Puppy pads are incredibly useful for dogs and puppies that are left alone for longer than they can “hold it,” senior and disabled dogs, people who live in apartments, do not have fenced yards, or otherwise are not able to let their dog out frequently. It’s perfectly acceptable to use them part-time or full-time in accordance with your dog’s needs and your lifestyle.

But, there are some reasons why you might want to ditch them. You might not be able to keep the potty odors from dispersing through your home. Your dog might tear them up. Or you might simply hate the waste they create – diapers take 500 years to decompose in a landfill, though it’s unclear how long puppy pads take to break down, most brands are not biodegradable.

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Here’s a comparison of some popular puppy pad alternatives:

Self-Cleaning Brilliant Pad, as seen on Shark Tank

Cost: $149.99 for unit, $64 for two rolls (equal to about 54 pads)

Biodegradable? Yes

For dogs: 25 pounds and under.

Pros: self-cleaning, great for people with disabilities, or dogs that might go through a few pads per day.

Cons: Some dogs are afraid of the mechanism. Expensive to set up, and replacement rolls are more expensive than some pads.

Klean Paws Indoor Dog Potty

Cost: $29.99

Biodegradable? Depends. You can put potty pads inside, or biodegradable litter or newspaper – your puppy wouldn’t get ink on her paws because of the protective grating.

For dogs: Any size.

Pros: Keeps paws clean, can be used with any lining, affordable. Easy to hose off outdoors.

Cons: Cleaning poop off the grate could be a challenge. Does require cleaning, but keeps mess contained.

Rocket & Rex Washable Pads

Cost: $26.99 for pack of 2 – lasts about 300 washes.

Biodegradable? Reduces disposable waste, but it’s unclear if it is made of biodegradable materials.

For dogs: Any size.

Pros: Affordable, large, reviews report that they are sturdy and very absorbent.

Cons: Must be laundered, but reportedly hold up well to washing and do not retain odors. Dog may acclimate to pottying on any household fabric, though reviews do not reflect whether this is common.

Fresh Patch Real Grass Dog Potty

Cost: $19.99, replace every 2-4 weeks

Biodegradable? Yes

For dogs: Any size, expansion packs for large dogs available.

Pros: Urine soaks into the real grass and sod, only solid wastes need to be cleaned daily. Absorbs odor. Can last up to a month, can be cheaper than traditional pads. Dogs naturally attracted to the organic materials.

Cons: Dogs might eat the grass, dig it up or play in it.

 PuppyGoHere Dog Litter Box

Cost: $38.99, then you’ll need litter like Fresh News

Biodegradable? No, but you can use biodegradable litter.

For dogs: Small

Pros: Larger than a cat’s litter box with a wide front opening. Can use the litter of your choice. Urine should absorb into the litter more easily than a pad. Potentially less odor than a pad.

Cons: Some dogs might chew, eat or dig in litter.

Alternatives To Puppy Pads - Washable Reusable Potty Pads, Litter Boxes for dogs
Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You'll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.