How to Teach Your Dog to Use a Potty Pad

How to Teach Your Dog to Use a Potty Pad

Indoor potty training for a dog has become extremely popular in metropolitan areas and places that suffer extreme winters. Residents of high-rise buildings often don’t want to take their dog for a walk several times a day. Others might work all day and need a way to leave their dog free in the home with an area to potty. In some locations, snow and ice make it difficult to take the dog outdoors to potty, especially with tiny or short haired breeds. 


Most dogs learn how to use a potty pad quickly. Many even prefer the pad to going outdoors where they are assaulted by the smells of other dogs which can lead to feelings of insecurity. 

Training Your Dog to Use a Potty Pad 

Below are the steps needed to train your dog to use a potty pad: 

  1. Place the potty pad in one small area of the home such as a bathroom or utility room. You’ll want to restrict your dog’s access to the rest of the house and instead place the dog in the room where the potty pad is located. Ideally, whatever room you choose to locate the potty pad should have easy clean flooring such as tile or vinyl incase the dog misses the potty pad or the pad leaks through.
  2. Line the floor with potty pads. Leave an area pad free where you can place your dog’s food and water. You can also place Fido’s dog bed in the room. 
  3. If your dog should have an accident not on the pad, do not yell at the pup or punish the animal. Instead, simply clean up the soiled location using a smell neutralizing chemical that is enzyme based. 
  4. Spend time watching your pup and when the dog finally uses the potty pad, praise the dog, and offer a treat. 
  5. Every day, remove one of the potty pads but leave the others on the floor. Basically, you are weaning your dog off of all the pads and your dog will eventually only potty on the single potty pad that remains in the room. If your dog should eliminate on the floor after you have removed the pad, clean up the mess, and position a pad in the spot where the dog has eliminated.
  6. Always feed your pup on schedule so the dog develops a regular potty schedule and is less likely to have accidents throughout the day. 
  7. Regularly switch out the soiled pads with clean ones. Many times, a dog will not use a pad that has been used. 
  8. Once your dog starts to regularly use the potty pads, then you can give the pooch access to the entire house. If the pup should accidentally eliminate in the house, then again confine the pup to the room with the potty pads and start the training process over again.

Eventually, your dog will extensively use the potty pads just like a dog who goes outside to go potty. Most dogs will start to use the potty pads after about two weeks of consistent training, but some dog breeds might take longer such as small dog breeds. 

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