Doggy housebreaking, the favorite part of every new pet parent. No, not really. If you have ever tried housebreaking a puppy, you'll know that most dog owners will find that it’s the bane of every pet parent's existence while oddly, at the same time, being a great bonding experience for you and your puppy. There are different methods and tools for housebreaking dogs, but today we'll focus on the comparison between grass litter boxes and housebreaking training pads.
When it comes to training your dog not to use the bathroom wherever he or she wants, there are tons of pet products available on the market that can help your puppy become familiarized with the new bathroom routine (while also causing you as little stress as possible).
Housebreaking helpers have become the industry standard among many dog parents, and most of them do help with training a dog proper potty routines. However, oftentimes we’re faced with a lot of options and may not know which to go with. For example, are grass litter boxes for dogs better than potty training pads? Let's talk about the pros and cons of each.
Puppy Potty Training Pads and Grass Litter Boxes: What’s What?
As you can see below, we’ve included images of puppy potty training pads and dog grass litter boxes for you to peruse and get a general idea of what these dog housebreaking products represent.
Puppy training pads are absorbent potty pads that hold in the liquid and generally have a quick-drying surface. While your dog is being trained in new bathroom routines, you can teach him or her to use these potty pads so that your floors would stay relatively clean and dry. Most puppy training pads can even be used with elderly dogs that are having trouble controlling their bathroom habits.
Dog grass litter boxes, on the other hand, are boxes filled with artificial turf that mimics the outside. Most pet parents have seen these used with cats because they're not as popular with dog owners, but it seems the fashion trends are changing. Grass litter boxes for dogs are becoming a common housebreaking assistant for many new dog owners.
RELATED: You’ve Adopted a Puppy. Now What?
At Top Dog Tips, we strongly believe in using the best dog supplies to assist with any dog training endeavors because these products exist for a reason. As you’ll see in the next section, each of these dog supplies has its pros and cons, and deciding which one is “better” is for the most part subjective, and highly depends on your own personal situation.
Pros & Cons of Puppy Housebreaking Pads and Dog Grass Litter Boxes
Puppy pads have advantages that have a lot to do with how they’re configured and how convenient they are.
When buying absorbent puppy training pads such as the All-Absorb Puppy Training Pads, for example, you’ll notice that their cleanliness is a big selling point. They prevent your floors from becoming soaking wet by absorbing the urine.
Dog training pads often have odor neutralizers, so there is no smell associated with them. Most of these housebreaking items are reasonably priced, and the high quantity of them (100 in one package for about $20) means that you’re getting a bang for your buck.
Once your puppy has done his business on a potty pad, you can just delicately scoop the pad up and throw it into the trash. The lack of mess and the convenience are two of the strongest “pros” of puppy potty training pads.
But, for all the good reviews, such housebreaking puppy pads do have some downsides.
If your pooch has been trained and housebroken improperly, these puppy training pads can become a crutch for your Fido, and you’ll have trouble completing the housebreaking training.
Your dog (and you) might just become used to the convenience of the pads and make that their go-to spot for using the bathroom. Therefore, when using puppy training pads, you’ll want to make sure that you wean your puppy off of them as soon as you can. Don’t make these housebreaking pads your permanent or long-term solution.
Also, another unpleasant possibility is that your dog makes the association between any square piece of cloth on the floor and using the bathroom. That means anything—rugs, yoga mats, towels—becomes fair game for your dog.
The final verdict: Puppy potty training pads are good for housebreaking as long as that housebreaking is consistent, thorough, and continual; neither of you should use the pads as a crutch because that can seriously backfire.
Dog grass litter boxes are used for training your pet to go indoors (that’s not the only place your dog will go; with grass litter boxes for dogs, indoor bathroom space is added to the outdoor one).
The grass in the doggy litter box is replaceable either with turf, sod, or even real grass. It is a good housebreaking tool because it is definitive for your dog—it’s easy to tell that a grass litter box is a special place when compared to the rest of the house.
Dogs will be able to easily tell that the grass litter box is meant for the bathroom; not anything else. This clarification comes in handy during puppy house training, where you want everything to be as simple as possible.
The replaceable capabilities and textural difference aren’t the only things great about puppy grass litter boxes. If your dog has learned to go to the bathroom outside but now needs to be trained for inside, a grass litter box is an easy tool to use. It resembles a place like the one where your dog used to his business, just with a small difference—the area is smaller.
When using dog grass litter boxes, you can train your puppy to go both indoors and outdoors. Also, these housebreaking products are usually much heavier, so your puppy won’t be able to drag it around or rip it to shreds the way it might be tempted to do with puppy training pads
Like every other dog product, such puppy grass litter boxes do have disadvantages.
While puppies can’t destroy grass litter boxes quite the same way they can rip apart puppy potty pads, they may still be tempted to dig up the grass because all dogs love doing that. Obviously, that can cause a big mess—especially if they’re digging it up after they’ve used it.
Also, cleaning the grass litter boxes is a bit more rigorous than cleaning training pads and, if not cleaned properly, they can begin to give off a foul odor. The extra effort for cleaning is something to consider. You also won't be able to place them in your dog's soft crate.
Finally, grass litter boxes for puppies aren’t as widely available as puppy training pads that you can get pretty much at any store. But if you love to shop online, there are a few great options of grass litter boxes on Amazon.
Our Favorite: HQ4us Dog Grass pad with Tray Large Dog Litter Box
Which one: Puppy training pads or dog grass litter box?
When it comes to which is “better,” that’s quite subjective and the decision will usually be based on your own needs and the situation.
Puppy training pads are great for someone who has a lot of time to devote to housebreaking (i.e. they don’t work 10 or 12 hour days) and can keep housebreaking consistent and progressive without using these puppy pads as a crutch.
Housebreaking pads are also good for pet parents who don’t want a long cleanup time (I think that’s all of us), and if you simply abhor cleaning, puppy potty pads might be a good option for you.
Grass litter boxes for dogs are great for dog parents who work long hours and might not be able to get home in time every day to take out their pets. Other chores like helping with dog shedding by grooming your pet, cleaning their teeth, and taking dogs to a vet can all be done on the weekend; not so with cleaning out the litter boxes.
Also, if your dog has already been trained to go to the bathroom outside, grass litter box training will be simple, as long as you have the time (at least 15-20 minutes) to clean the doggy litter box properly each day.
Housebreaking training doesn’t have to be torturous, as long as you know your options and what works best for you and your pet, it’ll be simple. I hope this helped.
Have you tried housebreaking your dog using either training pads or grass litter boxes? Share your experience with us in the comments below!