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PROS AND CONS OF POTTY-TRAINING OPTIONS

 

If you just got a new puppy, you may be considering the potty-training options – paper training, pee pad training and grass training. Before committing to a potty-training option, it will help to have an insight to the benefits and disadvantages of each option, providing you with the relevant knowledge in choosing the best option that is both sustainable and practical for your lifestyle and routine.


There are advantages to paper/pee pad training:

  • Is ideal for smaller dogs due to the small volume of excretion which can be quickly absorbed on a pee pad, avoiding spilling of urine

  • Is crucial for puppies who have yet to complete their first three vaccinations and are unable to set their paws on the public ground

  • Is convenient during non-ideal weather

  • Is preferred for owners with long working hours and are unable to bring their dogs out to frequently relieve themselves

  • Is good for dogs that commonly urinate/defecate at night

  • Is good for dogs that have mobility difficulties (such as arthritis)

  • Is preferred for those living in high rise buildings with little grass patches nearby. The pavement may be heated up during the afternoon, possibly giving rise to burned paw pads

However, the disadvantages are:

  • Your house may smell after some time if ventilation is limited

  • Some male dogs may be unable to accurately aim their urine consistently on the pee pad/newspaper, leading to possible spills and urination on the floor

  • Your dog may accidentally step on the unabsorbed urine and walk around the house

Now that we have a rough understanding of indoor potty-training, we will explore the pros and cons for each potty training option in greater detail.


Pee pad training (potty on a pee pad at home)

Pros:

  • They are readily available off the shelves of pet stores.

  • They are highly absorbent, ensuring the urine doesn’t soak through to the floor and allows an easy clean-up process

  • Some pee pads contain odour eliminators

Cons:

  • You will have to frequently change the pee pads, as some dogs refuse to urinate on pee pads that are soiled, causing urination/defecation on the floor near the pee pad

  • Puppies may shred pee pad

  • May be less economical in the long run due to the frequent need to purchase pee pads

  • Pee pads contain a particular scent which may condition your dog to only urinate/defecate in the presence of that scent, making transitioning to grass training difficult

  • It may be difficult for your dog to differentiate between a mat/rug and the pee pad

  • Dogs may be conditioned to substrate preference, urinating only on pee pads and increasing the difficulty to transitioning to grass training


Paper training (potty on a newspaper at home)

Pros:

  • Newspaper is inexpensive and economical in the long run

  • It is a perfect way to recycle paper and is ecologically friendly

  • You can fold the newspaper, conveniently customizing the size onto a pee tray

Cons:

  • You will have to frequently change the pee pads, as some dogs refuse to urinate on pee pads that are soiled, causing urination/defecation on the floor near the pee pad

  • Puppies may shred newspaper

  • The urine may soak through the absorbable newspaper if left long enough and possibly stain the floor in the absence of a waterproof liner between the newspaper and the floor

  • The urine can drip or spill while cleaning up

  • Outdoor potty training can be ideal as well, especially when there is an easily accessible grass patch

  • Newspapers have a slow absorption rate and your dog may accidentally step on the unabsorbed urine and walk around the house


Grass training (potty on the grass patch)

Pros:

  • A convenient option for dogs brought on frequent walks

  • Urinating on a grass patch does not require any cleanup

  • Suitable for large dogs with large volumes of urine

  • Is convenient if there is a nearby park or grass patch

  • Your house will be free from the odour of urine/faeces

Cons:

  • Picking up the faeces using a bag may be less preferred for some

  • Grass training may be more difficult for fearful dogs, who tend to be cautious outside of the house

  • Dogs’ urine may discolour or damage some species of grass and plants

  • Grass contains many organisms such as ticks, ants, amoeba and more, which can cause varying degrees of harm to your dog

  • Dogs may be conditioned to substrate preference, urinating only on grass and increasing the difficulty to transitioning to paper training

  • Walking to grass patches are not recommended in the noon as the pavement may be heated up, possibly giving rise to burned paw pads

  • The grass may contain items that are dangerous if ingested by your dog and will require you to be vigilant, especially in the low-lighting situations and timings