Getting a new pet is an exciting time, but it also comes with a bit of stress. Housebreaking your pet can be one of the most stressful times. While some pets are a breeze when it comes to housebreaking your pet, others are a little more stubborn.
Kittens can learn to use the kitty litter box in a few days, puppies on the other hand are a little more difficult to train. However, there is a winning formula to housebreaking your pet successfully in record time.
Tiny Bladders Mean Frequent Bathroom Trips
Frequent urination is simply part of growing up. This is true for both humans and pets. Your puppies bladder is small still, which means it fills up fast, and they have to eliminate frequently. Most dogs need to be walked at least once a day, but puppies may have to visit the bathroom up to 6 times a day until they get the hang of things.
One of the quickest ways to fail at housebreaking your pet is to not let them out enough. A good rule of thumb is anytime you see them eating or drinking get them outside to their potty space within 30 minutes.
If you want to avoid having to hire professional residential carpet cleaning services, you will need to spend the first few weeks of your puppies transition into your home letting them outdoors frequently. For young pups, it is not a behavior problem to eliminate in the house, it is literally a physical inability to hold things in until you let them out. Avoiding the early-stage problems of potty training your pup can be as simple as letting them outdoors frequently.
You can also take some steps to help cut back on the need to eliminate frequently. Make mealtimes a specific time. A lot of pet owner will feed on demand, which means they fill the food bowl and let the pup eat throughout the day, which is a fine approach, but if you want o control what comes out and when things come out, you will need to control what goes in.
Set Up a Routine
Pet care on a routine helps to relay to your pup what to expect and what is expected of them. For example, feeding at 7 am and 5 pm is something that your pup will come to expect and will also help to control when they will need to use the bathroom.
A blogger recently relayed a story about her new pup and how putting them on a routine really changed everything. She was amazed at how quickly she was able to housebreak her pup when she followed a routine of feeding and care that the pup was able to easily adapt to. She reported that every morning her pup eagerly ran to his food bowl and about 30 minutes later went out the door to take care of his business. She said that this behavior repeated that evening at feeding time. After about 2 weeks, of this monitored routine care, her pup did not have any more accidents in the house.
Pets, dogs especially want to please their family members, but they have to know what is expected of them. Feeding them on a tight schedule then taking them outdoors within 30 minutes, tells them, this is how we do our business in this house.
Housebreaking your pet does not have to be a battle of the wills. You are in charge. You just have to participate and show them that you are the one that makes the rules. Then stick to them. Your pup will appreciate the same routine every day. It is easier for them to follow your want’s when you want the same thing every day.
It is a lot easier for you to set up a routine than to have to constantly stop what you are doing to deal with carpet cleaning issues. With a little bit of effort and sticking to your guns housebreaking your pet can go smoothly.
Is Crate Training a Good Idea?
Crate training is not cruel. Crate training can actually be better for your pet’s mental health. Dogs are den animals. That means dogs out in the wild, will sleep in dens like their cousins the wolf. They will dig a hole or find a rock formation to sleep in or near to feel safe.
Crates can be a dog’s symbolic den. It becomes their own special space where they can feel safe and protected. Of course, it also helps you to housebreaking your pet. Crate training a dog from early on is one of the best ways to teach your dog that they have a spot that they can call their own where they can retreat too when they feel anxious.
How can crate training help in housebreaking your pet? Keeping a pup contained for at least part of the day while you are away from home will ensure that you do not come home to a mess. Even if you have hard epoxy flooring that is indestructible, we are not just talking about potty messes. Puppies can get into all kinds of things that they are not supposed to. Crate training helps to keep them safe when you are away.
Young pups need constant supervision. If you cannot provide that supervision than you have to figure out a way to keep them from hurting themselves. A crate can be just the solution you need.
Here are some tips for crate training:
- Purchase a crate that your pup can move around it but not so big that they have too much space. You want to ensure that they can grow into their crate so that when they reach the adult size it is just large enough for them to turn around in.
- Introduce the crate by making it welcoming. Leave the door to the crate open, and make it inviting by putting treats and toys inside the crate. After a few days of your pup showing interest in the crate, you can start closing the door to the crate. They may complain a bit but it will be okay.
- Give the crate a name. When you are teaching your dog to crate up, give it a name, like “your spot” or “bed” something simple that your dog will start to recognize.
