Is It Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Puppy Pads? Common Risks & How to Keep Your Dog Safe

As dog owners, we always want to keep our furry friends safe and healthy. However, there are many things that our dogs can get into that may be harmful to them, including puppy pads. 

While they may seem harmless, eating a puppy pad can actually pose a serious risk to your dog’s health. 

Let’s explore the dangers of dogs eating puppy pads, why they do it, and how to stop it.

By understanding the risks and taking necessary precautions, you can make sure that your fur babies stay happy and healthy.

Pawsome Points

– Puppy pads are dangerous for your dogs when consumed.
– These puppy pads contain harmful materials for your dogs. 
– There are plenty of safe, eco-friendly alternatives to puppy pads.
This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We thank you for your support.
Custom Graphic Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Puppy Pads

Is it Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Puppy Pads?

Yes, it is dangerous for dogs to eat puppy pads. These puppy pads are made with harmful materials that can cause digestive problems, blockages, and toxicity for your pup.

Take a look at the active ingredients commonly found in dog pee pads that are dangerous for dogs to eat.

Superabsorbent Sodium Polyacrylate Polymeric Hydrogel

Superabsorbent Sodium Polyacrylate Polymeric Hydrogel is a type of polymer that can absorb and hold onto a lot of water or other liquids compared to its weight. 

It’s made up of long chains of molecules called polyacrylates that are connected to form a 3D network structure. 

This structure is what lets the hydrogel absorb and hold onto water molecules, creating a squishy gel-like substance.

It’s usually made from non-toxic materials. However, if ingested, it could be harmful to your dog’s health. 

It could quickly dry out their digestive tract and lead to serious health problems. 

Synthetic Pheromones

Puppy pads also contain synthetic pheromones that are designed to mimic the pheromones produced naturally by dogs. 

These pheromones are used in puppy pads to encourage puppies to urinate in a specific area. 

When a puppy smells the synthetic pheromones, they are triggered to urinate in that location.

Synthetic pheromones used in puppy pads are generally considered safe for dogs when used as directed. 

However, if a dog ingests a significant amount of synthetic pheromones, it could potentially cause an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Artificial Scents

The artificial grass scent found in puppy pads is made by mixing natural and artificial scents. 

The scent could have hints of freshly cut grass, flowers, and other natural smells that you might find outside.

Scents, like grass, that mimic the outdoors are used to help your dog become comfortable with using the outdoors as their designated potty area.

The grass scent on puppy pads is made with non-toxic and safe ingredients, but it is not meant for dogs to eat.

Eating puppy pads with the grass scent can result in gastrointestinal disorders such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Ammonia

Puppy pads themselves do not contain ammonia. If a puppy urinates on the pad, the urine will break down and contain ammonia. 

As pee collects on the pad, the concentration of ammonia increases, and the odor becomes worse.

When dogs eat puppy pads that have ammonia, it can irritate their mucous membranes in their mouth, throat, and digestive tracts. 

This can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Plastics

Plastic is often used to make puppy pads leak-proof. 

Most puppy pads are made of plastic made from polyethylene or polypropylene, which are synthetic materials made to be waterproof and not leak.

The plastic layer in puppy pads acts as a barrier between the dog’s waste and the surface below. This keeps leaks and spills from happening. 

This helps keep pet waste from damaging floors, carpets, and other surfaces. Also, the plastic layer helps keep the urine and feces inside the pad.

Dogs that eat the plastic in puppy pads can experience harmful effects ranging from mild to severe, depending on the size and amount of plastic consumed.

The potential harmful effects of dogs eating the plastic in puppy pads include:

  • Gastrointestinal blockage – If your dog eats a large piece of plastic from a puppy pad, it can get stuck in their digestive tract, leading to a blockage. This can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation, and may require surgical intervention to remove the blockage.
  • Airway obstruction – Bits of plastic from puppy pads might become lodged in the airway, causing choking or trouble breathing.

Bleach

Bleach is sometimes used in puppy pads to help whiten the pad and disinfect it, and other chemicals may be used to help control odor or add absorbency. 

