How To Potty Train Older Pugs When They Have Mobility Issues

Whether you and your Pug have been together for several years, or you just adopted an older Pug that needs to be house trained. I’ll share some tips so you can learn how to potty train older Pugs, especially, if they are dealing with mobility issues.

Be sure to check out our huge resource on potty training Pugs to help you raise a well-mannered dog that takes care of their business outside.

How To Potty Train Older Pugs

Older Pugs should require special treatment and should have a potty area that is easy to get too, indoors, and doesn’t require them to go up or downstairs.

You may want to consider setting up a designated indoor space for them to relieve themselves.

Remember, Pug potty training takes time, regardless of whether you’re training an older dog or a puppy. Your older dog has been using the bathroom outside for her entire life, so it will take time to get her used to use the bathroom indoors.

We’ll take a closer look at each solution, but first, let’s take a look at why you may want to consider indoor potty training.

Note: This article is written by someone who owned a Pug for 16 years, not a veterinarian, and shouldn’t be a substitute for professional advice. If your Pug has is dealing with an illness or has other medical conditions, you should contact your veterinarian.

When To Train Your Pug To Potty Indoors?

potty training older dog
As your Pug ages, they may suffer from arthritis, incontinence and other issues.

Most people don’t want their dog to poop and pee indoors. However, there are many reasons you may want to teach your older dog to use an indoor potty.

Here are just a few of the reasons you may want to consider training them to go inside.

Mobility Issues

As a dog ages, they become affected by arthritis, which affects their mobility. It’s heartbreaking to watch your once agile Pug lounge around all the time and have trouble getting up just to use the bathroom outside.

Here are some telltale signs that your senior Pug is dealing with mobility issues and what to look out for:

  • Trouble jumping and climbing (stairs)
  • Walking slower or even limping
  • Favoring a limb
  • Struggling to stand or sit
  • Trouble squatting to use the bathroom outside or inside
  • Shifting weight on to front or back legs
  • Slipping when getting up or walking around
  • Exhibiting pain or stiffness


Some older dogs (usually around nine years of age) may start soiling inside the house because of incontinence. This condition causes house trained dogs to lose control of their bladder.

At first, you may notice a wet spot on their bed when they get up. As the condition worsens, they may even lose complete control of their bladder and pee while walking.

According to PetMD, spayed females are more likely to develop urinary incontinence, but it can affect all dogs.

Rule Out Medical Problems First

Most dogs don’t want to pee or poop inside, especially, if they’ve been properly house trained. If your Pug is going bathroom inside, you should contact your vet immediately.

They will be able to determine if your pooch is dealing with age-related issues, behavioral issues, gastrointestinal issues, or other conditions.

After all, you won’t know how to help your Pug, if you don’t know what they are dealing with.

Creating An Indoor Potty Area For Your Older Pug

best way to house train an older dog
Every dog is different and you need to find what works for your senior Pug

Once you know your senior Pug doesn’t have any severe medical issues, you’ll want to create a designated area specifically for your dog to relieve herself.

Here are some potty training solutions you can use to teach them to go potty indoors. That being said, it is going to require a lot of persistence and training to get your Pug to use the bathroom indoors, especially, if they’ve been using the bathroom outside since they were a puppy.

Some Pugs may hold their bladder rather than use the bathroom inside, which can lead to other health issues. As a pet owner, it’s vital to find the right training solution that makes your pet feel comfortable.

Pee Pads

how to train a pug to go on an indoor pad
indoor potty pads can work great for an older dog.

Potty or pee pads are a good option for an older dog. You can train your dog to relieve themselves on the pad, the same way you teach them to go outside. Just lay a pee pad in a specific spot inside your house (preferably wood/tile not carpet) and don’t move it.

At their regular potty times, take your senior Pug to the potty and tell her to go potty. Potty pads make it easy for an older dog, because they lie flat on the ground. The downside is they can be slippery, and cause your dog to lose their footing, especially when using it on hardwood flooring.

If this happens, you may want to put something heavy on the corners to prevent the pee pad from slipping while your dog is taking care of business. Once your dog has taken care of business, throw it away, and replace it with a new disposable pee pad. These are potty pads are super absorbent and work great for protecting your floors from overflow.


This is the old school way of potting training a dog indoors. You basically lay down a bunch of newspapers and teach your dog to relieve themselves on the papers.

The downside with using newspapers, is not as clean as using pee pads. Pee pads are designed specially for solving your pet’s potty business. Therefore, they are designed with core materials that will prevent odor, and prevent leakage on your floors or carpet.

That being said, whether you’re training a Pug in an apartment or house, you will want to replace the pads whenever your dog relieves themselves.

Indoor Litter Box

An indoor litter box is another option for your senior dog. These can be purchased in several different designs that make it easy for your pup to relieve themselves. They can be found with hydroponically-grown grass, durable plastic grates, synthetic grass and etc.

Every dog is different and some may prefer relieving themselves on litter boxes with grass as opposed those with plastic.

Litter boxes make it easy for older dogs as they can relieve themselves indoors or on the deck without having to go up and downstairs, out in the cold, or heat.

Opt for one that won’t cause your Pug to loose her footing when squatting or won’t slide when your dog is walking around on it.

Be sure to check out these litter boxes for Pugs that will make it much easier to train your furbaby.

Can You Potty Train An Older Dog?

senior potty training
older dog house training takes time, especially, if your pup was well house trained.

Yes, but just remember, it’s going to take time to get your dog used to use the bathroom indoors, especially, if they were house trained properly. Most dogs will feel ashamed to relieve themselves indoors, so they will need time to get used to it.

If your senior dog refuses to use the bathroom inside, you may have to consider doggie diapers to keep your home clean.

For the quickest results, make sure you keep their regular routine. This means you’ll want to take your dog to their indoor potty spot at the same time you used to take them outside.

Use the same commands you used outside to get them to go potty. They may be hesitant to use the bathroom at first, and some dogs may even try to hold it rather than go inside.

However, with consistent training, they will eventually learn where their new potty spot is. Make sure you keep their potty spot in the same place, especially, if you don’t want them pooping and peeing everywhere in your home.

How To House Train An Older Adopted Dog Outside?

If you’ve adopted an older Pug that hasn’t been properly house trained, it’s not as hard as you might think to train her. An older Pug should be able to hold their bladder long than a puppy, as long as they don’t have any medical problems.

An older dog can be trained to go potty outdoors, even if she has been peeing inside all of her life.

The most important thing is to get her on a potty training schedule so she can start understanding when she should go potty. This means you’ll want to take her outside at the following times:

  • As soon as she wakes up.
  • After she eats or drinks.
  • Right after she wakes up from naps.
  • When you get home from work.
  • Right before bed time.

Depending on her age and health, you may have to take her outside more often. I recommend consulting with your veterinarian to ensure that she is completely healthy or if your senior Pug will require more potty time outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Litter Box Train A Dog Who Is Older?

Training an older dog is no different than training a puppy. Dogs learn best when they are put on a regular schedule. Just like puppies, take your dog to the litter box as soon as they wake up, 30 minutes after eating, during their regular potty breaks during the day, and right before they go to bed.

Final Word On Indoor Potty Training Pugs

As your Pug ages, their bathroom habits will change. If you notice your senior dog having trouble to go outside like they once did, there’s nothing wrong with teaching them to use the bathroom inside.

Hopefully, this article helped you realize all the different options you have for an older dog. Here’s an article that will help you potty train a Pug puppy.

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