Training

6 Best Leak-Proof Dog Pee Pads

Last Updated: October 10, 2023 | 36 min read | 7 Comments

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Dog sitting in front of the best pee pads for potty training that we reviewed

Do you have a new puppy that is peeing everywhere? Or maybe your old dog is starting to leak. If pee is your problem, then a pee pad is probably the solution.

But not just any pee pad. You want a leak-proof pee pad that stays dry and fights the overpowering smell of dog pee.

If you are on the hunt for the perfect pee pad, you have come to the right place.

With help over dog trainers, our in-house vet, a dedicated team of testers, their dogs and over 500 owners of new puppies surveyed, we spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing over 50 different pee pads.

We tested each pee pad for its ability to absorb urine, dryness, odor masking and leaks among other things.

All to answer a simple question:

Which pee pad is best for your dog?

Want the answer? Then read on!

The Best Pee Pads

In our hunt to find the best, we tested and reviewed over 50 different pee pads. After months of testing, we narrowed the selection down to 6 pee pads, each excellent in their own way.

Best Performing Pee Pad

Bulldogology Carbon Tech Puppy Training Pads Winner of best premium pee pads for dogs

Bulldogology Carbon Tech Puppy Training Pads

The best of the best, this pee pad outperformed in every area we tested.

Specifications:

Size Length by width, including non-absorbent plastic liner.24 x 24 inches
Absorbent Area Length by width, excluding non-absorbent plastic liner.23 x 23 inches
Odor Neutralizer An ingredient that some pee pads use to mask the foul smell of dog pee.Activated Carbon
Attractant An ingredient that some pee pads use to draw a dog’s attention to the pee pad.Yes
Adhesive Tabs Sticky tabs that allow you to secure the pee pad to your floor.Yes

Test results:

Capacity Test How much liquid can the pee pad hold?6 cups
Absorb Test How long does it take for this pee pad to absorb a cup of liquid?4.5 seconds
Spread Test How far does a cup of liquid spread across the pee pad?8 inches
Leak Test Did we experience leaks during testing?Pass
Drip Test Does the pee pad drip when hung vertically for an hour?Pass
Tracking Test Does the pee pad lock in moisture, preventing your dog from walking pee across your floor?Pass
Condensation Test Does condensation form on the underside of the pee pad in regular use?Pass
Odor Test Can the pee pad hide the smell of dog pee?Moderate
Breeze Test Does the pee pad stay put when the wind blows?Pass

Where do I begin? The Bulldogology pee pads placed number-one in every single test we performed. I’d go so far to say that these pee pads are almost perfect.

Bulldogology Carbon Tech Puppy Training pad laying flat next to box - winner of best premium pee pad for dogs

With 6 different layers, these quilted pee pads are so thick, they feel luxurious. Let’s break it down:

  • Layer 1: Odor neutralizer (carbon)
  • Layer 2: Layer of tissue
  • Layer 3: Bullsorbant Gel Polymer
  • Layer 4: Fluff pulp
  • Layer 5: Tissue Paper
  • Layer 6: Waterproof liner to prevent leaks

These pee pads are urine absorbing monsters. Sure, the tragically named “Bullsorbent” layer made us cringe. But you’ll forget all about that when you experience just how thirsty this pee pad is.

I was actually surprised by how much liquid the Bulldogology pee pads can hold. Cup after cup, the absorbent core showed no sign of filling.

Testing bulldogology carbon tech training pads for capacity, absorbency and leaks - winner of best premium pee pad for dogs

Keep in mind that this pee pad is only 24 x 24 inches. Yet it was capable of absorbing as much urine as pee pads nearly double it’s size.

Our simulated pee test saw a full cup of pee absorbed in 4 seconds. Best of all, it stays there. If your dog steps in his pee, you can be confident he won’t track it across the floor – even when the pee pad is almost full.

Close up on absorbent gray surface of bulldogology carbon tech puppy training pad - winner of best premium pee pads for dogs

What we loved most about the Bulldogology puppy pee pads is their resistance to wrinkling. Whether absorbing a small amount of pee from a tiny Chihuahua or the seemingly endless flow of our Boxer, the absorptive layer refused to bunch up.

As for leaks and drips? None. You could carry this pee pad vertically just seconds after your dog has peed – it will remain locked inside.

Flip the Bulldogology pee pad over. You’ll discover that there are sticky tabs in each corner. Peel off the tabs on the underside of the pee pad, and you can secure it to any hard flooring, such as tiles, hardwood or vinyl.

Corner of Bulldogology Carbon Tech Training Pad Folded over to reveal sticky tabs on plastic liner - winner of best premium pee pad for dogs

Now the pee pad won’t slip when your dog catches on it. Even if your dog catches his paw on the edge. The adhesive tabs will also keep the pee pad in place when the wind blows!

Are you worried about the sticky tabs leaving adhesive behind? I am happy there was no sticky residue left behind on wood, tile, or laminate flooring.

We got mixed results on the carpet, with especially poor results on high-pile or fluffy rugs. I don’t recommend using the sticky tabs on carpet flooring.

Do you have a boy dog who raises his leg? We spoke to one owner who used the sticky tabs to attach half of this pee pad to the wall.

This way, when his Pomeranian cocked his leg, he would hit the section on the wall. However, we advise caution if using the Bulldogology pee pad in this manner – you may find the adhesive takes the paint off your wall.

The Bulldogology pee pads use carbon to trap odors.
The carbon was surprisingly effective at neutralizing the smell of dog pee. Even when we left a soaked pee pad out all day, the smell was considerably less noticeable than pee pads without carbon.

Even so, if odor protection is your primary concern, then check out our scented pee pad recommendation further down this review.

Not all of our reviewers were sold on the dark grey, almost black color. Some disliked that it clashed with the color scheme of their home. Not exactly a downside, but if matching decor is essential to you then this may be a deal-breaker.

yellow dog urine in barely noticible in the middle of bulldogology - winner of best premium pee pad for dogs

I personally didn’t mind the color. Any pee was considerably less visible than on a white-colored pee pad. I could sit in the lounge room with guests, and they would be oblivious they were sitting just a few feet from a dog pee soaked pad.