Read the label or packaging of the puppy pad to make sure that it doesn’t contain any bleach. If your dog has sensitive skin or respiratory issues, you may want to choose a puppy pad that is free of bleach and other chemicals.

Bleach can be irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, and can cause more serious health problems if your dog eats it.

If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with a puppy pad containing bleach, you should rinse the affected area thoroughly with water and contact your veterinarian for advice. 

Some signs of poisoning include stomach problems, heavy bleeding, lack of balance, convulsions, rapid breathing, hyper-salivation, and behavioral changes.

How Can I Tell if My Dog Has Eaten a Puppy Pad

There are some pretty obvious signs that your dog has eaten a puppy pad, including:

  • Finding destroyed pieces of puppy pads around the house.
  • Finding pieces of puppy pads in your fur baby’s mouth.
  • Missing a part of the puppy pads.

And then, there are the not-so-obvious signs that only your dog might be experiencing, including:

  • Your dog is vomiting.
  • Your dog looks sick or lethargic.
  • Loss of appetite in your dog.

So, what should you do if you see these signs?

What to Do if My Dog Eats a Pee Pad

If your dog has eaten a pee pad, it’s important to take action immediately. Here’s a step-by-step checklist.

Monitor Your Dog

If your dog has eaten a pee pad, the first thing you should do is to check them for any symptoms.

Any of the following symptoms can be cause for concern:

  • Vomiting – If your dog has ingested a puppy pad, they may vomit as their body tries to expel the foreign object.
  • Diarrhea – Diarrhea could be a sign that they are having trouble digesting the puppy pad.
  • Lethargy – If your dog is unusually tired or lethargic it’s a sign they may have eaten something that is causing distress. 
  • Loss of appetite – A puppy pad can cause blockages in the digestive system. Your dog may avoid food to prevent further irritation and pain.
  • Restlessness – Your dog may have trouble settling down and resting comfortably. They may pace or move around frequently in an attempt to alleviate their discomfort.
  • Abdominal pain – Your dog may show signs of abdominal pain, such as whimpering or groaning when touched.
  • Agitation – Dogs that have ingested a puppy pad may become agitated or anxious. They may pace or circle excessively and appear uncomfortable.
  • Avoidance – Some dogs may try to avoid their owners or hide in unusual places after ingesting a puppy pad. This behavior can be due to discomfort, pain, or fear of reprimand.

Call Your Vet

The next thing to do is to give your vet a call. Based on the exact circumstances of your dog’s situation, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on how to proceed. 

It’s important to provide your vet as much information as possible, so while you are calling, jot down the following:

  • How big was the pee pad?
  • How much did your dog eat?
  • What symptoms does your dog have?

If your veterinarian is not available, you should find a 24-hour veterinary service in your area. Or you can contact the pet poison helpline for expert advice. 

Your veterinarian will likely perform an examination and may recommend diagnostic testing such as X-rays or ultrasound to determine the extent of the blockage. 

Depending on the severity of the situation, your dog may require medication, dietary changes, or even surgery to remove the blockage and restore normal digestive function.

You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center if you cannot reach a vet in your area.

Give Your Dog Fresh Water

If your dog has ingested a pee pad or any other non-food substance, try giving them some fresh water. 

Water can help wash out the digestive tract and avoid dehydration, which might happen if your dog vomits or has diarrhea.

You should give your dog small amounts of water more regularly rather than a large amount all at once.

If your dog is reluctant to drink water, try these tips to make water more appealing for them:

  • add some low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • use a water fountain
  • Try some wet food
  • add ice cubes to their water bowl.

Tip: I personally give my dogs frozen chicken broth to entice them to get hydrated whenever they feel sick. They love it. 

Keep Your Dog Calm

It can be a stressful and unpleasant experience for a dog to eat a pee pad. 

Stress and anxiety can intensify digestion troubles, so keep your dog as calm and comfortable as possible.

