Wee wee pads are one of those products that you only think of if you have a) a puppy that needs to be house trained / house broken or b) an older dog that is starting to have incontinence problems. While neither stage of the dog aging life-cyle is one that is particularly easy on your house, the use of dog pee pads can help protect your flooring while helping to train your dog what areas are appropriate for urgent urination.


In regards to puppies, wee wee pads are a great way to teach your growing pup where to urinate so that if you are not able to catch him before he has an accident in the house, there is one protected spot he can go without hurting your floors. As your puppy gets the hang of using a wee wee pad, you can start moving the pad closer and closer to the door. Pretty soon, you can move the dog pee pad outside, and your dog will be potty trained! I didn’t know about these pads when I was house training my pup – I think the pads would have saved a lot of carpet cleaner, paper towels, and frustration!

Our vet, Dr. Brown, has some step-by-step tips on how to get your puppy used to a pee pad, in addition to the steps out-lined above for using a dog pee pad as a house training tool:

Adult & Senior Dogs

As much as I hear about wee wee pads being used for puppies, I had not thought about them being used for incontinent dogs until my dog-in-law, Guin, starting aging and having some bladder problems. Common among spayed dogs, incontinence can occur when your female dog begins aging. Unfortunately, you never know if the urination problems will occur, when they might occur, or how frequently they will occur. In Guin’s case, wee wee pads are used during the day as a supplement to her regular outdoor visits. At night, she wears a doggie diaper, just to help prevent any potential night-time accidents. When Guin was first introduced to wee wee pads, she was given the adult wee wee pads for her training. She would use the pad maybe 1 out of 3 times when she had an incident. She is a dignified old lady, and we joked that she dis-liked having a pee pad. The reason we joked was because the 2 times she didn’t use the pad, she went right next to it. To prevent this kind of initial resistance, something that might help train your older dog to use wee wee pads is to start out with the puppy version. The puppy wee wee pads have a special attractant to teach young pups to use the pad. If it works with the youngsters, I figure it has to work with the older dogs. Once your older dog learns to use a pee pad with attractant, you can switch over to the adult version, if you see fit.

View more articles written by Kristen Sydelko.

About The Author Kristen Sydelko

Kristen is the Web Coordinator at PetSolutions. She has over 5 years of experience working in the pet care industry, with many more years of pet ownership experience! When not at PetSolutions, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family (which includes an extremely spoiled Lab mix), crafting, and trying to decide when to set her fish tank back up.

comments (30)

  • My Chia, a 14-year old Pomeranian was trained to use pads from puppyhood. Now she has problems with her limbs and is not steady on the pads; the surface s too slippery. Are the adult pads less slippery? Is there a product that is less slippery? Sadly, she flops around on the pad and tries so hard to be good, but it’s difficult and heartbreaking to see her struggle. Any ideas??
    Many thanks.

  • Linda, China's mommy! Reply

    Got China two months ago, terrier dachshund mix (high legs) and she needs to use the pee pee pads. She refuses. Shes 4 1/2. Is it too late? I have the ones with the attractant but she just looks at it. Its pouring, shes too little and had pneumonia when the shelter found her. I dont want to take her out. How do I get her to use the pads?

  • Hi Andrea, I just read your comment, and certainly feel your frustration as ourt pets are our children and we hate to see them struggle! I had the idea that you could buy a square of artificial turf which some people train their dogs to go on in apartments with a tray under them, (then they just rinse them off to clean). How about putting the turf down (with a rubber anti-slip rug pad under if needed), and then put the pee pad on top? I would think the rough grass like surface would keep the pad in place. Or maybe just the anti-slip pad under, or maybe even just scotch tape the edges of the pee pad to the tile or vinyl floor? Good luck!

  • there are pee wee pads that have tape on them so they stick to the floor they work really good at not moving around

  • I have tried to train my dogs to use the wee wee pads since they were puppies and now at a year and a half I have given up! They think the wee wee pads are toys and they get chewed up all over the house.