If the color really is a deal breaker for you, then check out the Bulldogology Puppy Training Pads – a traditional white pee pad. They performed near identically but did not have the odor-reducing carbon layer.

Given that there is no difference in price, our top pick is the carbon version. Speaking of price…

If you are on a budget, then these amazing pee pads have a downside. Per pad, the Bulldogology pee pads are among the most expensive on the market.

Best Budget Pee Pads

Frisco Training & Potty Pads Best Budget Dog Pee Pads winner

Frisco Training & Potty Pads

Don’t be fooled by the affordable price, these pee pads outperformed more expensive pee pads.

Specifications:

Size Length by width, including non-absorbent plastic liner.22 x 23 inches
Absorbent Area Length by width, excluding non-absorbent plastic liner.21 x 22 inches
Odor Neutralizer An ingredient that some pee pads use to mask the foul smell of dog pee.No
Attractant An ingredient that some pee pads use to draw a dog’s attention to the pee pad.No
Adhesive Tabs Sticky tabs that allow you to secure the pee pad to your floor.No

Test results:

Capacity Test How much liquid can the pee pad hold?3.75 cups
Absorb Test How long does it take for this pee pad to absorb a cup of liquid?8 seconds
Spread Test How far does a cup of liquid spread across the pee pad?7.8 inches
Leak Test Did we experience leaks during testing?Pass
Drip Test Does the pee pad drip when hung vertically for an hour?Pass
Tracking Test Does the pee pad lock in moisture, preventing your dog from walking pee across your floor?Pass
Condensation Test Does condensation form on the underside of the pee pad in regular use?Pass
Odor Test Can the pee pad hide the smell of dog pee?Fail
Breeze Test Does the pee pad stay put when the wind blows?Fail

Those of you looking for a budget option should check out our next recommendation. But if you want performance and are happy to pay for it, the Bulldogology pee pads are the best on the market. Highly recommended.

Are you on a tight budget? Then you probably don’t want to pay top-dollar for something that is going to get tossed in the trash.

This is especially true if you are potty training more than one dog – the cost of all those pee pads quickly adds up.

To win this category, the pee pads had to be constantly available at an economical price. We ignored any pee pads that were on sale for a limited time only.

Interestingly, it was the major retailers who offered the cheapest pee pads. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Petsmart, Petco, and Chewy all battled it out to provide a high-quality pee pad at an affordable price.

Frisco Training and Potty pad laid flat next to box - winner of best budget pee pad for dogs

When it came to value for money AND performance, nothing came close to the Frisco Training & Potty Pads – the instore brand of Chewy.

By selecting the auto-ship option, you’ll get an additional 5% off your order. We never paid more than 15 cents per pad (300 count).

Check back regularly to take advantage of Chewy’s special offers. At the time of writing this, you can save extra by buying three or more boxes (now expired).

Close up on quilted top layer and corner of Frisco Training and potty pads - winner of best pee pads for dogs

But here’s where things really get impressive. Frisco have managed to make an inexpensive pee pad without sacrificing on quality.

Firstly, the Frisco Training & Potty Pads hold 3.75 cups of urine. In the standard sized pee pad category, there were very few pee pads that could hold that much without leaking. Those that could were considerably more expensive.

Pouring water on Frisco Training and Potty Pad with jug to test for leaks - winner of best budget pee pad for dogs

These pee pads absorb fast. When we imitated a dog peeing, the Frisco Training & Potty Pads absorbed urine almost as quickly as it hit the pad.

The thick padded design is mostly to thank. The 5 layers work together to ensure pee is absorbed fast and trapped there:

  • Layer 1: Absorbent cloth
  • Layer 2: Layer of tissue
  • Layer 3: Absorbent Gel Polymer
  • Layer 4: Layer of tissue
  • Layer 5: Leak-proof plastic liner

The quilted top made the Frisco Training & Potty Pads appear thicker than other pee pads we tested.

Most importantly, these pee pads passed our 24-hour test. You can leave them out for a full day, and unless your dog over-saturates them, they won’t leak or drip…

yellow dog urine in absorbed into Frisco Training and Potty Pad - Winner of best budget pee pad for dogs

Even if your dog steps on the pad hours later, his paws won’t get wet. Like our other recommendations, the Frisco Training & Potty Pads excelled at preventing urine from being tracked through the home.

The only issue we noticed is that the pee pads wrinkled up as they became saturated. However, we were filling the pee pads to capacity and was hardly an issue in everyday use.

Perhaps best of all, the Frisco Training & Potty Pads are covered by Chewy’s generous return guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with the product for any reason, you can return it for a full refund. However, based on our testing, that’ probably won’t happen – we love these pee pads.

Frisco training and potty pads folded over to reveal blue plastic liner on underside - winner of best budget pee pads for dogs

Frisco also offers larger sizes. These all performed exceptionally well, consistently placing in the top three for all our tests. However, these variations add to the overall cost. If you want the cheapest pee pad possible, there is no going past the standard Frisco Training & Potty Pads – They also offer a scented option if that’s your thing, same performance with a wildflower scent.

The Frisco Premium Potty Pads offer great performance at a budget price. Highly recommended.

Best Large Pee Pads

KirkLand Signature Extra Large Absorbent Pads Best Pee Pads For Medium Dogs winner

Kirkland Extra Large Absorbent Pads

A large, pee pad at an affordable price, perfect for medium sized breeds and up.