Try these tips for keeping your dog calm:

  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment: This could be a quiet, peaceful room and a comfy bed with some of their favorite toys. Or just a comfortable spot for your dog to rest and relax.
  • Give them a massage: Massage your dog’s back or tummy gently to assist relieve their digestive system and promote relaxation. Start by gently petting your dog and gradually move on to using a gentle circular motion with your fingers. Pay attention to your dog’s response and stop if your dog appears uncomfortable.
  • Playing calming music: Studies have shown that playing soft and calming music can help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. You can find specially-designed playlists or create your own by choosing soft, classical music, nature sounds, such as rainfall or waves crashing, or white noise.
  • Wrapping them for anxiety: Wrapping your dog in a tight-fitting piece of clothing can help them feel more secure and reduce anxiety. This applies gentle pressure to your dog’s body, which can have a calming effect.
  • Use calming scents: Certain scents, such as lavender or chamomile, can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety in dogs. You can use a diffuser or spray to distribute the scent in the room or apply a few drops to your dog’s bedding.
  • Keep them company: Spend extra time with your dog when they are anxious or stressed. You can play with them, pay attention to them, or simply sit close to them for comfort.

Whenever my dogs feel anxious, I find that staying by their side, rubbing their bellies or petting them on the head until they feel safe works the best. 

Can Eating a Small Amount of a Puppy Pad Still Be Dangerous for a Dog?

Yes, eating even a small amount of a puppy pad can be dangerous for your fur baby. 

The materials found in plastic puppy pads are toxic for dogs when ingested. 

This is why it’s important to understand why your dog eats pee pads, and how you can stop your dog from eating their pads.

Custom Graphic Why Dogs Eat Pee Pads

Why Does My Dog Eat Pee Pads

Your dog probably doesn’t mean to eat their pee pads. They chew on them and then accidentally swallow some.

The key to stopping this behavior is to first find out why your dog is chewing on their pee pads.

  • Stress: Dogs chew because of stress and frustration. If your dog is alone in a small space with a puppy pad, it can cause them a lot of stress, which is then expressed through destructive behavior. Unfortunately, some fur babies who feel neglected by their owners start chewing on their pee pads just to get attention. 
  • Curiosity: Dogs are curious by nature, it’s natural for them to explore their environment. Your dog might be curious what these puppy pads are, and they satisfy that curiosity with their mouth and teeth.
  • Teething: While puppies are teething and looking for something to soothe the discomfort in their gums, they may chew on and even eat puppy pads. Puppies go through a phase when they lose their baby teeth and experience pain as their adult teeth come in. Puppy teething usually ends by six months of age. 
  • Hunger: If a dog is hungry or thirsty, they may turn to eating or chewing on inappropriate materials, such as puppy pee pads.
  • Lack of exercise: Dogs who do not get enough exercise can grow bored and restless, causing them to chew on inappropriate objects.
  • Separation anxiety: Because of separation anxiety, some dogs chew on pee pads when left alone for extended periods of time.
  • Unsatisfied needs: It could also be because your dog has unsatisfied needs. Dogs who aren’t physically and mentally simulated tend to entertain themselves, and chewing what feels like the softest, most attractive, and available item is one way.
  • Pica: Certain dogs may have pica, a condition characterized by a compulsion to eat non-food objects. Nutritional shortages, boredom, worry, or stress can all contribute to this behavior.

How to Stop My Dog from Eating Pee Pads

If your dog has developed a habit of chewing pee pads, it is essential that you take action as soon as possible to discourage this behavior. 

Training

If your dog is chewing pee pads because they are not properly trained, then training your dog is the next logical step.

If you put in regular work training your dog to be obedient and well behaved, they are less likely to be stressed or anxious.

Training your dog to associate pee pads with going to the bathroom, rather than as something to chew on, can take some time and patience. But it is an important step in preventing your dog from eating pee pads.

