House-training puppies is a lot easier than it used to be. Forget using newspapers. Today’s puppy training pads make the job simple and easy, and there are a number of reasons they make sense. If you live in an apartment, you may not have access to a spot close by to take your dog. Senior dog owners may find taking pups up and down stairs a strain, and if your puppy is born in the winter, it may be much happier relieving themselves indoors than out in the cold. Training pads are a Godsend for pups and they work equally well for older dogs that may have bladder problems. There are lots of choices out there, so here are some tips to help you choose the training pads that will work best for your new (or old) cuddly friend.

Size Matters

These pads have a super-absorbent center that turns to gel when it comes in contact with puppy pee. A leakproof plastic liner prevents damage to floors and a 1.5-inch plastic border prevents spillovers. AmazonBasics

The bigger the pad size, the better. Larger pads will also absorb more liquid, which is a plus for those who may need to leave their pups alone for extended periods. Look for pads that have a pheromone attractant built in or buy a pheromone spray so that your pup is attracted to the pad.

Absorbency Matters

These pads are treated with a pheromone attractant so your dog knows where to go. Glad for Pets

Leakage is a huge concern. Many new training pad designs have a multi-layer design that features a chemical absorbent that turns to a gel when it gets wet, so you won’t have to worry about piddly tracks all over the house. To protect floors, make sure the pads you buy have a plastic/leakproof backing. And designs that have an inch or two of plastic around the edge will help prevent spillovers.

Disposables vs. Reusables

This three-layer, antimicrobial mat sits on top of the plastic insert that allows liquid to drain into the durable collection tray. PETMAKER

While disposable pads are certainly convenient, those who need to leave their dogs for long periods of time may find that a reusable pad is better way to go (you won’t be filling up a landfill with spent pads, either). Most of these designs have a top mat that allows liquid to seep down into a plastic base. Clean-ups are simply done by washing off the pad and base with a little dish soap and hot water. If the pad starts to get smelly, adding some vinegar to your wash solution will help neutralize odors.