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Hello everyone,

I've been researching a variety of set ups for our new puppy and I liked the idea of using a waterproof mat under his/her main exercise pen/crate area. (I tried to search this in the forum and when I searched "mat" I got the mats related to grooming and when I searched "pad" I got references to puppy pads!)

I should say that I do plan on bringing our puppy outside to potty train every 2-3 hours at first, so the waterproof mat is more for any accidents and to protect our hardwood floors. I should also mention that I am in Canada so a lot of the products I see in the US aren't available here. (Side note: I also don't shop from Amazon cause they make enough money and I don't think they're good for the environment)

I did quite a bit of searching and I feel that I need a waterproof mat that is 6' x 6'. The only mat I could find that large would be a garage floor mat, which is possible but I feel like it may not be ideal. The next I considered was a baby play mat and the largest I found was 7' x 5', which could work. My current "best" option is was to actually take two large baby play mats 6' x 4' and place them side by side, and place puppy pads under the cracks in case liquid drops between them.
(I did look into vinyl flooring options that could be cut to a custom size, but they seem to come in these strips or it didn't seem that easy to get? I'm not sure)

Sorry that was a lot for a seeming such a simple thing! I would appreciate anyone's suggestions!

Thanks so much, this group has been an invaluable source of advice and support.
 

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Someone here recommended a vinyl sheet flooring remnant for under puppy play pens. I thought it sounded like an awesome idea- waterproof, large, and the better quality stuff is kind of soft and a bit grippy.

Home Depot has precut pieces in various sizes, or if you want a full sized sheet you can just go and they will cut it there. We just did our bathroom in vinyl last year, very easy!
 

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We're using a piece of sheet vinyl that we picked up at Menards for about $20 for our puppy who comes home in a week. The piece was about 7' x 8' so we trimmed it with a utility knife, then used wide blue painter's tape to tape it down to our hardwood floors. The tape also provides a bit of a rim to keep any spills on the vinyl.
 

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My friend uses horse stall mats for her puppies. I believe she picked hers up at a feed/farm store like Minor Bros. They are nice and cushiony underfoot and easy to hose down.
I did try using those foam interlocking play mats, but liquid definitely seemed through the cracks and spread all underneath.
 

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Starvt, thanks for the info about the liquid seepage through the foam interlocking play mats. We plan to use them on the hardwood floors in our living room (adjacent to the play pen) when the pup is supervised. We will be careful to watch for puppy piddles and clean them up promptly! Mostly, we're trying to avoid using anything in the puppy area that resembles rugs or carpeting. We intend to always go outside to go potty.
 

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I like the idea of a piece of sheet flooring. An indoor/outdoor carpet could also work. Just be cautious of anything marketed exclusively for garages or outdoor spaces, as they might off-gas icky fumes in your house.

On that note, a sheet of linoleum would probably be preferable to more toxic flooring materials, unless they have ample time to air out before puppy arrives.

As far as potty timing goes, Ian Dunbar recommends hourly at the very start. I wouldn't keep this up for long, but it's a good way to prevent any potentially confusing mistakes.

 

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I use something called a "splat mat"! They are cheap and they make them for toddlers and babies to put under their high-chairs for food spillage. They are made of waterproof fabric material, somewhat tarp-like but a little bit more pliable and are machine-washable which I really like.

They can slide around a bit so I bought some velcro and attached it to the floor of the playpen :) easy to remove for washing and clean up underneath too.
 

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I like the idea of a big hunk of scrap vinyl flooring.

Horse stall mats can be really heavy and hard to move. (There is actually a special gripper tool to make it easier to drag them around.) Additionally, depending on the design, they may not wipe down easily. The primary function of a stall mat is to provide cushioning and traction for a horse living in a concrete floored barn. Therefore, they often have a nubbled texture. They are supposed to be used with shavings or other bedding on top. The urine soaked shavings would get shoveled out and replaced with fresh. The mats themselves would only get moved and cleaned on special occasions, like when you unexpectedly end up with an extra half dozen horse crazy teenagers hanging around your barn during spring break. 😉
 
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