The Best Puppy Training Pad -
The Ultimate Toilet Training Tool
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
The Potty Plant
Dear new puppy parent,
Congratulations! You have a world of wonder and fun and mess ahead of you. A key part cutting down on that mess is the art of housetraining. And it truly is an art. (1)
Puppy training pads are wonderful inventions that will help you housetrain your puppy.
These lightweight, portable, often economical little suckers are part of a comprehensive training system you will undergo with your new little one to teach good toilet habits.
In this article, we will break down how puppy training pads are used, the features you should look out for in pee pads and a review round-up of the best puppy wee pads in Australia.
We hope this article helps you find the tools to potty train your new furbaby!
How To Use Puppy Pads
If you are a first-time puppy parent, a puppy pad may seem like an intuitive thing to use but it takes a bit of practice - for them and you!
Here are some fundamental principles to remember
- You need to supervise at all times
The quickest way for your dog to associate the puppy pad with pee-pee time is to literally pick them up and place them there whenever you sense they need to wee. You will have to keep a watchful eye on them in this case. Watch for the signs that they need to go like circling or squatting. You’ll need to move fast and place them on the puppy training pad to ensure the connection is made. “This is my peeing spot”.
2. Stay consistent at all times of day
Accidents happen, sure, but you want to avoid them as much as possible. If your puppy pees on the sofa once, they can start to associate the sofa as their pee place. No fun for anyone! The easiest times to be consistently using the pee pad is during the times your dog is most likely to go.
Stephanie Gibeault of the American Kennel Club writes, “Know when your puppy has to go. Most puppies need the bathroom when they wake up in the morning, after eating, after playing, and after napping. So, take your puppy to the potty pad every time one of these events occurs.” (2)
3. Use pee pads in conjunction with crate training
House training methods are rarely an either-or situation. You often end up crate training and pad training at the same time to maximise your results. If you have a particularly stubborn puppy, this is even more important to instill good habits.
Features Of The Best Puppy Toilet Training Pads
So, what type of puppy pad do you need? Are there different types of puppy pad? Is there a best type for you? Well, every type has its place. Read on and you’ll see.
Disposable or reusable?
We are believers in environmentalism here. It’s important to protect the planet and do what little we can. Reusable training pads were made with the eco-friendly in mind. You reduce plastic waste massively by machine washing your training pads.
You also save money with reusable pee pads. By not constantly replenishing your disposable supply, your wallet thanks you greatly. If cared for properly, reusable pads can last you for years and years!
So, it would seem we would only recommend reusable puppy pads, right?
Well… not so fast. There is nuance to every argument and this one is no different. While, yes, we want to save the planet and reusable is the best way to go 99.9% of the time, there are specific circumstances where disposable actually works out better.
For example, perhaps you are travelling with your new puppy. You may take disposable puppy pads with you to maintain your puppy’s training. I mean, how accessible is a washing machine whilst you are camping?
If your puppy is sick and has diarrhea or vomiting, you may use disposable pads just to keep up with the number of liquids passing through them. Your reusable is going to get soiled too quickly.
In those situations, it is quicker and easier to who out a disposable training pad when you need it.
The primary function of a puppy training pad is to protect your precious, clean floor. We all know that!
All joking aside, the absorbency of a pad is extremely important. Technology in this realm has come a very long way. Gone are the days when we had to handle a soggy newspaper soaked through with our dog’s urine every day. Pee pads truly are a marvel in that regard.
They can hold an impressive amount of liquid without soaking through to the base. The absorption is often at lightning speeds too. In half a minute the liquid is completely gone and held in the inner layers of the pad.
It could be argued that grass or grass-like pads are more absorbent than reusable pads. Reusable pads are also generally more absorbent than disposable. But this is a rule of thumb rather than a hard and fast law of physics. There are leaky products in all categories. It’s a case of finding the best quality for your buck.
Finally, we come onto the no-slip bottom.
Imagine going to the toilet but the bowl is moving? It’s like aiming at a moving target. Not fun for anyone.
Not only is this a disaster waiting to happen on the house training front, but it is also pretty dangerous. Your puppy could slip and hurt themselves. Even if they don’t hurt themselves, they certainly won’t want to pee on that training pad again which defeats the purpose of having one.
This is why many manufacturers use sticky corners or silica gel pads to hold the pee pad in place.
Best Puppy Pee Pads Reviewed 2021
Now that we have thoroughly dived into the ins and outs of puppy pad anatomy, it’s time to explore the options on the Australian market. Now don’t expect the most glamorous of best lists here. We are talking about toilet training your puppy after all. However, these are a good selection of top pee pads for your potty-training needs. We looked for a range of price points and features so you can find the best option for you and your pup.
