Housebreaking and potty-training are two of the most challenging aspects of working with pets. Setting up boundaries, teaching pets to obey commands, to restrain themselves and eliminate when necessary… these things take time and patience to establish. It can be especially difficult if the pet owner works long days and can’t get home to let his dog outside a couple times a day, or if the dog has anxiety about doing his business outside at night, etc.

Fortunately, indoor eliminating tools such as the dog potty pads have proven immensely helpful when going outside is not a possibility. Whether you set up these useful squares in the bathroom, laundry room, balcony or porch, many pet parents feel that potty pads are not only great training tools for pets, but necessary tools for any busy individual.

Types of Potty Pads

Here are the primary types of potty pads on the market that are available for pet owners.

  • Disposable cloth pads: These large square pads have moisture resistant under-layers, with a soft (often scented) absorbent cotton sheet. They are perfect for spreading across car seats on road trips, or nightly on the kitchen floor. Disposable pads are great for small puppies with gentle paws and claws that will not rip the sheets.
  • Reusable pads: Thickly absorbent, paw and claw resistant, these cloth pads are machine washable and can be reused. (Some pet owners find they are great for traveling, but are difficult to hand wash simply due to the frequency of use. Laying a durable brand of disposable potty pad over the reusable one is a functional compromise.)
  • Turf pads/Faux grass patches: Using a turf patch is helpful for some dogs because they resemble (and some even smell like) grass. Many of these products are able to hold up to 5 times their weight in liquid, and also have the benefit of being machine washable, and easy to rinse out. Some home improvement shops even sell turf patches that use both artificial grass and real grass seed, so as to look, feel and have the aroma of a real patch of turf.
  • Live grass patches: Forget the soil and dirt, some live grass potty patches are hydroponically grown, so that they can absorb odors and liquids. Real grass is a good alternative for people who do not want to clean up washable pads, or throw out disposable ones. These can range in sizes from 20 inches to over 4 feet wide, suited for almost every breed of dog. Like other potty patches, many live grass and sod squares can be brought indoors on cold nights, or left out on the deck or porch. They are also much less of an eye sore than other potty pad options. Live grass might need to be replaced from time to time, and products range anywhere from $20-200 depending on the brand.

*Note: Some pet owners also use puppy litter boxes designed for growing canines as an alternative way to let their dog eliminate inside.