The day has finally arrived. It’s time to pick up your new, little bundle of joy and take it home to be your companion for many years to come. But what happens after that? The number one question on most new pet parent’s minds is, “How am I going to potty train my new puppy?” As an animal Hospital serving Gilbert & Chandler AZ, East Valley Animal Hospital is convinced that putting a well-thought-through training plan in place will help your puppy’s transition to his new home go a lot smoother. Success in this initial training period will help set you and your furry friend up for a happy life together, one reason we’re sharing the following suggestions on housetraining methods for puppies.
Establish a Routine
In one sense, puppies are like babies: They do well when they have a schedule to follow. Knowing when it is time to eat and when it is time to go outside will help your puppy immensely in the housetraining process.
Eating. Puppies have small stomachs and a maturing digestive system, which means they need to eat 3-4 small meals a day. Establishing a regular feeding schedule also allows you to anticipate when your puppy will need “outside” time.
Drinking. Your puppy should be given unlimited access to water throughout the day, but it may be a good idea to take the water bowl away two and a half hours before bedtime. This will lessen the chance that your puppy will need to relieve itself in the middle of the night.
Outside time. A general rule for puppies is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they age. So a two-month-old puppy will need to go to the bathroom at least once every two hours.
Give Positive Reinforcement
A key to the training process is to praise or reward your new pup when it “goes” outside. To be effective, the reward needs to be given right after your puppy eliminates. If you reward your puppy once you’ve come back inside, the positive reinforcement opportunity will be lost. Instead, take a treat with you on the trip outside, so you can immediately reinforce your new puppy’s good behavior.
On the other hand, punishing your puppy for soiling your rug or floor inside the house will only make it afraid of you. That fear will cause them to prefer eliminating when you’re not present and increase the likelihood of your puppy relieving itself again inside the home. If you catch your puppy in the act, interrupt it and take it outside to finish. If it finishes before you can get to it, the teachable moment is gone.
Remember, the key to training any dog is to have patience. It’s normal for the housetraining process to take anywhere from 4-6 months. The more patience and compassion you have for your pet, the easier training will be for both of you. Whether your goal is to have your pup go to the potty outside within two weeks, walk calmly at your side, or bring your paper to you, training creates a bond between you and your pet that will last for many years. And if you are looking for an Animal Hospital serving Gilbert & Chandler, East Valley would love to care for your new four-legged friend! Contact us today to see how we can serve you best.