If your puppy is sleeping on their pee pad, it’s likely because of comfort (pee pads are cushioned), temperature (pee pads are much warmer than the floor), or location (the pee pad might be closer to you). The best way to stop this behavior is to provide your puppy with a warm and comfortable spot near you.
Do you put your pup to bed on its expensive, fluffy dog bed just to watch him get up and move to the thin, disposable pee pad a few minutes later? Do you find yourself asking WHY?
This can be super frustrating and cause many questions. You may wonder what entices your dog to do this, how to retrain them not to, and if there is a reason to be concerned.
And most importantly, you may be wondering if you need to keep buying expensive dog beds!
Why Do Some Puppies Sleep on Pee Pads?
We can break down the potential reasoning for our pups’ behavior into three big buckets.
A pee pad might provide your dog with more comfort than their regular bed. This typically has less to do with the physical perks since a pee pad isn’t very cushioned.
It is more closely tied to the emotional comfort provided to the puppy. If your dog has used pee pads since they first took them home, they may view the pee pad as a safer place compared to the doggy bed.
Another big reason you might find your dog moving to their pee pad is because their doggy bed is too hot. If your dog’s bed or the bedroom runs on the warmer side, your pup may be seeking some cooler ground by moving to their pee pad.
Is the pee pad closer to you than your pup’s bed is? Or is it right next to the back door? Depending on where the pee pad is placed, your pup may be trying to communicate with you.
If it’s close to where you’re sleeping, your dog may just want to be close to you. If your pee pad is by the door to go outside, pay close attention to the times they migrate here. They may want to go outside to use the bathroom.
Getting Your Puppy to Sleep On It’s Own Bed
If you believe your dog is sleeping on the pee pad due to one of the three reasons mentioned above, here are a few tips and tricks to get them to sleep on their own bed.
Is there another blanket or toy that your dog is attached to? If so, make sure this item is near their bed or crate when it’s time for sleep. This may help override the comfort and attachment your dog feels to the pee pad.
If you believe this is why your dog is sleeping on the pee pad, it may be time to consider if a pee pad is still necessary. Your pup could be using it as a crutch instead of for its intended purpose, and there would be no better time to train your dog to go outside to go to the bathroom.
Controlling The Temperature
This is the easiest fix – If you think your dog is too hot, try keeping a fan or the AC on overnight. If keeping the AC on overnight is too expensive, you might want to consider investing in a portable AC unit.
Fixing The Location Issue
If you can identify why the pee pad is in a more appealing spot than your dog’s bed, you may be able to fix this problem.
If your dog is occasionally falling asleep on the pee pad by the door, it’s possible you aren’t getting up to let him/her outside soon enough.
If your dog is sleeping on the pee pad because it’s at the end of your bed instead of in the corner of the room, try switching the two positions.
The pee pad should be placed in an unappealing location that can be associated with going to the bathroom, such as the back door. By doing this, your dog will learn to distinguish between sleep time and bathroom time more efficiently.
What if The Puppy is Sleeping on a Used Pee Pad?
Once again, this could be a sign that your dog associates the pee pad with comfort. Most dogs remember this habit from when they were young puppies. Newborn pups don’t have much control over their bladder, so they’d often sleep where they urinated.
Should You Keep Using Pee Pads?
Pee pads can be a great tool, but you’ll eventually want to train your dog to go outside to use the bathroom. This would likely give you greater peace of mind knowing your dog will always make it to the door and not have accidents inside.
Occasionally there are extenuating circumstances, but ideally you should work with your dog to potty train him/her. It’s not an easy training process – but it’s worth it!
Is it Difficult to Transition Away From Pee Pads?
Like any training, potty training can be challenging and requires a lot of patience. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard and rely on walking your dog, it also requires an increase in activity.
In the beginning stages of training, the pee pad will come in handy for emergencies, but your dog should not rely on it for all bathroom breaks.
As your pup becomes more confident with their bathroom habits, you can remove the pee pads. Keep in mind that there could still be an accident or two, but your dog should understand that with no pee pad in the house, it’s expected that they go outside to do their business.
Should You Let Your Dog Sleep on the Pee Pad?
This is a personal preference issue. There aren’t many negative side effects that arise from your puppy sleeping on the pee pad, besides the fact that they might smell like urine.
The one caveat is that if your dog is on the older side, he or she may experience an increased level of joint pain from sleeping on the uncushioned ground.
Also, if it is a used pee pad, we can confidently say that it is not a great habit for him/her.
Should I Be Concerned if My Puppy Sleeps on a Pee Pad?
The greatest cause for concern with your dog sleeping on its pee pad is if it’s a dirty pee pad. This habit can lead to a smelly dog and a lot of extra baths. Bath time is not enjoyable for most dogs or owners, so it’s a great motivator to potty train your dog fast.
Generally, it’s not a worrisome behavior. However, if you do have concerns, it’s helpful to discuss this with your vet. Your vet may identify an underlying bladder problem or hormones that are driving your dog to be stressed and seek his/her pee pad.
Some Final Tips
Have you tried separating the pee pad area from the sleeping area? If you can strongly differentiate the two, your dog will associate the pee pad with going outside and his own bed with sleeping. Once you differentiate between the two, potty training should go more smoothly.
If your dog has to get up and exit the room to go to the pee pad, there is less of a transition to your pup getting up to go outside.
If the problem persists, try different sleeping options. Have you considered letting your dog in your bed? Or have you tried crating your dog overnight?
Finding the perfect sleeping arrangement for your pup will lead to a long and happy life together! It’s tough to find the right situation, but soon enough, it will become a routine!
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.