Specifications:

Size Length by width, including non-absorbent plastic liner.30 x 23 inches
Absorbent Area Length by width, excluding non-absorbent plastic liner.28.5 x 21.5 inches
Odor Neutralizer An ingredient that some pee pads use to mask the foul smell of dog pee.No
Attractant An ingredient that some pee pads use to draw a dog’s attention to the pee pad.No
Adhesive Tabs Sticky tabs that allow you to secure the pee pad to your floor.No

Test results:

Capacity Test How much liquid can the pee pad hold?4.5 cups
Absorb Test How long does it take for this pee pad to absorb a cup of liquid?8 seconds
Spread Test How far does a cup of liquid spread across the pee pad?7.7 inches
Leak Test Did we experience leaks during testing?Pass
Drip Test Does the pee pad drip when hung vertically for an hour?Pass
Tracking Test Does the pee pad lock in moisture, preventing your dog from walking pee across your floor?Pass
Condensation Test Does condensation form on the underside of the pee pad in regular use?Pass
Odor Test Can the pee pad hide the smell of dog pee?Fail
Breeze Test Does the pee pad stay put when the wind blows?Fail

We noticed large pee pads fell into two categories…

1. Affordable but leaky such as the AmazonBasics X-Large.

2. Expensive but absorbent such as the X-Large Wee-Wee Pads.

Kirkland Extra Large Absorbent Pads - Winner of best large pee pad for dogs

The Kirkland Extra-Large Absorbent Pads hit the sweet spot, Offering a box of 100 at an affordable price. These are the only option you should consider for those of you with large breeds like a Golden Retriever, German Shepherd Or Labrador.

This is especially true if you have an adult dog that needs to use pee pads, say as a result of injury or age. With the generous 30″ x 23″ size, it’s less likely you’ll find pee on the floor – It’s easier to hit a larger pee pad than a small one!

Close up on top layer of Kirkland Signature Extra Large Absorbent Pads - Winner of best large pee pad for dogs

And when your dog does his business on the Kirkland Pee Pads, you’ll be happy to know that they can absorb a generous 4.5 cups of urine without leaking. While that’s less than the 6 cups that Kirkland advertises, it’s in line with other extra-large pee pads we reviewed in this size.

Testing the absorbtion and capacity of Kirkland Signature Extra Large Absorbent Pads - Winner of best large pee pads for dogs

Each Kirkland Extra-Large Pee Pad is made up of 4 different layers:

  • Layer 1: Absorbent cloth
  • Layer 2: Layer of tissue
  • Layer 3: Absorbent Gel Polymer
  • Layer 4: Plastic liner to prevent leaks

Even when we hung these pee pads up vertically, the seams held steady without any drips.

And I am pleased to note that the Kirkland Extra-Large Absorbent Pads passed our tracking test with flying colors. If a dog walked through their pee, they did not leave wet paw prints around the home.

Yellow dog urine sitting in middle of Kirkland Signature Extra Large Abrobent Pad - Best Large Pee Pad For Dogs Winner

The large rectangular size makes them somewhat wasteful for a tiny puppy or small dog (like a Maltese Terrier). During testing, we noticed that small breeds were unable to fill the pee pad across the day.

And given that there is no odor neutralizing, you probably don’t want to leave these sitting for a full day. Fortunately, this isn’t an issue when used for large breeds where you’ll be replacing the pee pad multiple times across the day, as they fill.

An advantage of the rectangular shape is that these are better suited to lining crates and carriers, which are also rectangular in shape. With standard square pee pads, you need to overlap two pads to get the same effect.

Corner of Kirkland Signature Extra Large Absorbent Pads folded over to reveal blue plastic liner on bottom - Winner of best large pee pad for dogs

Like all larger sized pee pads we tested, the Kirkland Extra-Large Absorbent Pads performed better in a windy environment. While they failed our fan test, in a light breeze, the extra size adds enough weight to keep it on the ground.

For the price, the Kirkland Signature Absorbent Pads were the best Extra-Large pee pads we tested. However, if you want bigger pee pads again, check out our next recommendation:

Best Large Pee Pads

Bark XXL training pads winner of best giant pee pads for dogs

Bark XXL Pee Pads

You want big? You got it. These are the best extra-large pee pads we reviewed, from the creators of BarkBox

Specifications:

Size Length by width, including non-absorbent plastic liner.30 x 36 inches
Absorbent Area Length by width, excluding non-absorbent plastic liner.28.5 x 34.5 inches
Odor Neutralizer An ingredient that some pee pads use to mask the foul smell of dog pee.No
Attractant An ingredient that some pee pads use to draw a dog’s attention to the pee pad.No
Adhesive Tabs Sticky tabs that allow you to secure the pee pad to your floor.No

Test results:

Capacity Test How much liquid can the pee pad hold?4.5 cups
Absorb Test How long does it take for this pee pad to absorb a cup of liquid?7 seconds
Spread Test How far does a cup of liquid spread across the pee pad?10.2 inches
Leak Test Did we experience leaks during testing?Pass
Drip Test Does the pee pad drip when hung vertically for an hour?Pass
Tracking Test Does the pee pad lock in moisture, preventing your dog from walking pee across your floor?Pass
Condensation Test Does condensation form on the underside of the pee pad in regular use?Pass
Odor Test Can the pee pad hide the smell of dog pee?Fail (Moderate for carbon version)
Breeze Test Does the pee pad stay put when the wind blows?Pass

Got a big dog with a big bladder? The Bark XXL Pee Pads will quickly absorb even a Great Dane’s waterfall of pee.

Bark XXL Pee Pad laid flat on ground next to box - winner of best giant pee pads for dogs winner

At the time of writing this, the Bark XXL Pee Pads are the largest pee pads for dogs on the market. Measuring a giant 30 x 36 inches, there is a lot of absorbent area to catch your pup’s pee.

Check out the size compared to an ordinary pee pad:

Bark XXL Essential Training pads compared to a regular 22 x 22 pee pad - Winner of best giant pee pad for dogs

We found the maximum usable capacity (without impacting performance or leaks) of these pee pads fell short of the 8.5 cups that Bark claims. Even so, at 6 cups, these pee pads held more pee than almost any other. Without leaking or tracking.

The extra surface area appears to have made all the difference. If your pup is a heavy urinator, then these pee pads will give you the most use before needing to be swapped out.

Testing the absorbency and capacity of Bark XXL Pee Pads - Winner of best giant pee pads for dogs

It’s this extra-surface area that makes it our number-one recommendation. If you have a big dog, the larger pad gives him a target that is harder to miss. If you have an inaccurate dog that sprays, a larger pee pad makes all the difference.

