Should You Put Dog Food Near a Pad When Potty Training?

Feed your puppy in a separate area from her potty spot.
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Potty training is a milestone in a young puppy’s development. A puppy should be taught the proper place to go potty as soon as she is weaned from her litter mates. Most puppies won’t eat where they potty, and placing your puppy’s food near potty training pads may make the housebreaking process more difficult.

Why Use Puppy Pads?

Training pads are a handy training aid during the housebreaking process. These special pads have an absorbent top and waterproof plastic backing to contain messes and keep your floors clean. Many of them are infused with scents that attract the puppy to the pad and encourage her to potty. Pads are handy for those living in high-rise apartments or condos and during cold, wet weather when your puppy refuses to go outside.

Why Not Put Them Together?

Dogs generally do not like eating in the same place they use the potty. While it seems convenient to set the food bowl near the pads, no dog likes to eat in their toilet. Your puppy may become reluctant to eat if she smells urine and feces near her food bowl. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the puppies that associate the smell of their toilet area with the concept of meal time. Inappropriate poop-eating behavior, also known as coprophagia, may develop if the puppy thinks her poop is part of her daily rations.

Where Should Puppies Eat?

Puppies should be fed in an area completely removed from their potty training pads. If your puppy typically uses a pad in the same room as her bed, move her food bowls to another quiet, low-traffic area. Many owners feed their dogs in the kitchen, but the movement and activity of a busy room may discourage your dog from eating. Rooms without carpet are easiest to clean in the event of a spill, but if you have no carpet-free space for your dog, place a plastic bath mat under her bowl to catch spills.

Housebreaking Hints and Tips

Feed your puppy at the same time every day. Not only does a schedule make it easier to see how much your puppy is eating, it also gives you an idea of when your puppy will need to potty. When you see the puppy sniffing around the floor, immediately carry him to the potty pads. Watch him until he goes potty, and praise him for going on the pad.

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