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A potty pad, or pee-pee pad, has plenty of uses for your pets. It can help with training, help aging dogs avoid accidents, and can be an alternative to going outdoors for small breeds. A puppy pad can also protect your car seats (including acting as a safeguard for newly toilet trained kiddos, too) The best pad for you depends on how you will use it, and what sort of pet you have. Here’s what to know about how potty pads work and how they can help protect your floors—and your sanity.

Absorbent middle becomes gel when liquid hits, keeping pad dry and mess-free for pets. Plastic lining prevents surface damage. AmazonBasics

Disposable pads can give you peace of mind when your pup is newly trained. Placing them on the floor in a gated area can help ensure that an accident will be easy to clean up. Some smaller breeds may also be pad trained, and taught to pee on the pad. This can be helpful for small, indoor pups with small bladders, who may need to regularly pee but cannot regularly be brought outside every few hours.

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Created with pheromones to help guide your dog toward the liner, this product contains activated carbon to help neutralize any unpleasant smells. Glad for Pets

A pup will still need to be trained to reliably pee on pee pads. Some pads are made with specific chemicals, called pheromones, to help “attract” pups. These scents should not be detectable to you, but dogs will be able to smell them. On that note, consider liners that are made to minimize odor, especially if you plan to leave your canine friend alone for a few hours while you are out of the house.

Also Consider

Made of moisture-absorbing and odor-minimizing materials, this has several different scent options, including lavender and eucalyptus. American Kennel Club

Puppy pads can be a smarter solution than laying down towels or newspaper because puppy pads are designed to minimize odor and wetness. Some puppy pads are scented to mask odor; others are designed to be scent-free. Choose which ones you prefer. As a bonus, these pads aren’t just for pets. For example, some parents put one on the car seat before a long trip; others may put them down to help protect a bed and mattress if a child isn’t feeling well and may get sick.