  • Layer 1: Attractant infused absorbent cloth
  • Layer 2: Absorbent Gel Polymer
  • Layer 3: Plastic liner to prevent leaks

If you buy the charcoal version, your pee pad will have an extra layer – a carbon odor neutralizer.

The charcoal version noticeably helps to reduce the smell of pee. Even if I left a soaked pee pad on the floor, it didn’t leave the house with that distinct “sharp urine smell.”

Bark XXL Pee Pads with yellow dog urine absorbed into center of pad - Winner of best giant pee pads for dogs

If you don’t like the charcoal gray/black color, consider the XXL Basic Version instead. It’s the same pee pad minus the odor neutralizing ability. But given the two are the same price, we recommend the charcoal version.

I love that pee pads have non-slip adhesive tabs. If you peel off the sticky tabs, you can attach the pee pad to your hard flooring (wood, tile, vinyl, etc.).

Sticky tab located on the underside of BARK XXL Pee Pads - Winner of best giant pee pads for dogs

During testing, we noticed that giant dogs (such as our Cane Corso tester) can move pee pads without issue. Whether they are excitedly springing off the pad to greet you, or catching the pad with their paw – a large dog can accidentally fling a pee soaked pad across your floor.

The sticky tabs significantly reduced these mishaps.

Close up on absorbent quilted top layer of Bark XXL Pee Pads - Best Giant Pee Pad For Dogs Winner

Note: When we purchased the Bark Pee Pads, they used a different sizing structure. The largest pee pads were formerly marked XL. They are now sold under XXL. The product and dimensions are the same, only the names have been changed.

Best Scented Pee Pads

All Kind Floral Scent dog training pads winner of best scented pee pads for for dogs

All Kind Scented Pee Pads

The sweet floral fragrance hides even the most aggressive urine odors – you won’t even know your dog has peed!

Specifications:

Size Length by width, including non-absorbent plastic liner.21 x 21 inches
Absorbent Area Length by width, excluding non-absorbent plastic liner.20 x 20 inches
Odor Neutralizer An ingredient that some pee pads use to mask the foul smell of dog pee.Floral Scent
Attractant An ingredient that some pee pads use to draw a dog’s attention to the pee pad.No
Adhesive Tabs Sticky tabs that allow you to secure the pee pad to your floor.No

Test results:

Capacity Test How much liquid can the pee pad hold?3.75 cups
Absorb Test How long does it take for this pee pad to absorb a cup of liquid?9 seconds
Spread Test How far does a cup of liquid spread across the pee pad?8 inches
Leak Test Did we experience leaks during testing?Pass
Drip Test Does the pee pad drip when hung vertically for an hour?Pass
Tracking Test Does the pee pad lock in moisture, preventing your dog from walking pee across your floor?Pass
Condensation Test Does condensation form on the underside of the pee pad in regular use?Pass
Odor Test Can the pee pad hide the smell of dog pee?Pass
Breeze Test Does the pee pad stay put when the wind blows?Fail

There is nothing worse than returning home to a house that smells like dog urine. Unfortunately, this is all too common if you leave your pee pads out for an extended period – such as when you leave for work.

To address the problem, pee pad brands have come up with a variety of different ways to eliminate the unmistakable scent of dog pee…

Some pee pads aim to neutralize the smell by using odor absorbing ingredients such as baking powder or activated charcoal.

And they certainly work. But they don’t get rid of the smell pee completely. Don’t get me wrong, these pee pads certainly offer better odor protection than an unscented pad…

Yellow dog urine absorbed into middle of All kind scented pee pad - best scented pee pad for dogs winner

The problem is that they can’t hide the smell completely.

We found that the best performing pee pad brands masked the odor by infusing the pad with a pleasant-smelling fragrance – instead of our nostrils being hit with a harsh urine odor, we were greeted by a pleasant perfume instead.

All kind scented pee pad for dogs laying flat on floor next to packaged product

These scented pee pads ranked the highest in our blind sniffing test. From lavender to fresh pine scents, manufacturers got creative with the perfumes they used.

But the best of the best was the All-Kind Floral Scented Dog Pads. The flowery scent was the most effective at hiding the smell of dog urine, even when left to sit out for a day (not that we advise this.)

Close up on quilted top layer and plastic liner of all-kind - best scented pee pad for dogs winner

Each pad is made up of 4 different layers:

  • Layer 1: Absorbent cloth
  • Layer 2: Layer of tissue + odor neutralizer
  • Layer 3: Absorbent Gel Polymer
  • Layer 4: Plastic liner to prevent leaks

It may not have as many layers as other scented pads, but it was considerably more absorbent. Holding 3.75 cups of urine, Only the Hartz Scented Pee Pads hold more in the same size, and even then, only just. But the Hartz pads didn’t mask odor as well.

Testing the absorbency of All Kind Pee Pads - Winner of best scented pee pads for dogs

Best of all, the All-Kind pee pads trap urine on the inside, where it belongs. WHEN our playful puppies kept running across the pad, there were not wet paw prints left behind.

Even when hung vertically, the All-Kind pee pads refused to leak.

After the review, it surprised us to learn that the All-Kind Floral Scented Dog Pads are also a brand made exclusively for chewy.com. However, they appear to be made from a different manufacturer as the Frisco Scented Pee Pads, which didn’t perform quite as well when it came to masking the smell of pee.

blue dyed water absorbed into the core of the All-Kind pee pad - winner of best scented pee pad for dogs

The good news here is that you can take advantage of the same discounts and autoship savings as the Frisco Pee Pads we recommended above.

My only complaint is that the All-Kind Pee pads are only available in a single size (21 x 21 inches). If you want a scented option for a larger dog, you should check out the Large-sized scented Frisco Pee Pads. Or check out our large dog top pick, which uses carbon to neutralize the odors instead.

Corner of All Kind Pee Pads folded over to reveal plastic liner bottom - best scented pee pad for dogs winner

But if you only need a standard-sized pee pad and you are sick of coming home to a house smelling like urine? The All-Kind Floral Scented Pee Pads are the ideal solution.

