“ Brand: Pets at Home / Type: Dog Training „
Puppy toilet training is one of the most stressful times in any new owners lives, I would say its harder than potty training, and of course it depends on the breed and the nature of the dog.
What are "puppy training pads"?
Well they are a relatively new aid to puppy training and have replaced the use of newspaper. They are a small absorbent mat, basically like a flat nappy, that your dog is supposed to be attracted to, and the goes and does it's business on the mat rather than your new carpet. Then you move the mat closer to the door, until eventually it is outside and hey presto your puppy is toilet trained.....sounds simple enough right? Well as with most things it's never that simple.
Having already gone through this with my first pup Beau quite some years ago, When Luna was on the way I thought I would be a lot more organized given that I was alot more experienced than the first time round. Luna is a Battersea Rescue dog, and so I had a week to get everything ready for her homecoming. Unlike Beau I set Luna's crate in my room, (I know there are several theories about where your dog should sleep....but I decided to place the crate there for both her comfort and mine). I placed a blanket on one side of the crate and a puppy pad on the other. I didn't initially start with these ones, but bought some others that were better value....but they soon ran out. So after a quick emergency trip out....I found these. In my opinion they were a lot more expensive, and I found them to be quite small when used on their own not in the crate. Luna would miss and so the wee would be underneath the plastic bit which would make it smell if not caught immediately. As a product though they worked. As I was with her 100% of the time, I tended to only use them as a back up as I would take her out after she'd eaten where she would do her business and after a sleep. These are the two main times she would predictably need the toilet, and so from this she began to grasp the concept. You also learn to ready the puppy, when a pup starts circling you know more or less "quick it's toilet time" and so we would rush outside.
One of the negative aspect of any puppy pads, is using them too long. I made that mistake with Beau, we didn't go outside enough as I relied too much on the pads and the training took longer.
Eventually with Luna it only took a week for her to have no pads inside and then start having dry nights as she would whine when she needed the toilet. Rather than let her use the mat in the crate we would go out.
Another downside to the pads are that they can also become a puppy's new play thing, the odd occasion Luna would wake up and start shredding the pad, which at £4 for 7 pads makes them not very financially viable.
Pets at Home do do these in different quantities from 7 pads, 14, 30, 56 and 100. As with most things the more you buy the better value per pad. As they had no other stock in my branch I was left paying £4 for 7 which in my opinion is very dear, and then purchased 100 for £28. The only downside with that was then I was stuck with a lot left over.
Whilst Luna didn't have this problem,I have also heard of dogs completely avoiding the mat, they are not drawn to it all, so I would usually recommend buying a small sample pack from the likes of the , pound shop first before investing in a huge quality. Something else to consider? Incontinence mats. Yes that's right. I used up my remaining stock on my nan for whom I have become one of her main carers, we have large versions of these mats in her bed, so started using the puppy ones on her chair as they fit perfectly. So I would suggest checking out your local disability shop as they work out alot cheaper.
Would I recommend them? Yes as they work much better than newspaper, but just test they work for your pup first and don't over use them or depend on them too much.
I am over the moon to be the proud "Mum" of an 5 month old border collie pup called Belle, she has literally been here weeks, but has completely turned my house upside down, and worked her way into all of our hearts....surprisingly too, as i have never owned a dog before, and feel like i did with my eldest daughter!
As with my first child i have found that i may have gone slightly over the top with the puppy products available to buy, though after purchasing this as a spur of the moment thing, i have found this particular product invaluable!
As i have said i have no prior knowledge on puppies and training them, so have had to take advice and follow my gut, again very much like when i had my children!
There are many different products available for toilet training your pooches, but as we haven't yet innoculated Belle (later in the week I wrote this review anyway!), we can't risk letting her out incase she picks up any nasty germs, so knew i needed some way of training her, and hopefully finding a way of not letting her pee and poo over every surface in my house!
I had seen these training pads before, but have to be honest didn't look close enough to realise they are very much like bed wetting sheets for toddlers, i glanced, registered and was convinced they were nappies for puppies!
After realising what they were and that actually they must be quite well used as there were at least four different brands available, with the Pets at home version being the cheapest one's.
For a pack of 14 pads i paid £6.29, with the price coming gradually down the more you bulk buy, i started with a 14 pad pack as i honestly didn't think i would need many more than that, but have found that in the first day we used six pads! Though i am hoping this amount will go down as she is allowed out!
Each pad is 55cm by 57cm, and is a white quilted top, backed with a plastic sheet, and looks very much like a much thinner version of the inside of a nappy.
The product states that on the pad is a scent that not only attracts the puppy to it, but also a scent that does encourage them to relieve themselves on it.....with varying degrees of success!
For the first day Belle literally just relieved herself were she stood, which to be fair we had expected as she had only just left her Mum, and was in a new and scary place.
The second day however she seemed to know instinctively were she had to go, with the only accidents she had was when she held her bum over a corner bit and missed the pad (though she had her main body on the pad itself, so as far as she was concerned to she was on target!).
Once urinated on the moisture is locked away within the pad, with the pad being ok to use again without replacing, in fact once she had used it she was much more likely to re-use it again as she had her scent on it, though of course once she had pooed the pad has to be rolled up and thrown away.
At the moment though I find her using them is very hit and miss (excuse the pun!), depending on her mood entirely, though as she has now had her first injection (second one to come soon!), she will be allowed outside and her toilet training can be taken outside (again with the help of the pads).
These are quite a good idea, and do help with toilet habits when (like me!) you have to go to work and leave the puppy on their own for a while, though of course it's entirely up to them if they use it!
For more information visit - www.petsathome.co.uk
Thanks for reading x