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Are Single-Use Puppy Pads Toxic?

Having your puppy go outside is an ideal solution, but puppy pee pads can be a useful tool for potty training a puppy. A doggy pee pad can be beneficial if you have a young puppy who must go potty frequently. 

There are many benefits of using puppy training pads, including convenience, easy cleanup, and high absorbency, to name a few. However, before you decide to use potty training pads, it’s important to learn whether they contain any chemicals and are safe to use around puppies. At this point, you may ask, are puppy pads toxic?

Keep reading to find out! This article will tell you what are puppy pads made of, what to do if your puppy is chewing potty pads, and share eco-friendly alternatives to single-use puppy pads. 

This post includes affiliate links. If you buy something through us, we may earn a small commission.

What Are Puppy Potty Training Pads Made Of?

Most puppy training pads have the same basic elements, and their function is to absorb your puppy’s urine. 

A doggy pee pad has a plastic, leak-proof lining designed to keep the wetness contained in the pad. The backing can be blue or white, depending on the manufacturer. Thanks to the plastic backing, owners can fold the pad from the outside without contacting soiled areas. 

The rest of the pad consists of several layers with absorbent materials. The first layer allows the urine to move through to the pad’s absorbent layers and is made from non-woven flow-thru cloth. All remaining absorbent layers may consist of all or some of the following:

  • Paper tissue (sometimes contains charcoal or baking soda for odor control)
  • Absorbent synthetic hydrogel (turns the urine into a gel)
  • More paper tissue (sometimes has added pheromones to attract the puppy to pee on the pad)

Most puppy pads can hold up to three cups of liquid and lock it into the pad to prevent leaking. Depending on the manufacturer, puppy training pads have four or five absorbent layers and are similarly effective. 

Are Puppy Training Pads Toxic?

Puppy training pads can be made with toxic components. When used as intended, a puppy pad is non-toxic and won’t harm your puppy in any way. However, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for your pup to eat the pee pad. 

Unfortunately, puppies like to chew things, especially during the teething phase. Although puppy training pads are technically non-toxic, you should be concerned if your puppy tears and eats a pee pad. 

The following issues are associated with the ingestion of puppy training pads:

  • The plastic lining may cause an intestinal obstruction
  • The absorbent hydrogel may soak up the necessary stomach fluids 
  • The synthetic pheromones may cause an adverse reaction
  • Vomiting
  • Eating a dirty puppy pad may expose a puppy to harmful bacteria from urine and feces

RELATED POST: 5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Disposable Puppy Pads

What To Do If Your Puppy Eats Pee Pads?

More often than not, your puppy will tear up the puppy training pad without ingesting it. However, even if this is the case, it’s best that you act as if your dog ate the puppy pad. If you notice that your pooch has shredded or chewed their puppy training pad, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation 

If your puppy exhibits any of these symptoms after eating a puppy pad, call your vet and monitor them for up to 24 hours to see if the symptoms subside. Take your puppy to the vet if they seem worse or if their symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.

And be sure to read the Potentially Dangerous Items for Your Pet list.

Why Does Your Puppy Chew Puppy Pads?

There are several reasons why puppies love to chew puppy training pads. The best way to stop this behavior is to find out why your pup is doing it in the first place. 

Here are the most likely reasons why your puppy chews puppy pads:

1. Stress

Puppies experience stress just like people. When a puppy is stressed, they will find a way to relieve the stress and calm down. Many dogs resort to destructive behavior to comfort themselves and ease their anxiety. Chewing and tearing training pads may serve as stress relief and has a calming effect on your puppy.

2. Hunger

When hungry, some puppies may start chewing random things, including a training pee pad. If this is the case, take a closer look at your pup’s food and daily calorie intake. Consider switching to a good quality calorie-dense food and give your puppy some healthy treats throughout the day to help them feel full for longer.

3. Boredom

Puppies are like toddlers in some way – if there’s nothing interesting to do, they’ll get into all sorts of trouble. A bored puppy will chew and tear everything they come across, including the pee pad and even that new pair of shoes. Puppies need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to burn pent-up energy and stay entertained. 

4. Pica

If your puppy is eating pee pads, they may have pica. Pica is a condition that may cause your pooch to eat non-food items. This condition can be triggered by a medical issue, like nutrient deficiency, or a behavioral problem, like boredom or anxiety. 