  • Hi Amber

    Thanks for your post. Sometimes, dogs do have problems with chewing on the wee wee pads. If you know there are certain times your dog MUST use the potty, you could put the pads down and put the dogs on them only during that time. For example, immediately after my dog eats (and, I do mean IMMEDIATELY), he goes outside. If I were to train him to use pee pads, I would put him on the pee pad at that time until he did his business. Once the dogs know what the pad is for, they *should* stop chewing on them.

    Good luck!

  • I have a 3 month old yoorkie poo that i have been using pee pads..She knows what they are, but all of a sudden she has been going potty in the floor.. WHY?? I get so upset because she was doing so good.She still uses the pee pads but is also going potty in the floor.

  • I cant get my jack russell female to use the wee wee pads I adopted her about 4 months ago( I also have A female pit bull no problems with her) she has ruined my carpet and she know she is not suppose to go in the house she just turned 1 she has bladder problems so I want to give her the option if she can't make it out side to use the wee wee pad I've tried she dosen't seem to cartch on PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

  • I have a 14 year old shih tzu mix that I found on the street about a year and half ago. Just recently in the past couple months he has begun to tinkle in his sleep… It's really unfortunate considering he sleeps in the bed. We take him out right before we go to sleep, but the little guy just can't seem to make it. We bought puppy pads hoping that would help but he won't use them. Even if we set him on there right when we wake up. Should we just give up and go to doggie diapers?

  • Hi Elizabeth – Dogs do not inherently use wee wee pads, especially if they have been trained to go outdoors. If you put some time into training him, he could potentially use them. I would suggest working on the training aspect, just in case he starts to have incontinent problems when he is awake. At night, I would use doggie diapers, since he probably does not have the bladder control to get out of bed to use the pads. In using both products, your senior pup will be covered for any time of day that he cannot make it outside. Good luck!

  • Hi Lisa – Unfortunately, it is going to take time and training to get your Jack Russell to use wee wee pads. If you start to see her go, get her to a wee wee pad. If you know where she typically goes in the house, put wee wee pads in those locations. Make sure you are using a really good stain remover/odor remover so that she is not tempted to go in the same spots, as well. And, you might have to try diapers. It is never easy to train a dog with bladder issues, but it can be done. It just takes patience, some extra careful watching, and knowing the different signs your puppy makes right before she is about to urinate.

  • Hi Katina – It is a good sign that your puppy is still using the wee wee pads, at least! I would suggest a) using a really good stain/odor remover to clean the areas she has gone on the floor and b) watch to see if there are any particular areas that your puppy prefers to use over other spots and put the wee wee pads in those places. Outside, dogs like to choose their own urination spots for some reason or another. It is probably the case indoors, as well. If one of her "favorite" spots is not ideal for your household, using an odor remover and potentially a boundary spray might work. However, the best way to prevent accidents on your floor is to put wee wee pads where your dog thinks in the best spot.

  • I have a 3 year old Yorkie who holds his wee for hours. Won't go on the pee pads or out. BUT loves the oriental in the dinning room. Spoiled little guy . Got him when he was two. Help

  • Hi Murphy's Mom

    I would start with using an enzyme cleaner to clean the area on your carpet – if it won't discolor your rug. That way, all the scent of where he's been peeing will go away. Then, I would put the wee wee pads on the area where he is constantly going. After he starts using the pads, slowly move the pad towards the door – and I do mean slowly. Each time you change the pad, just move it a fraction towards the door. Eventually, you'll get him to the door, and you can try getting him to go outside. If you can't ever get him to go outside, you can at least get him to use the pads, and possibly get him to use the pads where you want him to use them.

    We do have a customer with a Yorkie that is too embarrassed to go outside. The dog absolutely refuses, so the owner has to use pee pads. If you think that might be the same case with your dog, your goal is probably going to be getting the pup to use pads in a location you want.

    Good luck!