Honorable Mention

Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads - best pee pads honorable mention

Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads

A good pee pad that comes in a wide range of sizes and styles

Note: Specifications are based on the more popular Original Unscented Wee-Wee Pads. The scented version performed identically, except it contains a fragrance that successfully hides the smell of dog pee.

Specifications:

Size Length by width, including non-absorbent plastic liner.22 x 23 inches
Absorbent Area Length by width, excluding non-absorbent plastic liner.22 x 23 inches
Odor Neutralizer An ingredient that some pee pads use to mask the foul smell of dog pee.No
Attractant An ingredient that some pee pads use to draw a dog’s attention to the pee pad.Yes
Adhesive Tabs Sticky tabs that allow you to secure the pee pad to your floor.No

Test results:

Capacity Test How much liquid can the pee pad hold?3.75 cups
Absorb Test How long does it take for this pee pad to absorb a cup of liquid?15 seconds
Spread Test How far does a cup of liquid spread across the pee pad?11 inches
Leak Test Did we experience leaks during testing?Pass
Drip Test Does the pee pad drip when hung vertically for an hour?Pass
Tracking Test Does the pee pad lock in moisture, preventing your dog from walking pee across your floor?Pass
Condensation Test Does condensation form on the underside of the pee pad in regular use?Pass
Odor Test Can the pee pad hide the smell of dog pee?Fail
Breeze Test Does the pee pad stay put when the wind blows?Fail

We tested a wide variety of Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads. I think they are great. An excellent all-round pee pad.

Four Paws Wee-Wee pads - Winner of best all-round pee pad for dogs

So why aren’t these higher on our list of recommendations?

While Chewy.com refused to confirm it, we have a sneaking suspicion that the Frisco Pee Pads come from the same manufacturer that Wee-Wee pads use. In our tests, they performed identically across the Regular, X-large and Gigantic sizes (except in absorb rate).

Close up on four paws wee wee pads quilted top layer - winner of best all-round pee pads for dogs

Given that the Frisco Pee Pads are they are available at a considerably lower price, it’s hard to recommend the Four Paws Wee-Wee pads in their place.

With that said, the Wee-Wee Pads do have a significant advantage – they are sold at more locations. If you shop at Walmart, Petco, or any other retail chains, you’ll likely find Wee-Wee pads on the shelf.

My only complaint about the Four-Paws pee pad range is that they offer too many options. And the advantage of each of these is unclear.

Pouring blue water onto four paws wee-wee pads to test absorbtion and capacity - winner of best all-round pee pads for dogs

Here is a quick explanation of each product.

  • Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads Scented – Contains fragrance to mask smells
  • Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads Odor Control – Contains an odor absorbing layer, but are unscented.
  • Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads Super Absorbent – Absorbs slightly more than the standard size due to having an extra 2 x 2 inches of area.
  • Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads Odor Control – Absorbs odor rather than mask it with a scent an extra 2 x 2 inches of area.
  • Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads Eco Pads – Contains an odor absorbing layer, but are unscented.
  • Four Paws Wee-Wee Pads Decor – these pee pads have a liner with a green grass pattern.
  • Four Paws Pee-Pee Puppy pads – Contains pheromones to attract puppies to pee pad

After testing all of these variations, It is my opinion that only the regular Wee-Wee pads and the Wee-Wee Pads Scented are worth considering.

The scented version performed identically to the unscented but had a fresh spring scent that effectively masked the smell of dog urine.

The other variations either failed to add practical value or. Given that the dog pee pads with more features are also more expensive, it’s hard to recommend them.

Four Paws Wee Wee pads with yellow dog pee in middle - winner of best all-round pee pad for dogs

However, we did speak to many dog owners who were happy to pay for these extra features – the grass patterend pee pads were a favorite.

Whichever version of the standard Wee-Wee pads you choose, you’ll be rewarded with an exceptional leak-free pee pad.

Best Pee Pad Holder

Dogit Puppy Training Pad Tray Holder - Best Pee Pad Holder For Most Dogs

Dogit Puppy Pad Holder

Hold your pee pads in place with this pee pad holder.

Are you sick of your puppy playing with pee pads? Or maybe you keep coming home to find the pee pads laying pee-side down on your floor.

Some of the pee pads we reviewed had an adhesive tape, allowing them to be secured to the floor.

But if you really want to hold your pee pad in place, you’ll want a pee pad holder.

French Bulldog standing on Dogit Puppy Pad Holder Tray with pee pad inside

The Dogit Puppy Pad Holder is a frame that clamps down on the edges of the pee pad – holding it in place.

No more accidentally folding a pee pad over as your dog steps on it. A pee pad holder also allows you to confidently place a pee pad down in a breezy location, such as your balcony.

Pee pad holder trapping dog pee that has gone too close to edge. jpg

As an added bonus, the holder adds extra mess-protection to your peed pad. Let’s say the worst-case scenario happens, and your pee pad leaks. The pee will be neatly contained inside the holder.

Want to see our other recommendations? Check out our best pee pad holder review – there are recommendations that can stop even the most destructive dog from shredding the pee pad.

The pee pads that didn’t make the cut

While our top picks outperformed, the following puppy pee pads fell short in one way or another.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these are bad pee pads. After all, each was able to absorb and trap dog urine to varying degrees of success.

However, based on our testing, we see little reason you would choose these pee pads over our recommendations above.

What is a pee pad and does your dog need one?

A pee pad is a flat cloth-like pad that is placed on the floor for your dog to urinate on. The pee pad absorbs and traps urine locking it in.

Oh, and poop. They are also designed to be pooped on too.

This simple product has an incredibly important job, protecting your floor when your dog goes potty. I’m not sure if you have cleaned up dog pee before, but it isn’t fun. A pee pad stops the mess in the first place!

You might also hear a pee pad referred to as:

  • Potty training pad
  • Puppy training pad
  • Housebreaking pad

Whatever you call them, it’s the same thing. I personally prefer to call them pee pads since they can be used on dogs of all ages – not just during the potty training phase.