5. Teething

Teething is a painful and uncomfortable phase for many puppies. If your puppy is teething, they may chew a pappy pad to relieve discomfort caused by emerging teeth. 

How To Stop A Puppy From Eating Potty Training Pads For Dogs?

The best way to avoid dangers associated with eating pee pads is to train your puppy not to eat them. Puppies enjoy chewing and tearing pee pads, and training them to stop requires some work and patience.

Here are some tips to stop your puppy from eating pee pads:

YOU MIGHT ASLO WANT TO READ: How to Train a Puppy to Pee on a Reusable Pee Pad

Give Your Puppy Chew Toys

Provide your puppy with different chew toys to prevent them from being destructive while teething. Having access to fun toys to play with will keep your puppy mentally stimulated and prevent boredom. 

Rotate your puppy’s toys once a week to keep things interesting. This way, your pup won’t lose interest in their toys and will always have new and exciting toys to play with. 

Keep Your Puppy Exercised

In addition to chew toys, puppies also need regular exercise to release pent-up energy and stay on their best behavior. A simple walk and several play sessions a day will suffice and help keep your pup exercised and calm. 

Feed Your Puppy A Balanced Diet

Puppies need high-quality and nutritious kibble to stay healthy and thrive. Eating cheap kibble can lead to nutrient deficiencies and cause your puppy to eat puppy pads. If your puppy seems hungry all the time, switch them to a better quality puppy food and make sure you’re feeding appropriate amounts of food at mealtimes.

Teach Your Puppy The “Leave It” Command

Teaching your puppy the “leave it” command can be handy in many situations. For this approach to work, you’ll have to keep an eye on your dog and catch them when they are about to chew the pee pad.

When you see your puppy starting to eat the pee pad, say, “leave it” in a firm voice. When your puppy leaves the pad, praise them and give them a tasty treat. Repeat these steps the next time you catch your pup chewing the pee pad. 


Redirection is an effective training technique, especially for puppies. When you catch your puppy eating the pee pad, redirect their attention to another activity. Use this training technique alone or combined with the “leave it” command. 

Use A Pee Pad Holder

Pee pad holders are designed to keep the pad in place and discourage chewing. However, these trays aren’t always effective and might not stop a determined puppy. A pee pad holder is a great option if your puppy is easily discouraged. 

Eco-Friendly Alternative To Single-Use Puppy Pads

In addition to being dangerous for puppies if ingested, single-use pee pads are also bad for the environment. Because they are made of plastic, disposable puppy pads can’t be recycled or composted. To make matters even worse, it’s estimated that a single pee pad takes around 500 years to break down in a landfill.  

Instead of spending money on single-use puppy pads, switch to reusable puppy pads. In addition to being a better option for the planet and your wallet, reusable puppy pads are non-toxic. Unlike disposable pee pads, washable pet mats aren’t made using harsh chemicals, dyes, and bleach, and are completely safe for your pet and the planet.

Here are a couple of our favorite brand of reusable and washable puppy pads to use instead:

FAQs About Are Puppy Pads Toxic

Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions about using puppy pee pads.

Are Puppy Pads Toxic To Humans?

No, puppy pee pads aren’t toxic to humans. Pet pee mats are a variation of a product originally intended for humans. Having said that, you shouldn’t use puppy pee pads for a baby because many are treated with pheromones to attract the dog to pee on them and can cause skin irritations in infants. 

Are Puppy Pads Toxic To Guinea Pigs?

No, puppy pads aren’t toxic to guinea pigs when used correctly. It’s safe to use puppy pads as a cage liner, but only in combination with other kinds of bedding. To prevent guinea pigs from chewing on puppy pee pads out of boredom, place the pads underneath another type of bedding. Avoid using scented puppy pee pads for guinea pigs because they are toxic if ingested. 

Are Puppy Pads Toxic To Rabbits?

Puppy pads are toxic to rabbits if ingested. Puppy pads contain sodium polyacrylate polymeric hydrogel, a superabsorbent compound that can cause serious harm to a rabbit’s digestive tract if ingested. Furthermore, baking soda, a common ingredient used in many puppy pads for odor control, is dangerous for rabbits when ingested or inhaled. 

A Final Word On Are Pee Pads Toxic

Puppy pee pads are a common tool used for housetraining puppies or older incontinent dogs. When used correctly, single-use puppy pads shouldn’t be toxic to dogs. However, using puppy pee pads isn’t without risks.