  • I have a 3yr old JRT mix she potties outside very well. For the colder months I would like for her to be able to potty inside because it would be easier for both of us. Sometimes in the colder months she won't go potty outside because she's cold. Oh I did get her a coat, it fits but she refuses to use it if she's wearing her coat. Can somebody help me please? And another thing she's about as stubborn as a mule. Lol

  • Hi Eclipse's Mom –

    If you are trying to get your dog to use a wee wee pad during certain months, I would suggest looking at your dog's habits when she needs to go potty. For example, my dog knows there is a specific door that he uses to go outside. If your dog has a specific door, then put a wee wee pad next to that door during the winter months. If the door leads to a covered area (porch, patio, etc), maybe start with the pad outside the door until your dog uses the pad. Then, start moving the pad back into the house. You will kind of do the opposite of people who are using the pad to train their dogs to go outside.

    Please keep in mind that you may un-train your dog to use the outdoors to go potty, even during times you want her to go out (like the summer). Typically, people don't use both wee wee pads and outdoors, unless the dog is older and doesn't always make it to the door to go out – that is typically an all-year-round situation, though, not just seasonal.

    If you want to try the coat option, see if the coat you have is covering or blocking any sections of your dog's legs/behind. Your dog may not like where the material is hitting, and that could be causing her to not want to go potty while wearing the coat. Otherwise, you can use wee wee pads – but just be ready to use them more often than just the winter.

  • We just adopted a dachshund mix a little over a week ago. She is a rescued dog and is about 1 and a half years old. She seems to know to try to hold it in until we take her outside… but she sometimes sneaks to the carpeted areas when we are not looking, or not at home to pee. She knows she is not allowed to go there, and we put barriers up. But she always somehow gets past the barriers. She's small and gets through the railings, or knocks down the barriers we put up.
    We really would like her to be pad trained because when we go back to work, we may be gone for 10 hours at a time. We are on winter break now for about two weeks so we have time to train her.
    This is day 2 of us trying to attempt to padtrain her.
    Day 1: we just put out pads, but she snuck downstairs to a carpeted area when we were out of the house for a bit to pee instead.
    Day 2: As soon as she woke up, I took her to the pee pad area and waited for about 20 minutes and kept saying the cue 'Go Potty'. She finally went. But later in the day when we left to go to church she again snuck to the carpeted area (although I had ductaped cardboard to all the railings, so she couldn't get through. She knocked down the baby gate we put up.
    A friend suggested we put up a penned in area, and put down potty pads and put her in there when we think she needs to go pee, and wait until she pees to praise her, give her a treat, and take her out. But I've been waiting for over 4 hours now. I had put her in the pen a couple of hours after dinner, before bed, and she hasn't gone for about 8 hours. Now, she has not gone for almost 12 hours.. and she is still holding it!!! I'm frustrated, and want to go to bed. She also seems very tired and keeps falling asleep. But I am determined to wait until she pees.. I've already waited this long. So I keep waking her up and telling her the cue 'Go Potty.' What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? What do I need to do? HELP!!!

  • Hi AnnjiMommy

    First, it sounds like you need to do a really good cleaning of the carpet where your dog likes to go. Using an enzymatic cleaning product, like some of the Nature's Miracle products – the Nature's Miracle Urine Destroyer Pet Stain & Residue Eliminator is an example of this kind of cleaner. It will remove residue and odor, which will help deter your dog from going back to that spot.