Follow these pointers on how to properly train your dog to use pee pads:

  1. Choose a designated area: Decide where you want your dog to use pee pads in your home. This should be a calm and low-traffic environment where your dog can feel at ease.
  2. Show your dog where to go: When your dog wants to go to the bathroom, take them to the specified area and urge them to use the pee pad. Use a command, such as “go potty” or “do your business,” to help your dog understand what you expect of them.
  3. Reward positive behavior: When your dog correctly uses the pee pad, reward them with praise and treats to reinforce the good behavior. This will teach your dog that using the pee pad is a good thing.
  4. Be patient: Your dog may need some time to learn what you want them to do. Be patient and consistent in your training, and continue to provide good praise whenever your dog uses the pee pad appropriately. I learned early on that having patience is going to be a must if you’re going to have a dog at home. 
  5. Avoid punishment: Punishing your dog for not using the pee pad correctly can make them feel stressed or uncomfortable. Instead, simply mop up any spills and resume your training.

Learn more about potty training tips you need to know.

Chew Toys

If your dog is chewing pee pads because they’re teething, you can avoid this by making sure your dog has plenty of appropriate chew toys to play with. 

This will help satisfy their urge to chew and keep them occupied, which can reduce the likelihood of them turning to pee pads for relief.

Chewing is perfectly normal for dogs of all ages, so the best solution is to give them something appropriate to chew, like these Petstages Orka Dental Links chew toys or this massive bundle of chew toys for puppies

Personally, my dogs weren’t big fans of chew toys, or toys in general. What I do is make a home-made toy for them out of old pieces of clothing that I no longer wear. 

Nutritious Diet

Feeding your dog a nutritious and balanced diet is important not only for their physical health, but also for their well-being and behavior. 

If your dog isn’t getting enough good quality food or isn’t being fed on a consistent schedule, they will be hungry and can chew on things to try to satisfy their hunger. 

This might result in behavioral issues such as destructive chewing or eating stuff they shouldn’t.

To avoid this, make sure your dog is eating a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional demands. 

Talk to your veterinarian to find out the right type and amount of food for your dog’s specific needs. 

Make sure to take factors such as age, weight, and activity level into consideration. 

If you think your dog is eating pee pads because of hunger, try this:

  • Smaller portions: Give your dog smaller portions spread frequently throughout the day to help reduce their hunger.
  • High-quality dog food: Feeding your dog high-quality dog food that contains plenty of protein and other essential nutrients. Look for dog food that lists meat as the first ingredient and avoid dog food that contains fillers or artificial preservatives.
  • Healthy snacks: Give your dog nutritious snacks throughout the day, such as carrots, apple slices, or green beans.

Remember that a dog who is well-fed and well-hydrated is a happy and healthy dog who is less prone to engage in destructive chewing behaviors. 

So make sure to provide your fur baby with the nutrition they need to thrive.

Exercise

If your dog is chewing pee pads because they’re bored, or because they lack exercise, you know what you should do, right? – Give them more regular exercise. 

This includes physical exercise as well as activities that stimulate your dog mentally.

Here’s how to make exercise more enjoyable for your dog:

  • Set a consistent exercise routine: Dogs thrive on routine, so it’s important to establish a routine. Exercise your dog at the same time each day, so they know when to expect it.
  • Incorporate training: Training your dog can be a great way to provide mental stimulation and exercise at the same time. Teach your dog new tricks or work on obedience training to keep them mentally engaged. 
  • Use interactive toys: Interactive toys, such as puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys, can help keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated.

Remember, regular exercise and mental stimulation is important for your dog’s overall health and well-being. It can also help prevent destructive behaviors, such as chewing on pee pads out of boredom.

Learn more about the best ways to exercise your dog.

And how to mentally stimulate your dog.

How to Keep Puppy Pads Intact

It can be frustrating when your dog keeps chewing on their puppy pads, and keeping the puppy pads in place can be challenging. But there are a few things you can do to keep them in one piece.

Secure the Puppy Pads

Make sure the puppy pads are securely in place on the floor. Use adhesive strips or clips to keep the pads from shifting or sliding around. 

