Make Your Own Washable Dog Pee Pads (or puppy training pads)

As our pets age they may begin to have less bladder control or even become incontinent. Our 14 year old beagle, Barclay, started giving us very little notice when he needed to go outside. All too often he would not be able to hold it long enough. We began putting down training pads and he would use them. Unfortunately the pads, even the X-Large ones, were not big enough for him to get "centered" on and he usually ended up going on the edge of the pad. Yuck.  Eventually Barclay even began having trouble getting up and down the three steps to our backyard. I had to come up with a solution.

I would never scold a pet for accidents they can't help, I just needed to find a way he could "go" inside without making a mess, and I succeeded. In fact, I found two solutions.

Solution #1, the easiest but more expensive way, was to order two adult incontinence pads in a size way larger than a puppy training pad. I found some 52" X 34" pads at for $15.99 and free shipping. They even have a non-slip backing. But I would need quite a few so this option could get very expensive.

Solution #2 was to make my own. I figured all I would need is a waterproof layer on the bottom and an absorbent layer on top. I had some old towels that I could use for top absorbent layer and  I found a shower curtain liner on clearance at Walmart for less than a dollar. I figured I could make several waterproof layers with it.

I'm sure you could find inexpensive towels and shower curtains at your local Dollar Tree store or thrift shop. There are other plastic and vinyl items you could try for the waterproof layer, just make sure you can machine wash them. If you happen to have one of those inexpensive vinyl tablecloths, you may want to try that.

First I laid the towel on top of the shower curtain and smoothed out any wrinkles as best I could.

This towel had shrunk where the decorative strip was so I just cut that part off.

I marked the outline of the towel with a sharpie and then drew lines about 1 inch outside of that. Then I cut on the outside lines. Hint: Its better to err on the side of cutting too big rather than too small, so you may want to allow more than 1 inch for your first pad.

There were magnets near the bottom of this shower curtain so I carefully removed them by cutting just the layer covering them. Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Save the magnets for another project!

I so much wanted to pin the layers together but didn't want to make any unnecessary holes in the waterproof layer. Not sure if it would really make a difference so pin if you need to. I folded the vinyl layer one inch over the edge of the towel (where my inside marks were) and stitched it down all the way around.

My vintage sewing machine, purchased July 1970 from Sears catalog, was not co-operating. The motor belt needed replacing and kept slipping and the zigzag stitch thing wasn't working right. Oh well, I just used a close straight stitch and continued on, vowing to order a new belt soon.

The pad worked well, Barclay didn't miss the pad or wet on the edge of it and it was absorbent enough. I washed it just like the human pads I purchased from Amazon, first using a rinse only cycle and then a full short wash. It also did well in the dryer.

While my dog began using the new pads immediately, I realize others may not. If you have a problem with this, I suggest spraying the top layer with a training aid like this one by Four Paws. You might also try placing a disposable puppy training pad on top for awhile and then remove after they get used to it.

I decided to make a couple of pads using towels that looked a bit nicer thinking that the end product might actually look more like a rug than a pee pad. One word of caution though, it is my understanding that some dogs will get confused if you use anything other than white for your pee pad, and begin wetting on anything that is on the floor (like a throw rug).

I suggest making just one pad and trying it out before making more, just to make sure your pet will use it. I also suggest you wash and dry it first to make sure your protective layer will hold up. Some may need to be hung to dry.

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