    Next, start putting the potty pads in the area where your dog is going potty. I know you said you don't want her in the carpeted area, but that is where she wants to go. Put the potty pad close to the area she usually goes (it will probably be damp for a little bit while the cleaner is working, so don't put the pad right on top of the damp area – it can be up to 2 weeks). As she starts using the pad, slowly move replacement pads towards the area you want the pads to eventually be in. And, I do mean slowly – such as, an inch or so each time you replace the pad. If she starts to use the carpet again, clean with the enzymatic cleaner and move the pad placement closer to where she had an accident, then slowly start moving towards the place you want the pad to eventually be. Praise her like CRAZY with really, really good treats that you don't normally give her whenever she uses the pad. Only use these treats for when your dog uses the pad, nothing else. (My dog will do almost anything for Blue Ridge Salmon Jerky.) Don't scold when she uses the carpet – just pick her up after her accident and put her on the pad. It could take awhile, and it might be frustrating, but you have part of the training done, since your dog knows how to go outside. Just be patient, and things will work out. And, make sure you use a really great enzymatic cleaner wherever she has her accidents so that she is not drawn to those spots again.

    I hope that helps!

  • I have a 10 year jrt who is trained to go out side. We live in Alaska and due to my health problems I need to train her to use a pee pee pads. I have tried for 4 days in a row and what my worry is she will hold it for up to 16 hours or more and then I either close her in a room till she goes or I take her out. Will her not going for so long cause her health problems? How do I get her to go on a Potty pad. PLEASE HELP

    • Hi Brenda,
      With regard to will there be any health problems due to the dog holding it in for so long, that is a better question for your veterinarian. I would imagine that it can’t be a good thing, but your vet will give you the proper information.

      As far as training your dog to use pads inside, several of us here discussed your issue of needing to reverse the training on your dog to go outside and we feel like a different product will be the way to go for you. Tinkle Turf should work better for you than just the pads do since your dog is used to going on grass. Click Here for Tinkle Turf Page at PetSolutions

      You may be able to fit the pads under the turf in the tray it sits on to make cleanup easier, but I am not sure if the pads will fit or not.

  • I am trying to train my 2 year old dog to use pads instead of outside since I will start working long hours. It has been about 15 hours since he used the bathroom and is refusing to go inside on them. What can I do?

    • First off, let your dog outside to use the bathroom if it has been 15 hours, before he suffers possible health side effects.

      That being said, you are for all intents and purposes, trying to untrain your dog to do something it has done its whole life to this point. Some dogs can be retrained, others will not take to it. You may want to try using something like Pet Park Dog Potty or Tinkle Turf. I wish you good luck!

  • I’m having the same problem as many others here. I have a small Chiweenie who usually goes outside several times a day. I live up in the mountains and when it rains she fights not to go outside. I do have a covered deck that would work, but she just won’t go. Is there a spray that you can put on the pee pads that make it more tempting for them?

  • I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

    • I’m not a puppy behavior expert, but my suggestion is to work on crate training your dog. When done properly, with a proper size cage, it is a great option for both you and your dog. Perhaps check with your local vet to find out what trainer he or she would suggest locally for help with crate training, or if he or she has a good online source for an excellent educator who gives the training via videos and a website online.

      Good lucks!

  • I have the same issue…4 year old Chihuahua knows where pee pad is and also goes on it, but often pees beside the pee pad?

    Why is this, and what can I do?

    • Hi Betty,

      I have heard that Chihuahuas are one of the most difficult dogs to house train, though I have no experience attempting to train one myself. The inconsistent use of one of these pads is a difficult one to sort out sometimes. As to why your pup is doing it I don’t have a way to know, but perhaps consider rewarding your dog with kind words and some extra petting when it properly uses the training pad.

  • I wonder if anyone can help me. I have a chweenie who’s 7. Perfectly trained, never messes indoors BUT we have had to temporarily move into a 3rd floor apartment. With a toddler I cannot keep taking my dog down to the garden when I’m home alone with them. I’ve put a puppy pad in the bathroom ready for my dog to use but she just won’t. She’s holding for hours and hours and I’m worried she’s going to make herself ill! How can I teach her it’s ok to go on it. She’s just so good and is most likely scared to go indoors thinking she will get told off. Any advise please?

    • When you take your dog down to go outside, put down the pad outside. Keep the dog with you on the leash in the area of the pad, so that it will start associate going with using the pad. It will take weeks, but eventually the dog will learn. Good luck!

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