Pee pads come in disposable and reusable varieties:

1. Disposable pee pads – Made from similar materials as disposable diapers. Thrown in the trash once used.

2. Reusable pee pads – Made from fabric. Can be used again and again.

Disposable pee pads, while worse for the environment are the more popular choice. Reusable pee pads need to be washed and dried before they can be used again – many dog owners are not down for that extra work.

Does your dog need a pee pad? Let’s take a closer look at the five most common situations where having pee pads on hand is invaluable…

1. Housebreaking a new puppy

A house broken pomeranian puppy who has been trained to go potty on a pee pad

Perhaps the most popular use for pee pads – potty training a new puppy.

Puppies have small bladders and can’t hold their pee in for long. According the the AKC, a 1 month old puppy can only hold their pee for an hour.[1]

Of course, you won’t be getting up hourly to let your new puppy outside. So training your puppy to go on a pee pad is a standard solution before transitioning your puppy to pee outside once he is older.

A pee pad creates a dedicated potty zone for your pup to do his business, away from his sleep and play areas.

2. Carrier Liner

Yorkshire Terrier resting on pee pad that is placed on bottom of travel carrier to stop messy accidents

Does your dog have to travel in a carrier for extended periods? the trip may be too long for your pup to hold his business.

This is a particular problem on long flights, where your dog must remain in his carrier.

In these circumstances, many owners place a pee pad in their carrier to make cleaning up accidents easier.

3. Senior dogs with poor bladder control

Senior labrador with gray muzzle laying on floor with incontinence

As cute as that gray muzzle may be, old age brings with it a range of health issues for your pup. Incontinence is one of the more common old-age issues.

Incontinence refers to any accidents where your old pup can not hold his pee in. This may be while he is lying down or sleeping.

By having your dog lay down or sleep on a pee pad, it will catch any drips that leak out.

4. Post-surgery incontinence

Jack Russel Terrier with dog cone on who has incontinence after being spayed

Medical procedures, such as spaying and neutering, can also cause incontinence. [1]

After surgery, it’s not uncommon for your dog to leak urine whenever he lays down or rests.

As you can imagine, this can quickly lead to your home being covered in pee.

Pee pads to the rescue. Place a pee pad underneath your incontinent dog, and in his favorite resting places, to save your floor from a flood of urine.

Alternatively, you can cover your pups rump in a dog diaper, to catch any leaks as he roams around your home.

5. Icy Temperatures and bad weather

Chihuahua looking outside to discover it's too cold to pee outside

I live in upstate New York, and winters are darn chilly. But if you live further north, then snow and icy weather might stop you from going outside altogether.

Just one problem – your pup is trained to do his business outside.

In these situations, many owners train their dogs to do their go do his business on a pee pad. This way you don’t have to expose yourself or your pup to horrific weather.

It doesn’t matter if you are stuck inside due to a torrential downpour or a blizzard. Whatever the weather, you can be comfortable knowing that your dog can go potty on a pee pad.

6. High-Rise apartments

West Highland Terrier looking out apartment window

If you live on the 15th floor, it requires a fair amount of effort to take your dog out to pee.

My friend found herself in this exact situation. She has to walk down the hall, wait for the elevator, wait again as it stops at each floor, walk her way through the foyer and finally out the front of the building…

Once her pup has done his business, she goes back. All up, each trip takes her about 10 minutes. As you can imagine, multiple potty trips eat up a lot of time out of your day.

Unfortunately, this is the reality that many dog owners living in the city face.

It is for this reason that many people in apartments choose to use pee pads instead – you no longer need to be around for when your dog goes

How we tested pee pads

Some of the different boxes of pee pads that we tested and reviewed

At Canine Journal, we don’t recommend any product we wouldn’t happily use on our own precious pups.

That’s why we vigorously test, compare and review each pee pad you see featured in this guide.

But before we could begin testing, we had to decide which pee pads to review.

So we set about interviewing dog owners, trainers, daycare centers and pet shop employees who all had experience with pee pads to narrow down the selection.

During our research, it surprised us to learn that there are hundreds of different brands of pee pads.

Once we eliminated the generic rebrands, variations of the same product, those that were not commonly available, etc. things began to look a lot more manageable.

Even so, this left us with over 50 different pee pads to review. We did think about cutting this number down again.

However, after individually considering these pee pads, and discussing with the team, we decided to attempt our biggest review yet. It took the effort of dozens of people and hundreds of hours testing, but we feel this decision was worth it.

To start, we purchased each pee pad. Just like you, we pay full retail price. We soon learned that pee pads are surprisingly expensive for what they are, especially the “premium” brand names. This quickly became our most costly review to date.

Once all our pee pads had arrived, it was time to find the best pee pads. So, we set about testing them.

Below are the tests we used to separate the winners from the losers.

Note: Each test was repeated with 10 pee pads from pulled from various positions in each box.

1. Capacity

When choosing the ideal pee pad for your pup, you want to be sure that it will contain every last drop of urine. – larger dogs need a pee pad that holds as much urine as possible.

You see, puppies and small dogs, like chihuahuas, don’t produce nearly as much pee as a larger dog.[1]

Now, it is unlikely that you will allow a pee pad to fill to capacity before replacing it. Even so, it’s better to buy a pee pad with a higher capacity than you need. For example, if you forget to replace a pee pad, then that extra capacity could be the difference between a dry and wet floor.

Unfortunately, nearly every pee pad brand we reviewed exaggerated just how much their pee pad could hold – in most cases, reaching the advertised capacity of a pee pad caused it to leak or rendered it unable to prevent tracking.

So, we tested each pee pads actual usable capacity by adding water bit by bit, until it reached its maximum capacity, without impacting performance or leaking.

2. Absorption Test

testing a dog pee pad for it's a ability to quickly absorb urine into the core

A high capacity is meaningless if it takes forever for dog urine to be absorbed into the core of the pee pad.

