Do Puppy Pads Have A Scent To Attract Dogs

Introduction

Puppy pads, also known as dog training pads or pee pads, are absorbent pads used to aid in house training puppies and dogs. They provide dogs with a designated indoor area to urinate and defecate. Puppy pads consist of layers of absorbent material and often have a plastic lining to prevent leaks. The purpose of puppy pads is to mimic grass or absorbent material that dogs would naturally seek out when needing to relieve themselves. They prevent messes around the home while owners work to fully house train their pets.

What Are Puppy Pads?

Puppy pads are absorbent pads designed for puppy training and incontinence management. According to POGIS, puppy pads are similar to a baby’s diaper and feature layers of absorbent material to soak up urine. The pads give puppies a designated place to relieve themselves inside the home until they are properly house trained. Pet parents place the pads on the floor in an accessible area so the puppy can learn where to eliminate. Puppy pads are an alternative to taking the dog outside frequently or using a litter box.

How Puppy Pads Work

Puppy pads are designed to absorb urine and attract puppies to use them as a designated potty spot. The pads contain a super absorbent core made of cellulose fibers or sodium polyacrylate that turns liquid into gel upon contact (Pogis, 2023). This absorbs the urine and prevents leaking and tracking messes. The pads often have plastic film backing to prevent soaking through to the floor. Some also have built-in antimicrobial treatments to help control odors.

a puppy peeing on a potty pad

In addition, many puppy pads contain scents or other attractants to encourage potty training. These scents help create an inviting spot for puppies to eliminate. By repeatedly going on the pad, puppies learn it is an appropriate place to potty inside (Pet Parents Brand, 2023). Over time, puppies can be transitioned to going outside as their bladder control improves.

Do Pads Contain Scent?

Most puppy pads on the market today contain some type of scent or attractant. Manufacturers add these to make the pads more appealing and attractive to puppies. There are two main types of attractants used:

Pheromones – Many pads contain dog pheromones or synthetic pheromones. These simulate the natural scents and signals dogs use to mark their territory with urine. The pheromones signal to the puppy that this area is an appropriate place to eliminate. Some common pheromones used include androgen, estrogen, and dog appeasing pheromone (DAP).

Artificial scents – Pads are also scented with artificial odors resembling grass, citrus, cedar, rain, ocean breeze, etc. These make the pad smell pleasant to humans while also attracting dogs with their interesting smells. Popular scents for puppy pads include lavender, lemon, peppermint, and fresh meadow.

According to Bondvet.com, scented pads can be a “double-edged sword.” The scents attract dogs to the pads but may prolong potty training by allowing puppies to eliminate inside. Simplesolution.com states their lavender-scented pads provide an odor neutralizing effect to keep homes smelling fresh.

Types of Attractants

Many puppy pads on the market today contain synthetic attractants that aim to lure dogs to the pad and encourage proper toilet habits. These attractants are typically scent-based and utilize ingredients that spark a dog’s innate urge to eliminate on that particular spot.

Some common attractant ingredients found in puppy pads include:

  • Pheromones – Dog pheromones mimic natural scents and signals to create an inviting potty area. Pheromones tell a dog this is an appropriate place to go potty.
  • Ammonia – Ammonia is a primary component of urine. The scent triggers a dog’s urge to pee in that exact location.
  • Fatty acids – These acids found in dog urine help attract dogs to the scent.
  • Cyclodextrin – This binding agent helps retain scents in the pad to keep it smelling attractive.

By incorporating these types of attractants into the pad, companies aim to make their potty pads as appealing and effective as possible for a dog’s needs.

Benefits of Scented Pads

One of the main benefits of using scented puppy pads is that the attractants encourage the puppy to use the pad instead of urinating or defecating on carpets, floors, or furniture. The scents are designed to be enticing to dogs so they will be drawn to do their business on the pads.