The Potty Plant is our best overall puppy training product because it is truly one of a kind. It is so far away from the traditional training pad but is altogether better for the environment, more economical and highly convenient in every way.
The Potty Plant is a unique pee pad holder that is built to hold real “park” grass mats. The frame holds the grass in place and your dog intuitively pees there because - hey - it’s grass!
This is genius on so many levels. It cuts out hours of pee training by allowing your dog to sniff out the Potty Plant naturally and identify it as the perfect place to do their business. It brings the inside-outside which is just such a clever system.
The protective frame is locked tight to prevent your pup from trying to dig up the grass.
The grass itself is highly absorbent and relieves your home from the stench of dog pee. You don’t need to machine wash as you would with reusable fabric pee pads or throw them away as you would with disposables.
The Potty Plant system goes one step further with its subscription service. By identifying how much your puppy pees and their weight, you can choose how often you will need fresh grass mats to replace your old one. Most puppies will need a weekly or fortnightly subscription of fresh grass depending on their age. This makes the whole process incredibly convenient and easy to work into your routine.
We think this special potty-training system is pretty wonderful for puppy owners. You never have to think about machine washing the grass. Your dog will naturally gravitate to doing their business there. And when you need a new mat, you can rest assured it is on its way to you due to the handy subscription service. I wish this was around when my dogs were young!
The Potty Plant is a pretty wonderful product, but it is certainly an investment. Though we think it is worth every penny for the convenience and ease it brings, here is a reusable alternative.
The SincoPet pee pad is a multilayer flexible pee pad that is designed for maximum absorbency. The top layer is a knitted polyester for comfort and stability. Underneath that is the high-density absorbent layer which the manufacturer claims can hold more liquid per square inch than any other training pad on the market (we can neither confirm nor deny!). Below the absorbent layer is the waterproof layer to stop any leaks onto the floor. The base is wrapped in the same 100% polyester fabric as the top but with some anti-slip silica, gel pads to keep it in place.
These pads are durable and long-lasting. They are created with reuse in mind, withstanding many tumbles in your washing machine.
What we like most about the SincoPet product is the range of sizes and packs. There are perfect squares such as the 150cm x 150cm option. There are rectangles like the 90cm x 120cm. There are even round options like the 90cm and the 120cm. Then there are the multipacks with 2 or more pads in the pack in case you want to use them in different areas of the house.
All this to say, the SinciPet reusable pads are incredibly versatile, easy to clean and well-reviewed. To top it all, the manufacturer offers a 100% money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty on their pads for extra security! It’s a thumbs up from us!
Reusable puppy training pads, in particular, can cost a pretty penny! If you are on a budget, then we have the perfect solution for you. Introducing the Trendy Den Creations Puppy Pads.
These puppy pads are fabulous for the economical price point. They are ultra-absorbent, holding amounts of liquid that could rival the more expensive brands.
Reviewers attest to how easy it is to wash and the low amounts of odour it retains. If cared for properly, these pee pads can last you for years! Excellent investment.
There are anti-slip pads on the base of the mat for extra grip.
As for sizing, it comes in three models. 51cm x 66cm is the smallest size (which is still pretty big). The next size up is 82cm x 97cm. Finally, the largest size is 91cm x 120cm. A fantastic range for every space and size.
Each pack comes with two pee pads to use. That way, you can always ensure you have a clean pad ready when one is in the washing machine.
Overall, the great reviews attest to the quality of this product. At such an economical price point for packs of two pee pads, the Trendy Den sets are definitely Gentle Dog Trainers approved.
So as we discussed before, reusable pee pads are fantastic inventions that we should all adopt for the good of the planet and your wallet. All good things. Disposable training wee pads are still useful in the right circumstances though.
If you are travelling or are dealing with a situation where your dog is soiling their pad more often than you can clean them for one reason or another, you may be in need of a disposable set. We recommend Yours Droolly Training Pads for this purpose.
Setting aside the hilariously punny name of the manufacturer - which tickles this writer to no end - the Yours Droolly pads are great products for their category.
They are 5 layers of absorbent and protective material to ensure no spills reach your floor or carpet. Liquids are absorbed in just over 30seconds, then it is trapped within until you throw it away. Each pad can reportedly hold up to 650ml of urine which is super impressive for a disposable pad. They are super lightweight and easy to transport so they are ideal for travelling.
The pack comes with a whopping 30 pads, all measuring 60cm x 60cm.
