Proper Use Of Puppy Pads

I often hear absorbent pads called “puppy training pads“. I’m not fond of the “training” part of this  terminology unless you want your pet to “go” indoors for a lifetime.

When you train your new puppy to urinate and defecate inside the house it can be confusing for him to know the difference between using the bathroom on his pads and using the bathroom on the carpet. After all, in both cases the urine seems to disappear. The only difference to your pup is the location.

In my opinion it is perfectly acceptable to use absorbent pads if you have no way for your puppy to make his way outdoors for long periods and you know he will need to urinate and/or defecate while you are at work or otherwise unavailable. In that circumstance they simply make cleanup easier and give a degree of organization to your puppy’s habits by leaving the pads in the same place each day. Just don’t give him positive feedback about using them.

I understand that in some locales and under certain personal situations it is advantageous to have your pet trained to indoor bathroom habits, and I am not trying to discourage that. What I am encouraging is avoiding the necessity to make a transition from “going” inside to “going” outside at a later date. That will be very confusing for most dogs and the end result may be inadvertently training your dog to use the bathroom indoors for a lifetime.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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