When you think about welcoming a cute, fluffy bundle of joy into your home the last thing you have on your mind is scrubbing a piddle puddle out of your carpet. Potty training your new pet may not make your Instagram feed, but it is an essential part of raising them right. Luckily for you, Carriage Hills Animal Hospital has the inside scoop on potty training your pet.

Puppy Pads and Priorities

Housetraining a new puppy can be trying on everyone. There are a few things that you will need to set yourself up for success:

  • A well fitted collar or harness
  • A flat lead
  • A properly-sized crate or other safe zone for your new pet
  • A special treat or toy that your pet really enjoys

Before brining a new puppy into the home, be sure that everyone in your household knows the plan. Your puppy should go outside, on a leash, often. Take them out at least hourly while awake and immediately after every meal, play session, or nap.

A consistent eating schedule will help you to better predict when your puppy may need to eliminate as well.

Pick a special spot in the yard where you wish for your pet to eliminate. Take your dog there on a leash and stand still until magic happens. When your dog urinates or defecates, be sure to offer lots of praise and treats.

Taking your pet out on a leash will help to eliminate distractions (squirrels, other dogs, blowing leaves, etc.) and establish that there is a job to do. It may take awhile at first until your dog makes the positive association between the mission and reward.

It is also important to have a crate or other small, secure area where your pet can rest when you are not able to pay exclusive attention to housebreaking. A properly sized enclosure will help teach your pet to hold their bladder. If you catch your pet eliminating indoors, gently say “no” and take them outside. Never scold your pet – you want to make sure they associate their waste and your harsh words. This is why keeping a crate is so important, almost no one can watch their puppy around the clock!

Litter Love

Cats are not small dogs, and this shows through in housebreaking as much as anywhere else. Although most pint-sized fluff balls take right to their litter boxes without much effort, there are things you can do to help seal the deal:

  • Place your kitten in the litter box right after eating or playing
  • Be sure your kitten can get in and out of the box easily (you may need to use a shallow baking pan at first if your kitten is very small)
  • Have litter boxes on each level of your house that your kitten has access to
  • Be sure to have a litter box near the area where your kitten spends the most time
  • Scoop at least once daily
  • Pick a location free of heavy traffic or scary noises such as from appliances

If your kitten isn’t using the litter box within the first few days, call us for help troubleshooting. There may be something wrong such as a urinary tract infection as most cats take to using the box with no issues.

Potty Training Your New Pet

Potty training your new pet can be a trying time for a pet family. Consistency is key. It is important that everyone is on board for the training experience to ensure a successful outcome. If you are running into any trouble, or you feel like things aren’t progressing as expected, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our expert staff is here to help you, no matter what the issue.