This can help prevent your dog from getting ahold of the pads and tearing them apart. You can use any of these options:

  • Double-sided carpet tape: This is a strong and durable tape that can be used to secure puppy pads to the floor. It has a strong adhesive on both sides, so it can hold the pad in place.
  • Command strips: Command strips are a popular choice for securing puppy pads. They are designed to hold strongly but come off cleanly, so they won’t damage your floors. They can be easily removed and replaced as needed.
  • Duct tape: Duct tape is a strong and durable tape that can be used to secure puppy pads to the floor. It’s important to choose a high-quality duct tape that won’t leave a sticky residue on your floors.

Supervise your Dog 

When you’re home with your dog, keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t chewing on their puppy pads. 

If you notice them trying to chew on the pads, redirect their attention to a toy or another activity.

Use Bitter Sprays

There are sprays available that have a bitter taste, which can deter dogs from chewing on certain items. 

Spray a small amount of the bitter spray on the puppy pads to make them less appealing to your dog.

Learn how to make a homemade dog anti-chew spray.

Custom Graphic Stop Dog Eating Pee Pads

What Are Some Common Mistakes That Dog Owners Make When Trying to Prevent Their Dogs from Eating Puppy Pads?

Not Supervising Your Dog

Dogs new to puppy pads and potty training need to be supervised. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog and redirect them if they start to chew on the pads.

Not Keeping Pads Out of Reach

Put the pads away where your dog can’t get to them, like in a closet, cupboard, or other safe place. 

Leaving Pads Out Too Long

If the pads are left out too long, they can start to smell and become more tempting for your dog to chew on. Make sure to change the pads frequently and wash or dispose of them properly.

Not Providing Enough Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Without enough mental and physical activity, dogs can become bored, anxious, and worried. This can lead them to chew on and ingest puppy pads.

Not Using the Right Size Pad

Choose the right size pad for your dog to prevent them from playing with, shredding, or eating it. 

Start with smaller pads for young puppies and gradually switch to larger ones as they grow.

Using the appropriate size pad makes cleaning up accidents quicker and easier, while also reducing the likelihood of your dog playing with or eating it.

Using Scented Pads

Choose unscented or naturally scented puppy pads to avoid attracting your dog to the pad as a chew toy. These pads function the same way as scented pads but lack the scent that can make them more enticing to dogs.

Not Crate Training

Crate training can help stop dogs from eating puppy pads, especially when a dog is left alone. 

Dogs can feel safe and comfortable in crates, and they can also help stop them from chewing or eating things they shouldn’t.

But it’s important to make sure that your dog’s crate is the right size. 

Your furbaby should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably in the crate. 

The crate shouldn’t be so big that your dog can pee on one end and sleep on the other. 

This can keep your pup from using the crate as a bathroom and can also help keep them from getting anxious or stressed.

When crate training, it is important to introduce the crate slowly and positively. 

Dogs should never be forced into the crate, as this can create negative associations with the space. 

Instead, you can use treats, toys, and praise to get your furbaby to go into the crate on their own. 

Once they’re used to the crate, you can gradually increase the amount of time your pup spends in it while still giving them plenty of chances to get exercise.

When done right, crate training can help stop dogs from eating puppy pads and other things they shouldn’t be eating.

Learn how to properly create and train your puppy.

Punishing Your Dog

Punishing your dog can be counterproductive and make the problem worse. 

Dogs who do bad things like chew and eat puppy pads usually do so because they are bored, scared, or just plain curious. 

When you punish them, it can make them feel more stressed and anxious, which can make them more likely to do these things again in the future.

Punishment can also damage the bond between you and your furbaby. 

Instead of punishing your dog, you should try to direct your dog’s attention elsewhere.

Learn how to let your dog know if they’ve done something wrong.

Not Potty Training Your Dog

When dogs aren’t properly trained they may not know what the pee pads are for. It is up to you to teach them how to use it. 

Choose a location in your home where the pad can be easily accessed by your pup. It should also be a location that is easy to clean and not near their food or water bowls.

Every time your dog successfully uses the pad, give them a treat or praise them. This positive reinforcement will help them associate using the pad with positive experiences. 

