We’re getting a puppy in the next month! We’re so excited but are a little concerned about how to approach potty training. Any tips?
Petrified of Potty Training in Cottage Grove
Potty train a puppy can seem daunting indeed. It is important to remain consistent and vigilant to ensure the happiness of everyone in your home. Our friends at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science have lots to say on the topic:
“Inappropriate eliminations are one of the biggest reasons pets are surrendered,” says Dr. Mark Stickney, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M said. “Developing good bathroom habits early is key to having a pet you will enjoy for a long time.”
Potty training should begin as soon as you bring your pet home. If you’re training an adult dog or a puppy, be sure to give them plenty of time to use the bathroom and stay with them until they go. Then, reward the animal with a treat or positive praise so they understand that eliminating outside is good behavior.
If your pup is having a hard time learning where it is appropriate to eliminate, don’t give up. There are other strategies pet owners can use to potty train their canine, such as crate training.
“Crate training takes advantage of a dog’s natural inclination to rest in a den,” Stickney explained. “Dogs will not urinate and defecate in their den (crate) because they prefer to eliminate outside.”
If you’re going to crate train your dog or puppy, Stickney said the crate should be large enough for the animal to stand up, stretch out, and turn around, but not any larger. Additionally, maintain a consistent schedule for allowing your pet to go outside.
“A good rule of thumb is the puppy needs to go outside every hour per month of age,” Stickney said. “So a three-month-old puppy needs to go outside to eliminate every three hours. A puppy that begins to whine and become anxious should be taken outside immediately.”
Though crate training can be effective, Stickney said it’s important to remember that puppies and even adult dogs still will have accidents occasionally. In this case, Stickney said instead of punishing your pup, ignore that the accident even happened.
“Once an accident happens in the house, the puppy has already forgotten what it did,” Stickney said. “Clean up the mess and remove the smell so the puppy does not revisit that spot.”
In addition, Stickney said if your adult dog or cat is already potty trained and suddenly starts having reoccurring accidents, this could be a sign of a health problem. In this case, your pet should see a veterinarian for a check-up.
No one should pass up an opportunity for pet companionship to keep their home clean and fresh-smelling. If you’re consistent in your potty training plan, both you and your new pet will be happy. But remember, if you’re planning on getting a furry friend, patience and positive reinforcement are key throughout the process of potty training.
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