Welcoming a new puppy into your family is an exciting time. There’s bound to be lots of cute moments, games of fetch and long walks ahead. But bringing Fido home also comes with its own set of messes—often literally. Housebreaking your new friend is a key part of the training process. Housetraining requires patience, commitment and consistency. A puppy’s small bladder and high metabolism means lots of midnight bathroom trips are in your future. While accidents are an inevitable part of the potty training process, there are a few simple steps you can take to help make it easier for everyone involved.
Here are seven tips for housebreaking your new puppy, courtesy of your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ:
- Welcome sniffing: You can expect the puppy to sniff around a bit when he’s let outside. While this may seem like it’s just distracting or slowing them down, sniffing is actually a good thing. Sniffing is an important part of the process of their elimination sequence.
- Focus their attention: The outside world can be overwhelming for a young pup. If the puppy is just rapidly moving forward as they sniff, try stopping and quickly walking back and forth. This behavior will take them back to the potty process, which means they’ll soon be ready to squat. Make sure to positively reinforce this behavior with praise and treats.
- Keep them on a short leash and reward accordingly: Incorporating a short leash into your potty training process will give you better control to encourage the puppy to respond appropriately to the cues. When the puppy squats on the grass or the designated bathroom spot, it’s best to reward them with a treat. This will encourage a positive association with the routine.
- Bathroom breaks after meals: It doesn’t matter if you just took them outside before dinner. Typically, it takes about 15 to 45 minutes for the food to work its way through their digestive system, so plan to head outside for a potty break shortly after each meal and treats.
- Watch out for the cues: Your puppy will behave in certain ways that will indicate it’s time to head to the bathroom. Pacing, whining, circling and suddenly stopping another behavior, such as playing, are all signals that they are ready to go. Head outside quickly as soon as you notice any of these cues.
- Be prepared for walks: One of the best ways to avoid accidents is to plan a few bathroom trips after different activities. For example, always take the puppy out after a play session, if they wake up in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning.
- Create signals: Encourage your friend to urinate in a specific area with signals. Place a urine soaked sponge or a piece of feces in the side yard or nice patch of grass that you would like the puppy to stick to. This signal will help them associate the specific scent with that area. Of course, remember to reward them with a small treat or belly rubs each time they perform this behavior successfully!
Our team at Newkirk Family Veterinarians is here to help guide you through every step of the potty training process and every other joy that comes with a new puppy. Contact your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ today to learn more about the best ways to welcome your new puppy into your home.