This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which puppy pads are best?

The challenge of potty training often tempers the joy of having a puppy. Teaching a puppy how to go in one place- and eventually outside- can take a long time and a lot of patience.

Puppy pads offer an easy, clean and effective way to start teaching a puppy the right behaviors. Puppy pads are also ideal for people living in apartments, traveling with their puppy or living in cold climates with snow and sub-zero temperatures. For overall absorption and effectiveness, the Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads are the top pads of choice.

What to know before you buy a puppy pad

Pads, like puppies, aren’t perfect

While many puppy pads are very absorbent, they often work best when the puppy is going in the center of the pad. For a spry, active puppy, their aim is still part of the training learning curve. Be patient when they miss the center, but also keep an eye on your pad as the further from the center they miss, the more likely there may be some seepage at the edges. 

One size doesn’t fit all

Pads intended solely for puppies will normally be around 2 feet by 2 feet. Large breed puppies may require jumbo pads, just as a larger adult dog with a temporary need for pads would too. Keep your dog’s size in mind when choosing a pad size.

Pads don’t always have to be used inside

If your dog prefers going outside, or you are focusing on getting them to go in the grass, some puppy pads mimic the look and feel of grass. You can use them inside or outside. Look for these uniquely styled puppy pads when purchasing the ones best for you.

What to look for in a quality puppy pad

Odor control

One of the essential features of a puppy pad is quickly absorbing urine and masking the smell. Pads with black carbon are best at doing this. Keep in mind that eventually, even the best pad will get saturated or use up the available carbon, so if you want to keep the smell at bay, you will need to replace pads periodically.

Adhesive backing

If your puppy pads do not have a sticky backing, you will find the pad in different positions and sliding across the room. Puppies are active and will take the pads for a ride if not properly anchored. Many puppy pads have sticky bottoms to help keep them in place.

Package quantity

A standard size box of puppy pads is usually 100 pads. However, if you are raising a litter, you may need a lot more. Or, if your dog is only using pads temporarily following a medical procedure or condition, you may need a lot less. Most manufacturers have different quantities available, so look for the package size best for your situation.

How much you can expect to spend on a puppy pad

Most disposable puppy pads cost $20-$30 for a package of 100 pads. Larger-sized packages and one-time washable pads will cost more than $30.

Puppy pad FAQ

Why are pads with black carbon recommended?

A. Black carbon does an excellent job of absorbing the smell of urine and feces. Keep in mind that odors will start to resurface once the carbon has been used up, so the pads will need regular replacement.

Will the ingredients in puppy pads harm my dog if eaten?

A. Most ingredients are not harmful to dogs, but you should check the manufacturer’s packaging and instructions. Try to discourage your dog from eating the pads. Consider offering a chew toy to distract them if this becomes an unwanted habit.

Are treats recommended for when puppies use a pad?

A. Yes. Dog owners know that a yummy treat is an excellent incentive to deliver the proper behavior. When your dog successfully uses the puppy pad, consider giving them something tasty as a reward.

What are the best puppy pads to buy?

Top puppy pad

Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads

Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads

What you need to know: These extra-absorbent pads are ideal for dogs of all sizes and do a good job keeping floors dry even after multiple uses.

What you’ll love: The pads are 22 by 23 inches and should accommodate all sizes of dogs. The Floor Armor leak-proof system has six layers for extra absorption. A built-in attractant draws dogs to the pad for fewer accidents.

What you should consider: The pads are not sealed closer to the edges, so if the puppy does not hit the center, there could be minor leaking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Top puppy pad for the money

All-Absorb Training Pads

All-Absorb Training Pads

What you need to know: For the price, these puppy pads do a good job of absorbing urine while allowing for frequent replacement.

What you’ll love: These affordable puppy pads can hold up to three cups of liquid and quickly turn urine into gel. The pads include a built-in odor neutralizer and attractant. The pad surface dries quickly to prevent tracking by the dog.

What you should consider: The pads require accuracy towards the center, or some leakage could happen. There have been reports of puppies chewing these pads.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Worth checking out

AmazonBasics Dog & Puppy Pads

Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy Pads

What you need to know: These pads are affordable, lightweight and do a good job absorbing for small-sized dogs.

What you’ll love: These puppy pads are 22 by 22 inches and include a 1.5-inch sealed border to help prevent leaks. The pads turn urine into a gel and dry quickly. They have a built-in attractant to encourage dogs to use the pads.

What you should consider: The pads can easily slide around and do not come with adhesive bottoms.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.