The longer it takes for pee to absorb, the more likely it is that you’ll end up with pee on your floor. Your puppy could excitedly run through his fresh pee or accidentally flick the pee pad, sending pee splatters across the room.

To test, we added a cup of water to each pee pad and timed how it took for the pee soak it up, without leaving any water pooling on the surface.

3. Spread Test

When choosing the ideal pee pad, you must consider how far dog urine spreads across the pee pad.

The spread is how far the wet patch spreads as dog urine is absorbed into the pee pad.

To an extent, this will determine how often you need to swap out the pee pad…

A pee pad with a small spread will have more absorbent surface area for the next time your dog pees.

On the flipside, a pee pad with a large spread may only be suitable for a single peeing session.

For this test, a cup of water was poured on each pee pad. We then measured how far the wetness had spread after letting it sit for 10 minutes.

3. Leak Test

A dog pee pad that has leaks allowing urine to flow onto the floor

Any pee pad that leaks is going to make a mess. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to clean pee off my floors after a long day at work.

Throughout each of these tests, we monitored each pee pad closely for leaks.

In addition to this, we saturated each pee pad to its maximum usable capacity and left them to sit for 24 hours.

We added blue food coloring to the water, so any leaks were easy to spot.

4. Drip Test Test

Hanging up a dog pee pad to see if it will leak or drip

Pee pads can also leak when you are carrying them to the trash can. In fact, this is probably when you least want a pee pad to leak. Any drips here will leave a trail of dog urine throughout your entire home.

To prevent drips, the plastic liner should be able to maintain it’s integrity when folded over or carried vertically.

To test for this, we once again saturated each pee pad to its maximum usable capacity. The pee pads were then vertically for 1 hour.

We soon realized that this test was the undoing of many pee pads. However, most pee pads finally began to drip in the second part of an hour.

In terms of real-world use, we consider that a perfectly acceptable result. After all, it’s unlikely you will take longer than a few minutes to walk to the trash with a pee pad full of urine.

However, we did find many pee pads were able to last the full hour. These pee pads in general beat out the competition on all other tests – so passing the drip test may indicate a higher quality pee pad.

5. Tracking Test

Testing the ability of a pee pad to leave paw prints behind after a dog has peed

A good dog pee pad needs to lock in moisture within its absorbent layers. If your dog steps on a urine-soaked pad, he can track urine across your entire house – dog pee footsteps on the carpet? No thanks!

Trust me when I say that tracking is something you want to avoid. Your entire home will smell like dog pee. It’s almost impossible to get rid of it without deep cleaning every inch of flooring.

To test for tracking, we let a pee pad sit for an hour with a cup of water.

I then pressed my pup’s paw against a paper towel to see if it left a mark.

The test was repeated after the pee pad was left to sit for a day. Interestingly, many pee pads that passed the 1-hour test failed when left to sit out all day – It appears that the ability for some pee pads to trap urine decreases as time goes on.

6. Condensation Test

Condensation on underside of dog pee pad that has been confused with a leak

During our leak test, we noticed something interesting. Some dog pee pads had wet patches underneath them.

Just a leak, right? Well, no. We used blue food dye to make sure any leaks were easy to find. However, these wet patches were clear. They couldn’t have come from the pad.

The mystery was solved when one of our team members suggested it was condensation.

After retesting these pee pads on various flooring types, including carpet, tiles, and wood, we found it to be true – water would condense underneath these pee pads.

This condensation can easily be confused with leaking. And while I would much prefer water on my floor than dog urine, it’s still a mess that needs to be cleaned up.

So, we also tested each pee pad for condensation. Any dog pee pad that showed signs of condensation failed.

7. Odor Elimination Test

how to convince your parents to get a hamster

There are times when I hate this job. And this test is of one them. If you had asked my younger self what career I would be doing when I grew up, I never would have guessed it would involve sniffing dog pee..

But that’s exactly what I did. Luckily I got to share this awful job with another 20 reviewers.

The goal was to rank just how well pee pads with scents and odor neutralizers were at masking the smell of dog urine.

Sniffing pee? Not my favorite job. However, I took delight in knowing the other reviewers were just as disgusted as me!

We sniffed after a fresh pee, an hour later and again after 8 hours had passed. The aim here was to see if a pee pad lost its odor-neutralizing abilities as time passed.

We also took note of our reviewer’s experience after leaving urine-soaked pee pads out over a full day.

Rating was simple. The more noticeable the odor, the worse the pee pad scored.

8. The Breeze Test

Testing pee pads ability to stay flat in the wind with a handheld fan

There is nothing more frustrating than a gust of wind picking up your dog’s pee pad and blowing it across the room. Actually, there is. That same pee pad landing urine-side down on your floor.

In this test we simulated a light breeze by placing each pad by laying it flat on the ground and blowing air at it with a handheld fan.

Pee pads that folded over or lifted off the ground failed.

Spoiler: Only pee pads that had sticky tabs passed this test.

9. One last test…

By now, we had several pee pads leading the competition. Just one problem – we had reviewed them in isolated conditions. It was now time for them to face the ultimate test…

Pee pads are often called puppy training pee pads for a good reason. They are most commonly used for housebreaking a new puppy.

To this end, our review wouldn’t be complete without testing each pee pad on that was in the process of being potty trained.

So, we rounded up 20 dog owners at various stages of potty training their dogs. Their goal was to see how our findings held up in real-world use.

Each owner was given a selection of our top picks. If any irregularities were discovered, we were to go back and retest that pad. I am happy to report that real-world feedback closely mirrored our test results.

Testing observations

While testing each pee pad for the above qualities, we made some observations to help you have a positive experience when using pee pads.

Is there such thing as a leak-proof pee pad?

While researching which pee pads to buy, you may have noticed that every single one has reviews complaining that it leaks.

I’ll admit, this was a curiosity to me. If every single pee pad was capable of leaking, then why are they such a popular potty training product?

I wanted to use this review as an opportunity to answer the question once and for all:

Is there such thing as a leak-proof pee-pad?

Let’s ignore the pee pads that leaked due to either poor construction or second-rate materials. It doesn’t matter what you do here, buying an inferior pee pad will almost certainly lead to leaks.

