all the time or if you have a senior dog who sometimes has accidents.

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A puppy doesn’t have bladder control until he reaches 16 weeks of age, which is why puppies are prone to accidents.

Key considerations


When you’re shopping for dog training pads, you can choose from three main types: disposable, washable, and hydroponic grass pads.

  • Disposable dog training pads are the most common option. They’re small squares made of layers of absorbent material that you throw away once they’re saturated. Disposable pads can cost more in the long run, but they’re usually the easiest to use and are very travel-friendly.
  • Washable dog training pads cost more initially, but you can reuse them over and over. They’re typically machine-washable for easy cleanup and better for the environment because they create less waste for the landfill.
  • Hydroponic grass dog training pads feature a section of real grass that you place inside a tray in your home. They not only absorb urine but give your dog the experience of urinating outside. You can also find training mats made of artificial grass.


One of the most important features of dog training pads is their absorbency. Good pads are highly absorbent, so they don’t wind up leaking after your dog pees just one time. Some brands provide details on how much liquid their pads hold. Most pads can hold between one and six cups, but you’re always better off choosing pads that offer greater absorbency.


What dog training pads are made of is an essential consideration because many puppies wind up chewing or tearing up the pads at some point. Check that the training pads are made with non-toxic materials to be safe. You may also want to choose pads that feature eco-friendly materials made from recycled items.


You can find dog training pads in a variety of sizes. You want to be sure the pads are large enough for your pup, but the pads shouldn’t be too large or they may slip underneath a smaller dog. Most brands offer pads in an average size that works for most puppies and an extra-large option that’s better for adult dogs and larger breeds.

Don’t place training pads in too many spots around your home. The goal is to get your puppy to understand that she’s only allowed to go in specific locations, so she may get confused if there’s a pad in every room.




Some dog training pads dry more quickly than others. A pad with a quick-drying top layer prevents your puppy from picking up any urine on his paws and tracking it around your house. The best pads can absorb moisture within a matter of seconds.

Leak-proof layer

The bottom layer of a dog training pad is always waterproof, but some pads offer better leak protection than others. You want to be sure that the pads won’t release any moisture if they become oversaturated, so they don’t ruin your floors. Reusable pads typically offer the most leak protection, but you can also find disposable pads that provide a 100% leak-proof guarantee.

Odor control

The problem with house training your dog is the smell that comes with having urine-absorbing pads sitting around the house. Some training pads combat that problem, though. They contain odor-neutralizing chemicals that help absorb the smell of urine, so you don’t notice it as much. Some pads are even lightly scented to counter odors.

Built-in attractant

To help make house training easier, some training pads are infused with attractants that help your dog understand that the pad is the designated spot to do her business. These attractants include pheromones, ammonia, and grass scents and can help reduce the number of accidents that your dog has.


On hard flooring like wood or tile, dog training pads tend to slide around. If the pad slips while your puppy is going, there’s a chance that he’ll miss the pad and urinate on your floor instead. Some pads have adhesive on the bottom, which holds them in place while your dog is using them. It can also keep the pad out of the way of people, so your family doesn’t accidentally step on it.

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Use an enzymatic cleaner to wipe up any accidents. Your dog can smell pheromones in the spots where he’s gone previously and may go back to the area, so it’s essential to get rid of all traces of urine or feces.

Dog training pad prices

Dog training pads vary in price based on absorbency, size, quantity, and other features. The most affordable dog training pads are usually disposable options that offer regular absorbency. They range from 25 to 100 pads per box. You can also find some faux grass training pads in this range, though they’re usually on the small side. Expect to pay between $5 and $20 for inexpensive pads.

Mid-range dog training pads include larger boxes of disposable pads with regular absorbency, smaller boxes of disposable pads with super absorbency, reusable pads with regular absorbency, and higher-quality faux grass pads in larger sizes. Mid-range pads usually cost between $20 and $50.

The most expensive dog training pads are usually large boxes of disposable pads with super absorbency, reusable pads with super absorbency, and real grass pads. You’ll typically pay between $50 and $180 for these pads.

Putting your dog on a regular feeding schedule can help with house training because she will then usually have to do her business on a consistent schedule, too.



  • Patience is key when you’re house training a puppy. The younger the puppy, the less control he has over his bladder, so it will take time to train him.
  • Watch for signs that your puppy has to go so that you can direct her to a training pad. Common signs include walking in a circle, sniffing the floor, and whining.
  • Most dogs need to do their business when they wake up, after they eat, after they nap, and after they play. Direct your dog to the pad after these activities to get him on a regular schedule.
  • If your puppy hasn’t urinated in an hour or two, bring her over to the pad to encourage her to go.
  • When your puppy successfully uses a training pad, reward him. Praise him verbally so he knows that he did the right thing, and give him one of his favorite treats to make him more likely to use the pad in the future.
  • When it’s time to encourage your dog to start doing her business outdoors, move the training pads to an outside location if possible. Move the pads in small increments, starting just past the door, and continue increasing the distance from the house as your dog gets used to using the bathroom outside.
  • You should slowly switch to smaller training pads when your dog starts to go outside, too. That will encourage him to use the ground instead.
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All dog breeds are different. Smaller dogs and toy varieties often need to go to the bathroom more often than dogs with larger bladders.


Q. How long does it take to house train a puppy?

A. It takes four to six months to fully house train most puppies. Keep in mind that some dogs may take up to a year to house train, though. Stay patient and consistent, and use only positive reinforcement during the process to see the best results.

Q. Should I punish my dog if he doesn’t use the training pad?

A. Punishing a puppy for an accident is never a good idea. In most cases, by the time you find the puddle it will have been at least a few minutes since he urinated, and he won’t be able to understand what you’re reprimanding him for. If you catch your dog in the middle of peeing or pooping in the house, don’t yell or physically punish him. Instead, use a calm tone and direct your puppy to the pad where he should go.

Q. Can I put a training pad in my dog’s crate?

A. You can put a pad in your dog’s crate if you want, but most people who are crate training don’t want the puppy to go inside the crate. Instead, the dog is supposed to wait until you let her out to relieve herself, so adding a pad to the crate defeats the purpose. If you know you’re going to be gone for a couple of hours or more, though, you may want to put a pad inside the crate because your puppy won’t be able to control her bladder that long.


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