Puppy pads contain a superabsorbent compound that is dangerous for puppies if ingested. When ingested, this compound will absorb fluids in the puppy’s stomach and expand, causing an intestinal blockage. To prevent this from happening, switch to reusable puppy pads that are safer for your puppy and the environment. 

More Eco-Friendly Tips For Pet Owners:

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What To Use Instead Of Single-Use Puppy Pee Pads That Isn’t Toxic

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How Far Can A 12-Week-Old Puppy Walk?

Taking your puppy for a walk is one of the best ways to keep them and yourself healthy. Walking your puppy can increase physical fitness, improve mental health, lower blood pressure, and decrease stress. In addition to offering numerous health benefits to you, a regular walk is also important for your puppy’s health.

However, walking your puppy too much can tire them and cause muscle pain and stiffness. Knowing how far can a 12-week-old puppy walk is the best way to prevent overexertion and keep your pup healthy.

All dogs are different, and how far a puppy can walk depends on several factors, including your pup’s breed, activity level, and weather. Keep reading to discover how long to walk a 12-week-old puppy, how much exercise a puppy should get, and what are the signs that your puppy is overexercised.

How Far Can You Walk A 12-Week-Old Puppy?

A common question among first-time dog owners is how far a puppy can walk at 12 weeks. Generally, a 12-week-old puppy can walk from half a mile to two miles daily. Exactly how much a puppy can walk depends on the puppy’s energy levels, breed, weather, and the surface it’s walking on.

It’s important to let your puppy set the pace and observe their energy levels. If your puppy seems tired and can’t walk any longer, pick them up and carry them home. Although regular walks are key for mental and physical wellness, long walks and strenuous exercise aren’t recommended for young puppies.

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To determine how much you can walk a puppy safely, you’ll need to consider your pup’s breed, size, and energy, among other factors. For example, a large breed puppy like a Labrador retriever has a longer stride than a Chihuahua puppy and can consequently cover longer distances during a walk.

Furthermore, a highly energetic puppy will have more stamina to walk for longer than a less energetic pooch. Weather is also an important factor to consider. Puppies can cover longer distances in moderate weather. However, most puppies will become tired and unable to walk far in the sweltering heat.

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How Long Should You Walk A 12-Week-Old Puppy?

Generally speaking, you should be able to walk your puppy for five minutes for every month of their age, two times a day. This means that you can take a 12-week-old puppy on two 15-minute walks per day. Ideally, take your puppy for a walk in the morning and then again in the evening.

However, this varies from one puppy to another, and it’s best to keep an eye on your pup’s energy levels during the walk. If your puppy seems tired or isn’t enjoying the walk, it’s time to head back home.

How Much Exercise Does A Puppy Need?

A common recommendation is that puppies need five minutes of exercise per month of age, two times a day. However, the reality is that the amount of exercise your puppy needs depends on your puppy.

Over-exercising puppies, especially large-breed puppies, can damage their joints and causes musculoskeletal problems. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a balanced exercise plan to help your puppy release pent-up energy without harming their developing skeletal system.

According to a general rule for exercising puppies, a three-month-old puppy should exercise for 15 minutes at a time once or twice a day. Follow this rule until your puppy is fully grown and their body can handle longer walks and more vigorous activity.

The type of exercise appropriate for your puppy depends on their age and breed. Breed size is a crucial factor to consider when determining how much exercise your puppy needs. Studies have shown a potential link between too much exercise and orthopedic diseases in large-breed puppies.

Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, playing with humans and other dogs, sniffing, and training are low-impact activities that put less stress on the developing joints and bones than running and jumping do.

Can You Over-Walk A Puppy?

Daily walks provide many health benefits to your puppy. Walking strengthens muscles, improves cardiovascular health, and lowers the risk of obesity and associated health problems. 

While regular walks are important for overall health, it’s possible to go too far. Long walks or runs aren’t recommended activities for puppies. In fact, over-walking a puppy can harm their developmental plates and cause strains or sprains.

Here are the most common signs of over-exercising a puppy:

1. Sore Muscles 

Muscular pain and stiffness are common signs that your puppy is getting too much exercise. If your pup is limping or refusing to walk, they may be sore from walking or exercising too much. 

Sticking to a regular walking and exercising schedule is the best way to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. Make sure your puppy remains active throughout the week, and don’t try to fit a week’s worth of activities into the weekend. 

