Should You Put Pee Pads In A Dog’s Crate?

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You can’t always be there to let your dog outside when he needs to go. That can be a problem with very young puppies and older dogs that have continence problems.

So, how do you avoid accidents? Should you put pee pads in a dog’s crate? And can pee pads be used during potty training?

Read this guide to find out why puppy pads in a crate are not a good idea.

Why Crate Train Your Puppy?

First of all, let’s take a look at why crate training a dog or puppy is a good idea.

A Cozy Den

French Bulldog puppy resting inside a metal crate

All dogs are naturally denning creatures that love to have a quiet, dark, enclosed place that they can claim as their own.

Watch your canine companion, and you’ll notice that he likes to sneak under a table, behind the sofa, or even into a cupboard. That’s your pup’s way of finding a den!

 You can give your dog the cozy den he craves by providing your pet with a crate lined with lots of warm blankets where he can rest. Fit the crate with a well-fitting cover to create a dark, enclosed, private space your dog will want to spend time in.

Silent Nights

Unfortunately, dogs can be quite active at night, and that’s not great for a sound night’s sleep for you and your family.

You can still have your puppy or dog in your bedroom with you, but you can also be assured of a relatively undisturbed night’s sleep by confining your pet to a crate.

Of course, you will need to let your puppy outside for a potty break once or twice during the night, but crating your pet can help to avoid accidents and keep your potty training program on track.

Many dogs and young puppies settle much better when kept in the same room as their owner. Set the crate next to your bed so that you can poke your fingers through the wire mesh and reassure your puppy if he starts crying. 

Potty Training

Miniature Golden Doodle Puppy and Potty Training

Using a crate is proven to be the best method of potty training your dog. 

How so?

Well, most dogs and puppies will not intentionally soil their sleeping area or den, so you can be sure that your pet doesn’t want a dirty crate. So, if you keep your pet in his crate and schedule regular potty breaks for your pup, you can use his natural behavior to toilet-train your furry friend.

On the other hand, if you allow your dog to roam around your home unsupervised in the dead of night, you can pretty much guarantee to find a puddle or a smelly “present” when you get up in the morning!

Separation Anxiety

Many dog breeds, such as Doodles, adore being around their human owners. In some cases, the dog becomes so attached to his owner that he can’t cope when mom or dad leaves the house, and the pup is home alone, even for short periods.

That behavior often manifests itself as a condition commonly referred to as separation anxiety.

Providing your dog with a crate offers your pet a safe, secure space where he can feel less anxious about being left on his own when you need to go out.

Destructive Behavior Prevention

When puppies are teething, they tend to chew whatever comes within range of their mouths! That destructive behavior can quickly become a habit, especially if your pup gets stressed when you leave him home alone.

By keeping your puppy or dog confined to a crate, you can prevent him from destroying your stuff when you’re not around to watch him.


Golden Retriever in crate waiting for Adoption

If your dog is allowed free rein to wander through your home or backyard as he wants, there’s a danger that your pet could get hold of something that could harm him.

Your curious canine companion could nibble on an electrical wire, swallow something poisonous, or get stuck somewhere he can’t get out of. If you have your dog confined to his crate, you know that he will stay safe when you’re not around.

Travel Safety

If you’re on the move and Fido is going with you on a road trip, he should ideally travel in a crate.

In fact, many states insist that your dog is confined to a securely fixed crate when you’re driving on public roads. If you have a collision, an unsecured dog instantly becomes a dangerous projectile. Furthermore, most airlines insist that dogs travel in an approved crate, either in the cargo hold or underneath the seat in front of you.

Why Pee Pads Don’t Belong In Crates

Your dog’s crate is his den. As previously mentioned, dogs will relieve themselves in their den or sleeping area.

You don’t want your dog to pee in his crate, and he doesn’t want to soil where he sleeps. So, if you put a puppy pad in your dog’s crate, you’re immediately contradicting your dog’s natural instincts and confusing your pet.

The bottom line: don’t put pee pads in your dog’s crate!

How Do Pee Pads Work?

Dogs have a great sense of smell! In fact, your dog’s olfactory senses are up to 40 times more efficient than ours.

Your dog uses his own scent as a kind of messaging service. For example, if your pet pees on a tree while you’re out walking, the next dog to pass by will sniff the tree and know that another dog has been there before.

Dogs typically like to relieve themselves in the same place every time they go. The scent of your dog’s urine tells any other creature passing through your backyard that a dog already lives there, and that’s his space.

Why Do Dogs Pee In Crates?

Sometimes, a dog will have an accident in his crate, despite his instincts.

But why?

  • If you leave your dog alone for too long, he might be unable to hang on any longer before he simply must go.
  • If a dog has a urinary tract infection or some other medical problem, he might not be able to maintain full bladder and bowel control
  • Dogs from puppy farms might be used to having to go potty in a crate simply because they have no choice.
  • A dog that gets stressed when confined to his crate might pee because he’s anxious.

The occasional accident is fine and to be expected. However, repeated crate peeing is worrying, and you should investigate the cause.

How To Avoid Crate Peeing Accidents

Follow these top tips to prevent your dog from peeing in his crate:

  • Before crate time, take your dog outside for a bathroom break.
  • Do not give your dog anything to eat or drink right before he goes into his crate, as that means he will need to go potty within half an hour or so of being crated.
  • Be sure to offer your dog plenty of bathroom breaks throughout the day so that he understands when and where he can pee.
  • Former puppy mill dogs from rescue centers and shelters will usually need to be crate trained from scratch to teach them where’s the right place to pee.

It’s crucial that you don’t punish or scold your dog if he does have an accident. That could make your dog nervous around you and could even cause him to pee in his crate out of fear.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed our article on whether or not to use puppy pads in your dog’s crate. If you found the guide interesting and helpful, please share it.

Dogs will not intentionally soil their den or sleeping area. So, placing a puppy pee pad in your furry friend’s crate is a sure way of confusing him! Most dogs will have the odd accident indoors, but with patience and the correct training, you can successfully potty train your furry friend.

What do you think about using puppy pee pads in dog crates? Tell us in the comments box below!

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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