Instead, I want to focus on the best pee pads we reviewed. These pee pads must surely be leak-proof, right? I mean, how could we possibly recommend them otherwise?

Well, based on our testing, they generally are…

But they require you to use them correctly. And that’s where the problems start.

When we surveyed, interviewed and observed ordinary dog owners testing our top picks, we noticed a trend.

Many people were either misusing pee pads or had unrealistic expectations.

One dog owner complained that our top pick kept leaking…

When we pressed her further, we learned that she was using a single pee-pad for her elderly Rottweiler and only replacing it once a day – The amount of pee far exceeded it’s absorbing capacity.

For another user, we observed her dog peeing on the side of the pee pad. Half went on the floor, half went on the pad. The owner returned and came to the conclusion that the pad must have leaked. The problem was actually an inaccurate dog.

Perhaps in the funniest instance, we observed a user placed the pee pad upside down. When the dog went to the toilet, it did so on the water-proof underside and pee streamed onto the floor. Once again, the owner complained that the pee pad leaked.

In an other case, a dog owner expected the sticky tabs that held the pee pads on the ground to stop her dog from chewing on them. Her dog is a 150 lbs St. Bernard. No chance. She watched her dog effortlessly pluck the pee pad from the ground and chew on it – yet she blamed the pee pad for not working correctly.

Let’s face it, pee pads are perhaps one of the least complicated dog products around. This is why it surprised us that so many dog owners were using them incorrectly.

We suspect part of the problem is that many users are new to the dog world. They have a new puppy and don’t understand how products such as pee-pads are supposed to be used.

A similar example would be my first experience placing a diaper on my daughter. Of course, I messed it up, and the diaper leaked everywhere – Oh yeah, and my first reaction was to blame the diaper.

Now don’t get me wrong, manufacturing defects do occur. Some reviews are likely valid in their critique of the pee pads leaking, even the pee pads we recommended above.

However, based on our experience, pee pads can be effectively leak-proof when used correctly – but you need to be realistic with your expectations.

Watch those edges

When choosing the right sized pee pad for your dog, you need to take the edge of the pee pad….

Pee pad sizing is a little sneaky. When a brand states the size of their pad, this includes the non-absorbent plastic area that runs around the edge of the pad.

You see, pee pads are designed so that the plastic liner that makes up the bottom layer of the pee pad folds up and over the edges.

While this has the advantage of preventing leaking at the edges of the pee pad, it does reduce the absorption area for the top layer of the pad.

Allow me to explain. The AmazonBasics training pads measure 22 x 22 inches. However, there is a 1-inch liner running around the edge of the pad, so the actual absorption area measures 21 x 21 inches.

This means that almost 17% of the pad won’t absorb your pup’s pee. If your dog pees on edge, the pee will sit there or worse, flow onto your floor.

It is for this reason that we recommend buying a larger pee pad than you think you need.

Generally, the non-absorbing area takes up an inch inwards around the perimeter of the pad. However, we did come across pee pads with larger edges, such as the Petkin Germ Lock Potty Pads which had an edge measurement of 1.8 inches/

Ignore the marketing

Pee pads are not exactly a complicated product. I mean, it’s a square-shaped pad that absorbs pee.

I imagine that’s why the marketing departments tasked with selling pee pads make bold claims that didn’t match our testing.

So allow me to quickly debunk some claims we came across:

More layers means better performance

This was demonstrably false. Bulldogology Puppy Training Pads and Four Paws Wee-Wee pads both boasted 6 layers. However, one performed considerably better than the other.

The quality and material matters more than the number of layers.

Words like 2x, 3x and 4x mean nothing.

This was perhaps the most meaningless marketing phrase we saw repeated across brands.

A dog pee pad that boasted it absorbed 4x as much urine held considerably less than our top picks.

Similarly, another brand that used the phrase 2x odor destroyer was the least effective scented dog pad at masking the smell of urine.

Holds up to X cups of urine

Replace X with the number printed on your box. The keyword is up to. Most brands we reviewed failed to reach half the advertised capacity offered without leaking.

Even our top picks fell short in absorption compared to their advertised capacity…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t buy a brand based on its claims. Every single brand is trying to tell you that their product is the best to open up your wallet.

I’ll admit, this does make it challenging to choose which pee pad to buy. But that’s the purpose of this guide – we did the hard work for you.

What about pee pads with attractant?

The exact attractant used will vary from brand to brand. Some use a grass scent, while others use pheromones to entice your puppy.

It is my opinion that attractant in pee pads is somewhat of a gimmick. At least that’s what our review shows.

To test this, we placed each pee pad with attractant alongside three other pee pads that did not contain attractant and see where our dogs would do their business. We repeated this 10 times with each brand.

It was a coin flip as to whether or not a dog would go on the pee pad which contained attractant.

We even potty trained a puppy exclusively on a particular pee pad brand with attractant. When we repeated this test on him, he used the pee pads without attractant more than 50% of the time – that’s a fail.

Interestingly, we were able to achieve the same results from scented pee pads that didn’t contain attractant.

Then there’s the Spot X pee pads and Bullseye Pee pads. In the center of these pads is a marker at is infused with a pheromone attractant. Both of these pee pads claim to help a dog pee in the centr of the pee pad every single time.

In practice, it didn’t work. Our testers were just as likely to go potty on the edges of the pad as they were in the center.

This is a curiosity to me. After reviewing spray-on attractants with an incredibly high success rate, I expected the same from the pee pads infused with an attractant.

In our best potty training spray review, the top-performing attractant had a 90% success rate.

We did not observe the same success when reviewing pee pads with attractant.

If you want to use an attractant to help housebreaking your puppy, buy the liquid bottles instead.

Conclusion

Phew. That was a monster of a review. Our biggest yet. if you made it this far, congratulations! You now know which pee pad is perfect for your dog.

A recap of our results…

The best pee pads we reviewed:

Which pee pad does your dog use? Do you want to see more monster-sized reviews like this? Let me know in the comments below!

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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