Housebreaking your pet will go a lot smoother if you use a crate as part of the process.
Protecting Your Pup During Housebreaking
Puppies are naturally curious and can get into stuff that is dangerous to them. Before you let your pup out on their own you want to make sure that you are letting them out into a safe space. Puppies are small but they can be really fast and can get away from you when they are unleashed.
Housebreaking your pet should happen in layers. You want to initially start off with leash training. Puppies typically take a little while to get used to the idea of being on a leash, but it is an important part of the training. Early on in housebreaking your pet, it is best to take them on the leash to do their business, even if you have chain link fencing around your property you should initially walk your dog.
Once your pup has mastered the idea that the leash is associated with going outside and it is the only way they can go outside, you can start letting them off-leash in the backyard. You never, ever want to let your pup off-leash outside the home in areas that are not fenced in. It can be a recipe for disaster.
Once you have trained your pup that the leash is not something they should fight against, you can start letting them out in the yard to manage their potty business. There are some things you should do before you start trusting your pup out back on their own:
- Make sure your fence is secure. Check out your wood fence, or another fencing, and look for any holes near the base of the fence where your pup can escape through. Make sure the fence is sturdy.
- Remove anything from the yard that your pup can get into like pesticides, and other lawn care chemicals. If it is out there they will find it and get into it.
- Consider cordoning off a special potty area for your pet.
It is not just keeping your pup contained that you have to worry about in the yard. Some landscaping plants can be dangerous to dogs if they chew on them. You may have planted certain plants before a dog joined your household and not realized that they can be dangerous to your pet.
Do a little research about what is a potential threat to your pup’s health and if you need to move things around or even consider hiring local fencing companies to put up a run for your pup, it is the safest way to ensure that you are not exposing your fur baby to health risks.
Accidents Are Bound to Happen
You and your new pet are going through a transition phase and getting to know each other. As time moves forward you both will have a better understanding of each other’s behaviors, in the meantime, there will be accidents.
A couple of poop and pee accidents are no big deal, but over time they can cause serious damage to your home. Here are some tips for dealing with bathroom accidents:
- Clean up all accidents immediately. As soon as you notice the problem clean it up and use an enzymatic cleaner to do it. Dogs will return to the same spot to eliminate if they can detect their scent. Enzymatic cleaners break down the bacteria that create their own special scent.
- Don’t yell or put their nose in it. For some reason, the myth about putting a dog’s nose in their mistake during housebreaking your dog is an effective training option. It is not. Do not do it. You can say, things like “no” and point to the post but puppies have short memories, and likely will not understand what all the commotion is about. If you do not catch them in the act, you cannot remind them of the act by putting their nose in it. Besides, that is just gross.
- Accidents are just that they are accidents and they come with the housebreaking your pet territory. Expect, them, deal with them immediately, and keep in mind this phase will pass.
There is no such thing as a puppy that does not have accidents in the house. The best way to deal with accidents is to expect they will happen.
Prevention is Key
You are making all the right moves with housebreaking your pet. You are taking them out frequently, you are feeding them on a schedule, and you are working on crate training, what else can you do to protect your home and make life easier during the housebreaking period?
Keep your puppy out of areas that have expensive rugs, and carpeting that is not easy to clean. Seamless flooring like tiles, linoleum, and other hard surfaces are a lot easier to clean up if there is an accident.
Other preventive measures that can save your floors include:
- Spread out some puppy pads. Puppy pads are highly absorbent and make clean up a breeze. They are not only good for use with puppies, but they are also good for use when your dog is sick or when they become seniors and start to have problems with incontinence.
- Keep your pup in a space where not much can go wrong. Confining your pup to areas where if there is an accident it is no big deal is a good idea for the first couple of weeks, just until they get the hang of things. You do not want to isolate them so they cannot interact with family members. Baby gates can come in really handy during housebreaking your dog.
- Be diligent. Clear your schedule and make housebreaking your pet your priority for a few weeks. The more attention you pay, the less likely you will have to deal with accidents.
Housebreaking your pet is just a phase. Keep your sense of humor about things and it will all turn out okay. With each of you doing your part to work through this period, your bond will become stronger, and your pet will come to understand what their end of the deal is.