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3 Reasons Why Disposable Pee Mats are Bad for the Environment

3 Reasons Why Disposable Pee Mats are Bad for the Environment

  • by Rufus and Coco

If you have recently become a puppy parent, house training is likely to be one of your top priorities. There are many ways to look at this challenge, but the truth is that a single puppy can go through several pee pads over the course of just one day (depending on their age).

But there are better choices these days, which are reusable and washable, such as our Eco Pee Mats. In fact, this type of mat keeps both the owner and the dog happy – the former will not be forced to spend a ton of money on disposable pads, and the latter will find the mat more comfortable than a traditional pee pad.

Better yet, our pee mat has a leak-proof base and a non-slip backing, preventing your pup from any accidents while going potty. But if you need even more convincing why you shouldn’t use single-use pee pads or mats, here are a few reasons!

Why Single-Use Pee Mats are Bad for the Environment

The total cost is much higher

The average cost of a few dozen single-use pads is about $20. But as you know, puppies, especially those who haven’t reached their third or fourth month, will go to the bathroom once every several hours.

By the time they have reached six months of age, they might be able to control their bladder so that they use a pee mat only once or twice a day and then go potty outdoors the rest of the time.

But in the first two months of their life, puppies will pee once every two to three hours or even more often. That means that you will effectively be using ten to twelve disposable pee pads per day.

Over the course of just three to four days, you might have finished the pack of pads you’ve bought, which forces you to get another one.

This is not the case with reusable pee mats. Sure, it might sound like a hassle for you to have to clean them repeatedly, but if you get several pieces, you can use them until your dog is fully potty trained.

Besides, you do not have to use the washer and dryer every time – you can simply soak them in hot water with detergent for an hour or so, scrub the soiled surface gently with a brush (which might not even exist if your puppy hasn’t pooped, too), use a disinfectant, and then give it a nice rinse before drying them on a rack.

If you use disposable pee pads and, depending on your pup’s age, you might end up spending more than $60 or $80 per week. That’s the cost of two to three reusable mats!

They’re extremely bad for the environment

If you’ve ever tried to recycle any kind of Tetra-Pak waste, you probably know how challenging it can be for you to find a station that accepts such packaging.

And the reason for this is that Tetra-Pak isn’t made of a single material – it’s a combination of several, which means that the layers need to be separated in order for them to be recycled or disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.

The same applies to single-use pee mats. They’re usually a combination of materials in that you have the soft part at the top, which is technically supposed to absorb and retain your dog’s waste, and then you have a completely different part at the bottom, usually made entirely out of plastic.

And while that plastic layer might sometimes be recyclable, it is rarely recycled. People throw their dog’s pee pads in the bin without separating them from the rest of the waste just because they don’t have the right containers or their local authorities do not know how to collect them separately.

To make matters worse, single-use pee mats retain the smell of your dog’s waste, and there’s no way of getting rid of it other than by throwing them out completely. By contrast, a washable pee mat can be soaked and cleaned and then reused. 

They don’t even do their job properly

Probably the worst thing about single-use pee mats is that they are extremely thin. And unless you get the largest possible size so that your dog can supposedly pee or poop right in the centre to prevent leaks, you really have no way of handling this issue.

Your puppy might pee in the middle of the night when you can’t clean their mess immediately, so some amount of urine will sit on your floor for hours (or worse, it might be absorbed into your hardwood floors) while you’re sleeping.

Because they are single-use and made to be disposed of quickly, you're not going to find any disposable pee pads that take the cake when it comes to thickness (and absorbency). Manufacturers are not interested in upping production costs just because that would make the end product more expensive for you – and potentially cause a decrease in sales.

Needless to say, a reusable pee mat is considerably thicker (and, therefore, more absorbent) – because it also needs to be rugged enough so that it withstands the abuse of regular washing.


Final thoughts

Potty training a young dog is not an easy task, but reusable pee mats make things slightly easier.

If you clean them properly, you can turn them into liners for a dog house, for example, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to the many ways you can make the most of them.

Disposable pee mats, on the other hand, are bad in most ways aside from convenience. When you really have nothing available, they might work, but they aren't exactly a sustainable alternative.

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