Usually, the issue with disposable pads is that the bases are rarely non-slip. So, they slip and slide around. I mean you don’t really want silica gel pads on disposable items. But Your Droolly has solved this issue with sticky tabs in the corners that hold the pee pad in place. No slipping and sliding around!
For such an economical set, we are thoroughly impressed with the quality of these pee pads. The great reviews attest to their high-quality results. A great choice is you must go disposable.
Finally, we have discussed quite a few reusable pee pads… in fact, all bar one of the options listed here are reusable. But we wanted to give you one more for good measure. This one is particularly great for crate training.
The EZWhelp Machine Washable Pee Pad is a good product which a medium price point. We mention it because it has some pretty unique features.
For example, the rounded corners prevent the sides from lifting and fit snugly into crates and puppy pens.
The base is completely waterproof meaning that no leaks will reach the base of the crate.
This pee pad is incredibly soft as it is originally designed for whelping. (3) Therefore the quilted surface is supremely soft and comfortable. This is precisely what you want for a pee pad in a crate or puppy pen. The stiffer polyester models like the SincoPet will be fine for this purpose but not nearly as comfy for your puppy.
The EZWhelp Pads are easy to wash and should last you a long time on a normal wash cycle.
As for sizing, there are 7 models to choose from. The smallest measures 43cm x 50cm. The largest 183cm x 183cm. Pretty impressive selection to suit a wide range of spaces.
There is one drawback here. As it is made for whelping primarily, no anti-slip base or silica gel is holding this pee pad in place. This is why we recommend this model for stable locations like puppy pens or crates where they have nowhere to slip around.
All in all, the EZWhelp is a multifunctional, multi-use and highly absorbent pad that is ideal for crate training and more.
The Final Verdict: Best Dog Training Pads
Overall, we think the Potty Plant is such a cool product. It is unique, convenient and no fuss at all to use. Machine washable pads may be easier but real grass, biodegradable mats? That surely champions them all in terms of environmental friendliness and ease of use.
For those on a budget, the reusable Trendy Den pee pads are great substitutes. Large and easy to wash, they are suitable for many situations and will help your puppy achieve potty perfection.
There are three main methods of house training your puppy:
- Crate training
- Paper training
- Pad training
All three have their merits and to be honest, most owners use a combination of all of them. Simply because they are all best suited for different situations.
Crate training is great for overnight house training when your pup is old enough to hold their pee overnight. (4)
Paper training is a messy affair which is discussed below, but it is handy when you are in a bind and can’t take your dog out to pee for one reason or another. Maybe it is incredibly cold, and your puppy is very young and vulnerable. A quick newspaper piddle won’t set your potty-training goals back too far.
Pad training is great for apartments and travelling. Pads can also be used in conjunction with crates to absorb any accidents your puppy may have in their crate or play area.
In a word, yes you can. Paper training is still quite common in the dog sphere. I even started off my puppies with newspaper potty training, but it has many, many disadvantages.
“Puppies tend to develop a substrate preference between the ages of 7 and a half and 8 and a half weeks. Therefore, if a puppy is taught to pee on the surface of a newspaper, it will learn to seek out that specific substrate in the future, explains veterinary behaviourist Dr. Karen Overall. This means that if your puppy learns to pee on newspaper, he may struggle that day you decide that he should go potty in the yard on grass. In other words, the puppy will need to be "retrained" to go outside.” writes Adrienne Farricelli from Petful. (5)
Another issue is the mess. Do you know how fun it is to clean up torn up pieces of urine-soaked newspaper? I can assure you, not nearly as fun as your dog had tearing up the newspaper.
Finally, newspaper is not very absorbent...at all. It’s better than nothing but does little to stave off odours and leaks as a good old-fashioned potty-training pad does.
Having been there in the paper-training realm myself, I recommend using a pee pad every time.
- Bovsun, M. March 2, 2020. “How To Potty Train Puppies: A Comprehensive Guide for Success”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 11, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/
- Gibeault, S. February 2, 2020. “The Ins and Outs of Potty Pad Training”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 11, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/the-ins-and-outs-of-potty-pad-training/
- Dunn, T. May 2, 2011. “Whelping - How Do Dogs Have Puppies?”. PetMD. Retrieved January 11, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter/health/evr_dg_whelping_new_puppies_on_the_way
- Scott, D. September 8, 2020. “6 Steps To Successfully Crate Train Your Puppy”. Dog Naturally Magazine. Retrieved January 11, 2021. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/crate-training-a-puppy/
- Farricelli, A. June 27, 2019. “Paper Training Your Puppy to Pee on Newspaper”. Petful. Retrieved January 11, 2021. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Paper-Training-Your-Puppy-to-Pee-on-Newspaper