Most puppy pads contain either a pheromone or ammonia scent. Pheromones mimic the natural scent markers dogs use to identify where they should eliminate. The pheromone attractants tap into a puppy’s natural instincts, signaling that the pad is an appropriate place to go potty (Source).

a puppy sniffing a scented potty pad

Ammonia is another common attractant. Its strong odor smells similar to urine, triggering a puppy’s urge to urinate. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell, so they can detect the ammonia scent and associate the pad with an appropriate place for relief (Source).

With the scent drawing the puppy to the pads, there is less risk of accidents around the home. Owners don’t have to worry as much about urine, feces, or odor on floors and furnishings. This makes clean-up and sanitizing much easier.

Potential Downsides

While scented puppy pads can be useful training tools, there are some potential downsides to be aware of.

One is that puppies may become dependent on the smell and have trouble transitioning to going potty outside or on plain pads without the attractant. As reported by Rover.com, “The scents and perfumes used in some pads can actually teach puppies to eliminate only on aromatic surfaces” (1). Essentially, the artificial grass smell trains them to only go potty if they smell that specific scent. This can prolong the training process.

Additionally, some dogs may be sensitive or allergic to the fragrances used in scented puppy pads. It’s a good idea to monitor your puppy for signs of irritation after using scented pads. Unscented pads are gentler on sensitive noses.

Overall, while scented puppy pads can help attract puppies, it’s best not to rely on them long-term. Make sure to incorporate outdoor potty training and unscented pads to avoid dependence on the artificial scents.

Pad Training Tips

When training your puppy to use potty pads, consistency and positive reinforcement are key. Here are some tips for effective pad training:

Choose a designated pad area in your home and always place pads in that spot. Keep pads in the same place so your puppy learns to return there to relieve themselves. An area like a bathroom or mudroom works well.

Restrict access so your puppy is only in rooms with pads when unsupervised. You can use baby gates or close doors to keep them contained.

Reward your puppy with treats and praise every time they use the pads correctly. This positive reinforcement helps them learn.

Consider using potty training sprays or attractants on the pads to encourage puppy pottying. The scents can help signal that the pads are the right place to go. Products like Piddle Place and Potty Training Spray can help.

pouring potty training spray on a pad

Clean up accidents completely using enzymatic cleaners so your puppy isn’t drawn back to the same soiled areas. Limit access to previously soiled spots.

Be patient and consistent. Potty training takes time. Stick to a regular schedule of taking your puppy to the pads.

Slowly transition your puppy to going outside as they gain control of their bladder. Gradually move pads closer to the door before fully switching to outdoor pottying.

Transitioning Away From Pads

Eventually, most puppy owners will want to transition their puppy to potty exclusively outdoors. Pee pads can be helpful for young pups, but using them too long can delay potty training. According to https://www.foundanimals.org/transition-puppy-pads-great-outdoors/, the key is to gradually move the pads closer to the door you’ll use to take your puppy outside. Make sure your puppy sees where you’ve moved the pad so they learn that’s the new potty place.

As recommended by https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Wean-a-Dog-off-Dog-Training-Pads-and-Go-Potty-Outside, start by moving the pad right next to the door you’ll use to go outside. Then, move the pad outside, right by the door. Gradually move it further away from the door and closer to the intended outdoor potty spot. Take your puppy out often and reward them for going potty outdoors.

moving a potty pad closer to the door

With patience and positive reinforcement, you can transition most puppies off pads and onto full outdoor potty training by 4-6 months old. Just go slow and be consistent.

The Bottom Line

While scented puppy pads can provide some benefits during the potty training process, they should not be relied on as a complete replacement for active training. The scents are designed to initially attract puppies to use the pad, but consistent rewards and positive reinforcement are still needed to fully potty train a dog. Scented pads on their own will not teach a puppy where it is appropriate to relieve itself.

The goal should be to gradually transition the puppy off pads and have them eliminate outdoors. Otherwise, dogs may develop a preference for soiled pads indoors versus going outside. Be sure to slowly reduce access to pads while maintaining regular schedules and providing praise for outdoor potties. With time and patience, puppies can learn to potty exclusively outside regardless of whether scented pads were used in initial stages of training.

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