That silky fur, those precious paws, and sweet puppy breath… Not many things in life can compete with a new puppy. Along with those wonderful cuddles and adorable playful moments come the inevitable responsibilities, not the least of which is housetraining.

Many pet owners dread the housetraining task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. Your team at Union Lake Pet Services is happy to help you get set up for success with our puppy housetraining tips. Let the fun begin!

Puppy Housetraining Tips

Fortunately, your puppy’s natural inclination is to keep his or her personal space clean. When a litter of puppies is born, the mother dog cleans up after them, leaving no traces of urine or feces in the den. Puppies are accustomed to this cleanliness and quickly learn to eliminate outside the den.

Keeping your dog’s inborn sense of cleanliness in mind can be very helpful when it comes to puppy housetraining.

Set the Stage

The ideal time for housetraining a puppy is between 12 and 16 weeks of age. By this time the puppy usually has gained enough control over his or her bladder and bowels to learn to “hold it”.

Experts generally recommend confining a puppy to a defined space, such as a crate, gated off area, or specific room during the housetraining period. Keeping your puppy leashed and by your side at all times is another option. Gradually give your little bundle of joy more freedom as he or she learns to eliminate outside.

Routine, Routine, Routine

Establish a potty routine for your puppy early on by taking him or her outdoors first thing in the morning, and about 15 minutes after eating, drinking, playing, exercising, or napping. Because puppies generally defecate anywhere from 5-30 minutes after eating, setting a consistent feeding schedule can help.

Stay outside with your puppy so that you can reward him or her for eliminating outside. Praise, a little treat, or even a short walk around the neighborhood are all nice rewards.

Know the Signs

Paying close attention to your puppy’s behavior will help you learn his or her way of communicating the need to go out. Whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or scratching at the door are all good indicators that it’s time to go outside.

Stay Positive

Accidents will happen, and even the most earnest puppy may eliminate indoors on occasion. In order to not create a negative association with housetraining, do not punish him or her. Calmly take your puppy outside to the place where you would like him or her to go.

Thoroughly clean the spot where the accident occurred using an enzymatic cleaner to prevent your puppy from smelling the previous accident and going in the same spot again.

Patience Is Key!

There is no one-size-fits-all time frame for housetraining a puppy. Factors like size, breed, and previous living conditions all come into play, and setbacks are bound to occur from time to time. Stay positive and consistent, and your puppy will get there!

Certain medical conditions can hinder housetraining. If you are concerned that your puppy just isn’t “getting it”, or you have questions about any of the puppy housetraining tips, please contact us.