What Is the Attractant in Puppy Pads?

by Adrienne Farricelli, Demand Media Google
    A puppy's nose knows best where to potty.

    A puppy's nose knows best where to potty.

    To pee or not to pee? That's a puppy's biggest dilemma. If puppy pads were attractive in the same way as fire hydrants and lamp posts, the whole potty training process would be much easier. Interestingly, puppy pad manufacturers have started adding some special substances to elicit instinctive elimination behaviors.

    Attractive Grass Scent

    Some puppy pads are treated with a fresh grass scent to get puppies to use them. This scent can be helpful once the puppy is weaned off the puppy pads and trained to go potty outdoors on grassy areas. The familiar grass scent found on the actual grass outdoors should help them get accustomed to using the outdoors as their new potty area.

    Attractive Ammonia

    There's a good reason puppy owners are told to avoid cleaning up soiled areas with ammonia-based products. If you clean a spot where your puppy eliminated on the carpet with ammonia, the puppy will feel compelled to urinate there again and again because urine contains ammonia and smells the same way. Some puppy pads are treated with ammonia so your puppy smells them and believes he has soiled there before and will feel compelled to use the pads again and again.

    Attractive Pheromones

    Some puppy pads are treated with synthetic pheromones in hopes of grabbing a pup's attention and enticing him to soil there when nature calls. (Pheromones are chemicals secreted by animals that trigger responses in other animals who smell them.) These synthetic pheromones are also available in spray form so they can be directly sprayed on pads that have not been treated. However, sometimes puppies are so attracted to puppy pads with attractants that they will "love them to pieces" and tear them up with no mercy.

    Attractive Pee Smell

    While many pee pads contain one or more attractants, there are also pee pads without them. In this case, you can always create your own attractant. Simply collect a paper towel or piece of newspaper soiled with your puppy's urine and place it on top of the pad. The scent of pee will tell your dog that this is the right place to eliminate. At the same time, make sure you completely remove the scent of urine from places you don't want your pup to go, by using an enzyme-based cleaner.

    About the Author

    Adrienne Farricelli has been a writer since 2005, serving as an editor, steward and writer for several online publications. She brings expertise in canine topics, previously working with the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification as a dog trainer from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Farricelli offers reward-based training and behavior consults at Rover's Ranch Home Boarding and Training.

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