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Toilet Training Options For Indoor Dogs

 by alexandra on 01 Dec 2014 |
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Indoor toilet training methods are most commonly used by people with very small dogs, people who are unable to get outside easily due to health issues, bad weather, unsafe surroundings or living in a high-rise, and people who work such long hours that their dog can't reasonably be expected to hold it and wait to go outside. When maintained correctly, these methods are perfectly healthy and odourless, with no exposure to disease or parasites.

There are several options for creating an indoor toilet training area for your dog, moving beyond the old standby of several sheets of newspaper laid out on the floor. Available now are absorbent potty pads (also known as puppy pads or pee pee pads), dog litter boxes or a tray lined with artificial turf. 

Disposable absorbent Puppy Pads are a more modern approach to paper training, adding a plastic backed pad with a more absorbent material that draws in moisture like a diaper rather than simple paper. The easiest indoor potty training method for most puppies and dogs involves creating a confinement area where your dog can be left unsupervised. The area will have a bed, food, water dishes, toys, and an area for your dog's potty pads or other potty area. As your puppy becomes reliable about using their pads, you'll gradually increase the area of confinement until they are loose in the house and reliable about taking themselves to their designated area when they feel the urge.

Whelping Pads are much like a puppy pad but are made of absorbent cloth with a non-absorbent backing. Whelping pads are washable and so they can be used many times. These pads are usually fantastic to use in combination with a puppy litter tray.

The Puppy Litter Box is a preferred indoor toilet training method for many dog owners. These litter boxes are usually filled with pellets that are biodegradable, absorbing urine and feces quite well. It is safe for the puppies and they stay very clean but comes with the usual gripes of having to clean around the box when the litter is tracked around.

There are also a number of different toilet systems out there which utilise artificial grass and turf for the puppy to train and pee on. Utilising artificial turf simulates the grass feel for feet of your dogs while allowing the urine to flow through the grass to the tray below where it can be emptied. There also exists toilet systems that incorporate real turf grass, allowing an easy transition between indoor turf and the wider world. Both the smell and feel of the real turf comfort the puppy and the ease of disposable means virtually no clean up.


Before you start training, decide where you want your puppy's potty area to be. If at all possible, set up your dog's papers, pee pads, turf tray or litter box where you want them to be long-term. Although not impossible, training them to use a new indoor area - and to stop going in the original area they were trained to use - is tricky, so avoid having to change the location of their papers, litter box, or training pads if at all possible.

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