2. Wear And Tear On Paw Pads

Paw pad injuries are extremely common and very painful. Overused paw pads may appear red, thinner than usual, worn away, or have tears. Long walks or running on concrete can damage paw pads and make it impossible for your puppy to walk. Check your puppy’s paw pads for injuries if they are limping or have trouble walking.

You can also prevent damaged or dry paw pads by regularly applying paw butter.

3. Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a serious concern during warmer months when dogs are at risk of overheating. Puppies and older dogs have difficulty regulating their body temperatures, and too much exercise can cause them to overheat. Heat exhaustion is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care.

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include drooling, excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, red gums, and loss of consciousness. If your puppy exhibits any of these symptoms, take them to a cool and shady spot and provide access to fresh water. 

RELATED POST: 10 Genius Cooling Products for Dogs During a Heatwave

Wrapping Up How Far Can Puppies Walk At 12 Weeks

Although small, all puppies need daily exercise to release pent-up energy and build lean and strong muscles. If you never owned a dog, you’re probably wondering how far I should walk my puppy.

A general rule is that most puppies should be walked for about five minutes for every month of age, up to two times a day. According to this, a 12-week-old puppy should have two 15-minute walks per day. When walking a puppy, let them set the pace and keep an eye on their energy levels. If your pup looks tired, starts limping, or seems like they aren’t enjoying the walk, it’s time to head back home. 

Although walking isn’t as intensive an activity as running, it’s still possible to over-walk a puppy. To prevent this from happening, stick to a regular walking schedule based on your puppy’s age, breed, activity level, and weather conditions. 

More Puppy Advice & Care Guides:

12 Week Old Puppy Must Haves For Walks

Remember to check your puppy collar often to make sure it’s not too loose or too tight (ideally you would need to fit 2 fingers between the collar and the neck) as they grow out of their puppy collars fast.

You will also need to bring an engaging toy to practice your recall and teach them that you are the most interesting thing they can play with when outside and a treat and poo bag pouch to make it easy to carry the essentials.

How long should puppy walks be?

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How Often Should You Wash Your Labrador?

The Labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed for many reasons. Labs are friendly, high-spirited, loving, playful, and intelligent dogs that make excellent companions to people of all ages and families with children. Another great thing about Labradors is that they aren’t a particularly high-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming.

Although Labs don’t require frequent trips to the groomers, like some dog breeds, they still get smelly and dirty. When that happens, it’s time for a bath! If you’re a first-time doggy owner, you’re probably curious to learn how often you should wash your Labrador.

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How to Train a Puppy to Pee on a Reusable Pee Pad

6 Steps to Pad Training an Older Dog or a Puppy 

Potty training a puppy with pads is always challenging. Young puppies have terrible bladder control, and most owners feel like they are constantly cleaning puppy messes. House training with puppy pads is a great first step in housebreaking a new puppy or retraining an older, incontinent dog to go the bathroom inside instead of outside. 

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When to Switch from Puppy Food to Dog Food Labrador

Has your chubby Labrador puppy grown up into a gangly adolescent? If this is the case, you’re probably wondering when to switch a Labrador from puppy food to adult food.

Labs have different nutritional needs during various stages of their lives, and feeding a diet that is formulated for all life stages isn’t recommended. Feeding a Labrador puppy based on its life stage is the best way to maintain your dog’s health and well-being.

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Best Mentally Stimulating Puzzle Toys for Dogs

Best Dog Puzzles and Interactive Treat Toys for Puppy

Interactive dog toys are designed to keep a dog mentally challenged, prevent boredom, and provide exercise. The best dog toys for mental stimulation can keep your dog busy for hours when you aren’t home and help tire out highly energetic and intelligent dog breeds.

Although there are many great puzzle treat toys for dogs, you may have difficulty finding the right type of toy for your dog.

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Best Dog Food for Jack Russell Terrier Dogs

Best Food for Jack Russell Dogs

Originally bred for fox hunting, Jack Russell terriers make lovely companions and are kept as pets. Although small in size, Jack Russells are highly energetic and athletic dogs that need vigorous exercise and a nutritious diet to stay healthy and thrive.

A healthy and nutritious Jack Terrier diet supports this breed’s active lifestyle and contains plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. The best dog food for Jack Russell terriers is formulated with high-quality ingredients and all essential micro and macronutrients.

