How to Train a Senior Dog to Use a Pee Pad
A Guide to House-Training an Older Pet
As our furry friends age, they may face various challenges, which may include incontinence or problems with urination. Senior dogs, just like puppies, can benefit from using pee pads, especially when they find it difficult to go outside due to health or medical conditions or changes in their mobility. Training your senior dog to use a pee pad can be a convenient and hygienic solution. In this post, we'll provide recommendations on how to choose the best doggy pads as well as a step-by-step guide on how to train your senior dog to use a potty pad effectively.
Choose the Right Pee Pads: Disposable vs. Reusable
Disposable Pee Pads:
- Convenience: Disposable pee pads are incredibly convenient. After your dog uses them, you can simply toss them in the trash, making cleanup a breeze.
- Absorbency: Multi-layer disposable pet pads are designed to be extra absorbent, which helps in preventing leaks and unpleasant smells. Paw Inspired® disposable pee pads contain DrySpeed™ Technology which utilizes Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP) to instantly turn urine into gel.
- Hygiene: Disposable pads are hygienic as they are disposed of once soiled, which reduces the risk of lingering odors and bacteria.
Reusable Pee Pads:
- Environmentally Friendly: Reusable pads are a more eco-friendly option. You can wash and reuse them, reducing waste.
- Cost-Effective: While the initial cost may be higher, reusable pads can save you money in the long run since you won't need to buy disposable pads regularly.
- Reusability: You can maintain cleanliness and odor control by regularly washing your reusable pads. All of our Paw Inspired® Reusable Puppy Pads are machine-washable for easy cleanup.
Your choice between disposable and reusable pee pads will depend on your preferences, lifestyle, and your senior dog's needs. Either option will help keep your pet comfortable and your home clean. Consider the convenience, cost, and environmental impact when making your decision.
On top of various factors, you will also need to determine the size and material of the pads you want to choose, which may depend on your dog's breed, age, and other circumstances.
Once you have the right pads chosen, you can begin the training process.
1. Introduce Your Dog to the Pee Pad
Once you have a pee pad picked out, you will want your dog to acclimate to the new training pad. You may want to start by placing the pad near their usual potty spot where they normally relieve themselves.
2. Designate a Pee Pad Area
Select a specific area in your home where you want your senior dog to use the pee pad. This area should be easily accessible to your dog but away from their food and water bowls. You can also consider dabbing a bit of your pet’s urine on the pad. This will give your furry friend a better idea that the pad is theirs to use and meant to be used for potty purposes.
3. Focus on Consistency and Timing
Stick with a consistent schedule for your dog's bathroom breaks. Senior dogs may need more frequent breaks, so take your dog to the designated pee pad area at regular intervals to establish a routine. Keep in mind that they may have a harder time holding their bladder, so be patient. It's important to monitor and supervise during the training process so you can catch any accidents and redirect your pet to the pee pad area. But if you are unable to supervise at any point, you can think about setting up a playpen (round pads are available if using a circular playpen).
4. Use Positive Reinforcement
Use positive reinforcement to encourage your senior dog to use the pee pad. When your good boy or girl eliminates in the correct place, praise them and offer a treat as a reward. You can also use verbal cues like "potty" or "pee" to help them associate the action with the command.
If you see your pup trying to urinate outside of the designated area, gently catch their attention and guide them to the designated spot and encourage them to eliminate there.
If your senior pet does have an accident, do not scold or punish them. Instead, clean up the mess promptly and without drawing attention to it. Use a pet-safe enzymatic cleaner like our Paw Inspired® Stain & Odor Eliminator to get rid of lingering odors, as this will deter your dog from urinating in the same spot in the future.
Training your senior dog to use a pee pad can be a helpful solution for both you and your beloved pet. It may take some time since most older dogs take a while to adapt to new routines. But remember to be patient, consistent, and understanding of their limitations. By choosing the right pee pad, establishing a consistent schedule, and using positive reinforcement, you and your beloved senior dog can work through the training process together. With dedication and patience, you can make the transition smooth and comfortable for your aging canine companion.