The joys of owning a puppy are many. Cleaning up after your puppy may not be one of them, but you should expect a few accidents while “Toby” gets used to living in his new home. These tips will help you speed up the housebreaking process.
Keep a consistent schedule
Walking and feeding your puppy the same time every day, weekends included, is the first rule of housebreaking. Take him for potty breaks in the morning, after every meal and after naps. With this kind of routine, your puppy will soon learn when to expect outdoor potty time.
To housetrain your puppy at night or while you’re away, consider using a crate, kennel or training pad. A crate can become a safe place your puppy will instinctively want to avoid soiling. If you’ll be away longer than 4 to 6 hours, however, consider having some one come by to let him out. Training pads or Wee-Wee pads are useful as well. Just make sure you use them along with outdoor potty breaks when possible.
Praise, don’t punish
There’s no point in scolding or punishing your puppy for an indoor accident after the fact. He won’t associate your punishment with the deed and may fear you instead. If you catch him in the act, say “no” firmly and take him outside. And always, always praise your puppy after he does his business outdoors. The more exaggerated the praise, the better.
Clean up quickly with the right tools
When your puppy does have an indoor accident (notice we didn’t say “if”), clean it up quickly. Ammonia-based cleaners won’t break down the ammonia in dog urine, so avoid them. Use pet stain and odor removers instead. Otherwise, your puppy will be tempted to use the same spot again.
Look for signs of an impending accident
Just as a toddler will squirm he needs to go potty, your puppy will show certain signs when he’s ready to go. If he sniffs the ground while wandering or circling indoors, take him outside pronto! Don’t forget to praise him when he’s done.
Low fiber diet or puppy food
Feeding your puppy a good-quality puppy food is important. High-fiber foods will cause your puppy to go to the bathroom constantly. Give him a puppy food with less fiber instead and you’ll provide the nutrients he needs, while catering to his smaller digestive system.