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5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Disposable Puppy Pads

Best Earth Friendly Alternatives to Puppy Pads

Puppy pee pads are extremely useful for potty training a puppy, senior or disabled dogs, and people who live in apartments without access to a fenced backyard. Owners who can’t let their dogs out frequently also benefit from using pee pads. Depending on your needs, you can use puppy pads part-time or full-time.

Pee pads are an excellent tool for potty training a puppy, but there are many reasons you might not want to use them. Single-use training pads usually have a plastic backing and artificial fragrances to lure the puppy to the spot and are made from non-recycled materials. 

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10 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Rottweiler Bite Force

10 Myths About The Rottweiler Dog Bite You Shouldn’t Believe

Rottweilers are amazing dogs and belong to the ten most popular dog breeds in the US. If you have owned a Rottweiler, you may consider it loyal, sweet, intelligent, and protective.

However, not everyone is on the same page as you are. Many are afraid and suspicious of Rottweilers and consider them violent and dangerous dogs.

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How To Reduce Waste as a Pet Owner 

10 Sustainable Tips to Lower Your Pet’s Carbon Fottprint

10 Sustainable Tips to Lower Your Pet’s Carbon Pawprint

Many pet parents make every effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Still, only a few owners realize the massive effect their pets have on the environment. From plastic pet products and poop bags to shredded toys, pets have a considerable carbon pawprint. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce your pet’s waste. From scooping the poop and using compostable poo bags to choosing healthy pet food, here’s how to reduce waste as a pet owner.

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Best Corgi Mom Gift Ideas – Unique Corgi Dog Gifts

Funny Corgi Themed Gifts for Dog Owners

Corgis are small-sized dogs best known for their fox-like appearance, short legs, and long bodies. Corgis are so cute that it’s virtually impossible to find anything but adorable corgi-themed gifts for yourself or a corgi lover in your life.

Whether you own a corgi or are searching for corgi-related gifts for a friend, there are many cute gifts to choose from. But, if you have never had a dog, you may have trouble picking out a perfect corgi-inspired present for your friend.

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Creative Dog Entertainment Ideas While at Work

How to Keep Your Dog Entertained While at Work

Keeping a dog entertained while at work is challenging for most modern pet parents. Working dog parents often have busy schedules, meaning their fur babies spend eight or more hours home alone. 

With so much free time, a dog will become bored and destructive, chewing everything in sight, including your favorite pair of shoes. This isn’t something you want to encounter after arriving home from work.

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What Is The Difference Between A Pitbull And An American Bulldog?

Pitbull vs American Bulldog – Breed Differences And Similarities

Ever wondered if a Pitbull and an American Bulldog were the same breed? Well, they’re not. Although they may look similar, there are some key differences between these two dogs.

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Are Corgis Hypoallergenic?

Can Corgis Cause Dog Allergies?

Corgis are a popular breed of dog, known for their stubby legs and friendly dispositions. They are also hypoallergenic, which means they are less likely to trigger allergies in people who are sensitive to pet dander.

If you’re considering adding a corgi to your family but are concerned about allergies, we hope this post answers all your corgi questions, so you can decide if you want to add this furry pet to your family.

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Best Essential Oils To Diffuse For Pet Odor

Eliminating Dog Odor With An Essential Oil Diffuser

Does the smell of pet urine, feces, litter boxes, or wet fur lingers around your home? Whether you own a cat or a dog, you’re certainly familiar with the stench of pet odor. It may seem like nothing can eliminate the smell of your pet entirely no matter how hard you clean and how many cleaning products you use.

Most cleaning products marketed for removing pet odor are made with harsh chemicals, harmful to your pet and family members. Luckily, you can get rid of nasty pet odors more naturally. The best essential oils to diffuse for pet odor can help you get rid of foul smells in your home in a natural way.

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Do Pet Cooling Mats Work?

Dog Cooling Mats Questions – How Do They Work?

Like people, cats and dogs are at risk of high temperatures, especially during the oppressive summer heat. But, unlike people who are born with sweat glands all over their skin, pets have sweat glands in a few specific areas. Dogs mostly rely on panting to regulate their body temperature and stay cool during the hot summer months.

As you can imagine, panting isn’t the most efficient way to cope with excess heat. This puts dogs at a higher risk of heatstroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion during summer.

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