Make sure to take your pup to the pad regularly, especially after meals and naps. Consistency is key in potty training, so try to establish a routine and stick to it.

Learn some more potty training tips.

Best and Safest Puppy Pads

Pogi’s Plant-Based Dog Training Pads

Pogi’s Training Pads are a popular choice among pet owners for a number of reasons. 

Here’s why we love them:

  • Natural Attractant – Instead of pheromones and grass scent, these pads use a special honey-based attractant that is designed to help your puppy mark the spot without missing. The honey-based attractant is a natural and safe alternative to other attractants that are often used in puppy pads, which may contain synthetic chemicals that could be harmful to your pet. 
  • Super Absorbent – These pads are designed to be super absorbent, capable of holding up to six cups of liquid. This makes them ideal for house-training puppies, as well as for use with senior dogs or dogs with incontinence issues.
  • Leak-Proof Design – The leak-proof design of these pads ensures that any liquid stays contained within the pad, preventing messes and making clean-up easy.
  • Quick-Drying Surface – The surface of these pads is designed to dry quickly, reducing the risk of your dog tracking wet paw prints through the house.
  • Non-Toxic Materials – Pogi’s Training Pads are made with non-toxic materials like renewable bamboo fiber, plant-based liners, and absorbent fluff-pulp harvested from certified sustainable pine.
  • Earth-Friendly – Pogi’s Training Pads are made with all plant-based materials, even their packaging, making them a great choice for pet owners who are concerned about the environment.

The Proper Pet Washable Pee Pads for Dogs

These Washable Reusable Pads for Dogs are a great option if you’re looking for a safe and sustainable solution for house-training your puppies or dealing with incontinence issues in older dogs.

You’ll love these Washable Pee Pads because of these reasons:

  • Reusable and Durable – Unlike disposable puppy pads, these pads are designed to be reusable and durable. They can be washed and reused multiple times, making them a cost-effective and sustainable solution for you and your furbaby.
  • Absorbent and Leak-Proof – The pads have a core that can hold up to 10 cups of liquid because it is so absorbent. These also have a backing that won’t let liquid leak through and get on your floors or carpets.
  • Soft and Comfortable – The pads are made so that your pet can use them without getting hurt. The top layer is quilted, which makes it soft and comfortable for your dog.
  • Multipurpose – The pads can be used for a variety of purposes, including house-training puppies, protecting furniture or floors from accidents, or as a comfortable resting spot for your dog.

Overall, the Washable Reusable Pads for Dogs are a safe and effective solution for pet owners who are looking for a reliable and sustainable alternative to disposable puppy pads. 

LOOBANI Washable Pee Pad for Dogs

The LOOBANI Washable Pee Pads are another great option if you’re looking for a safe, non-toxic alternative to puppy pads. You can use these washable pee pads for indoor potty training. 

You’ll love these washable pee pads because of these reasons:

  • Reusable and Durable – These pads are created to be both reusable and long-lasting. These can be washed and reused several times. They are shred-proof, chew-resistant, and durable pads that significantly reduce ingestion risk.
  • Absorbent and Leak-Proof – The pads include a superabsorbent core that can absorb up to 8 cups of liquid. They also include a leak-proof backing that keeps fluids from soaking your floors or carpets.
  • Free From Toxic Materials – The LOOBANI Washable Dog Pee Pads are made from environmentally safe materials that are free of dangerous chemicals or synthetic materials like bleach, and synthetic pheromones. This means that your dog can use the pads without fear of being exposed to dangerous substances.
  • Soft and Comfortable – The pads are designed to be soft, providing more comfort for your furbaby.

It can be challenging to change your dog’s behavior and get them to do what you want.

If you need more help with training your dog, there’s an excellent free video series put out by a professional dog trainer and behaviorist named Dan that you can check out here. It will go into more detail, and tell you everything you need to know about training your dog.

I highly recommend it and hope it will give you the solution that I may not have. Good luck, and I wish you and your dog the best!