How to Dispose of Puppy Pads

Tuesday 17th October, 2023

If you're a new dog owner, you'll quickly realise the importance of puppy pads, especially during the early stages of house training. While these pads are incredibly useful, it's crucial to dispose of them correctly. Not only does this maintain a hygienic environment, but it also minimises your environmental impact. In the following blog post, we'll guide you through the proper methods for disposing of puppy pads and help you understand why it is important.

Step-by-Step Guide to Disposing of Disposable Puppy and Dog Training Pads

Properly disposing of puppy pads requires more than simply binning them. The process isn't particularly complicated, but there are several steps involved, so you'll need to make sure to follow them to stay hygienic and environmentally responsible.

Here, we've laid out a step-by-step guide to disposing of puppy training pads for you to follow:

Step 1: Fold the Pad

Begin by folding the used puppy pad in half, making sure that the soiled area is contained within the fold. This is crucial for minimising the risk of spillage and containing odours. If the pad is particularly soiled, you may want to wear disposable gloves during this process.

Step 2: Place in a Plastic Bag

Once the pad is securely folded, place it into a plastic bag. This could be a dedicated pet waste bag, a nappy sack or even a regular shopping bag. If you're concerned about the environmental impact, consider using a biodegradable or compostable bag specifically designed for pet waste. Make sure the bag doesn't have any holes and is sturdy enough to hold the pad without tearing.

Step 3: Add Absorbent Material (Optional)

If the pad is excessively wet, you might consider adding some absorbent material like cat litter or newspaper into the bag. This can help further contain the moisture and reduce the risk of leakage.

Step 4: Seal the Bag

Sealing the bag is a crucial step. Use the handles of the bag to tie a knot, or if using a ziplock bag, make sure it's zipped tightly. The aim is to ensure that odours are contained and to prevent any leakage. This is particularly important if you're disposing of the bag in a communal rubbish bin, as you don't want to create an unpleasant situation for your neighbours.

Step 5: Double-Bag for Extra Security (Optional)

For added security against leaks and odours, you can place the sealed bag into another bag. This is advisable if the pad is particularly soiled, or if you have to store it for a while before disposing of it in an outdoor bin.

Step 6: Dispose of the Bag in an Outdoor Bin

Place the sealed bag in an outdoor rubbish bin designated for general waste. It's important to note that puppy pads should not be disposed of in recycling or compost bins, as this is not only unhygienic, but is also against UK waste disposal regulations. If you don't have convenient access to an outdoor bin, store the double-bagged pad in a secure location away from pets and children until you can dispose of it properly.

Step 7: Wash Hands Thoroughly

After handling a used puppy pad, it's essential to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This is a basic but crucial step to prevent the spread of bacteria and ensure your own hygiene.

By following these expanded steps, you can ensure that you're getting rid of your disposable puppy pads in a manner that is both responsible and respectful to the environment and your community.

Why Proper Disposal Matters

By understanding and implementing proper disposal methods, you're contributing to a cleaner, safer and more sustainable environment. This is not just beneficial for you and your puppy, but for the community and the planet as a whole.

Environmental Impact

Many disposable pads are made from materials like plastics and super-absorbent polymers, which are not biodegradable. When these pads end up in landfills, they can take years, if not decades, to break down. This contributes to the growing problem of landfill waste, which is already a pressing environmental issue in the UK and globally.

Moreover, if these pads are not disposed of correctly, they can find their way into waterways, posing a threat to aquatic life. The chemicals used in the absorbent materials can leach into the soil and water, causing further environmental harm.

By taking the time to read the packaging on disposable pads, opting to buy more eco-friendly options and dispose of them appropriately, you can limit your environmental impact and keep your home clean.

Carbon Footprint

The production of disposable puppy pads also has a carbon footprint. From the manufacturing process to transportation, each stage emits greenhouse gases. By disposing of these pads irresponsibly, we're exacerbating the problem by adding to the waste that needs to be managed, thereby increasing the overall carbon footprint of the product's lifecycle.


Incorrect disposal of puppy pads can lead to a host of hygiene-related issues. For starters, used pads can emit unpleasant odours, which can make your living environment less than pleasant. These odours can be particularly strong during the warmer months, making it crucial to dispose of the pads in a sealed bag and an appropriate outdoor bin.

Additionally, improperly disposed-of pads can attract pests like rats, flies and other vermin. These pests are not only a nuisance but can also carry diseases, posing a health risk to both humans and pets.

Public Health and Safety

Improper disposal can also have broader implications for public health and safety. If disposed of in public areas or in open bins, used puppy pads can be a source of contamination. This is not only unhygienic but also against UK waste disposal regulations, which could result in fines or other penalties.

Social Responsibility

As members of the community, it's our social responsibility to dispose of waste, including pet waste, in a manner that is respectful to our neighbours and community spaces. Irresponsible disposal can lead to tension among neighbours and degrade the quality of shared public spaces like parks and walking trails.

Choose Reusable Options

For many new dog owners, disposable puppy pads are the obvious choice. However, considering the implications they can have on the environment, even when disposed of properly, you may want to purchase a more eco-friendly option. There are various reusable products that can simply be washed instead of being thrown out, such as dog grass pads. Their reusability means you can save money on having to stock up on pads, and you will not contribute as heavily towards landfills.

Take Action to Help Our Environment

At Unblocktober, we believe it's our duty to provide you with information on how to properly dispose of 'disposable' items, including those made of plastic and paper. While there is still a long way to go for the companies that manufacture these products, we can each contribute to the cause of proper waste disposal by taking small steps and changing habits in our day-to-day lives. To learn more about how Unblocktober helps to raise awareness for these issues, read more here, or sign up today to pledge your support.

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