Adopting puppies is always an exciting time for a household that’s well-prepared for a new canine companion. The day your puppy arrives is the beginning of many adventures for you and your pet.
However, adopting an energetic ball of fur is not all fun and games; you also need to make sure your new pet understands the rules in your home. One of these rules is that there are dedicated spaces in the property where your puppy can do its business—peeing and pooping elsewhere is strictly forbidden.
How can you effectively drive this lesson home to your pup? Here are tips you should remember when housetraining your puppy.
Prepare Your Home Well Before Your New Canine Companion Arrives
Adopting a dog is a big responsibility, and it’s something that pet parents should prepare for long before their new dog arrives at their home. Make sure you have everything that the puppy needs to feel warmly welcomed. These tools and supplies include a crate that will serve as your pup’s dedicated safe space as well as custom dog beds that are perfectly suited to your puppy’s current or eventual size. You’ll also need food and water bowls, a collar or harness and a leash, and dog food.
Aside from these items, you also need to choose an area in your home where your new pet is expected to do its business. This can be an accessible yet specific area in the yard, for example. Deciding where your dog’s toilet will be ahead of time enables you to act quickly when your new pup shows signs that it needs to pee or poop.
Ensure Your Dog Understands Where the Toilet Is Right at the Start
Dogs are creatures of habit. Once they get used to doing something, they will do their best to stick to that routine. If your dog is used to peeing and pooping on concrete, for example, then it’s likely that your pet will not try to relieve itself in grassy areas.
Remember this when housetraining, and make sure you pay special attention to your dog during the first few days of its arrival in your home. Whenever it shows signs of needing to go, immediately bring your dog to its dedicated toilet space and make sure it doesn’t do its business elsewhere. Upon getting used to this habit, your pet dog will understand that it’s only allowed to pee or poop in a particular area of the property. If your dog does its business elsewhere, then there’s a bigger chance that it will use that alternative space as its dedicated toilet.
Use Treats and Rewards to Speed Up the Housetraining Process
Your dog needs to know that you like how it has made a habit of using its outdoor toilet. Using treats, rewards, and other forms of positive reinforcement will allow your dog to understand that you approve of its actions. After your dog pees or poops in the designated area, give your pet a treat or praise it to further get the message across.
If your dog makes a mistake and relieves itself inside your home or in a space you did not designate, don’t scream at your pet or use negative reinforcement. Doing so will only end up slowing down the housetraining process. Instead, start the process over and make a bigger effort to bring your dog to its dedicated toilet space when it needs to pee or poop.
Accept That Accidents Happen and Prepare Products to Make Cleanups Faster
You and your dog will likely face a few speedbumps in your housetraining journey. This is completely normal, and it’s also something you should prepare for. Respond calmly if your dog has soiled its crate or peed in other places in the home.
Next, ready your cleaning materials. This can include gloves to protect your hands from pathogens, paper towels to soak up urine or pick up poop, and an odor neutralizer for removing the lingering smell. After this, you can clean the material or area using safe cleaning agents, such as soap, water, and a steam cleaner for the carpets.
Understand Why Your Pet Might Soil or Wet itself
Dogs don’t exactly make a mess where they’re not supposed to out of malice. Often, these incidences happen because of several possible reasons outside of their control.
Perhaps your dog does not have an accessible and familiar toilet space, or maybe your pup didn’t have enough time to do their business while they were outdoors. It’s also completely possible that something outdoors scared them and caused them to soil themselves. If it’s a persistent problem, your dog may have a medical problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Whatever the reason may be, investigating these angles and applying appropriate solutions should help you resolve your dog’s issue.
Housetraining a new pet pup requires a bit of effort and vigilance, but it’s also something that most if not all pet owners go through. Follow these tips and in due time, your pup will be less likely to make a mess in your home—a win-win for you and your canine companion.