Now that Christmas is over we know some of you might have signed on for the responsibility of pet ownership. From January through March shelters see an uptick in pets surrendered after the holiday season. According to the SPCA, they state of the top 5 reasons owners surrender their pet’s are due to non-aggressive behavioral issues and training issues. We want strive to reduce that number, and we are here to help you make training your new pet as easy as possible. Housebreaking your pet can be a the most challenging hurdle to cross. Let’s discuss some tips to help make it easier on you and your pet.
1. Consistency is key
Consistency is incredibly important when housebreaking your pet. Your pet needs to understand the rules of where and when it can do its business, so you have to make sure you’re always consistent in reinforcing these boundaries. By setting up a regular schedule for potty breaks and implementing positive reinforcement techniques like praising your pet, they will start to understand what behavior is expected of them. Even though it may take some time, with a consistent approach, you’ll be able to successfully house break your pet.
2. Be patient
It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy’s previous living conditions are another predictor. It’s easy to get frustrated if potty training doesn’t seem to be working, but the key is not to give up! Patience and consistency are key when it comes to teaching your pet proper bathroom etiquette, as it can take multiple attempts before they learn what’s expected of them. Make sure you’re setting aside enough time each day for potty breaks and rewarding good behavior so that your pet knows that using the restroom in the right place is something positive.
3. Crate train
Crate training can be a great way to potty train your new puppy while also ensuring their safety. By having an area that’s just for them, they can learn where it’s okay to sleep and play and where it’s not okay to go. This helps reduce the risk of unwanted accidents in the house and teaches them appropriate potty behaviors. Additionally, crate training can help instill regular sleeping and eating habits, providing more structure and routine to their day. With consistent use, crates can provide your puppy with a safe space they can call their own while teaching them important housebreaking skills.
4. Elimination cues
Pets often give some signals before they go to the bathroom that indicate they need to use the restroom. These elimination cues can range from pacing, digging, sniffing and whining. Some cats or dogs may also circle around their chosen area before they go, while others may paw at the ground. If you’re able to recognize these signs quickly, you can take action beforehand by calling your pet’s name or guiding them to their potty spot. With consistency and practice, both you and your pet will be able to establish a better routine over time.
5. Clean up accidents immediately
Pets prefer to use the same bathroom space for many reasons. For one, it helps them to feel secure in a comfortable and familiar environment. Additionally, dogs and cats typically use scent-marking as a way to communicate with other animals in their environment. Going to the bathroom in the same area communicates that they are claiming this space as their own. Another reason pets may use the same spot is due to convenience; an animal’s muscle memory can help them quickly identify where their “potty area” is located in the house. Finally, if there is more than one pet in the home, marking a certain area as “their spot” can help reduce territorial disputes between animals. Clean up any messes immediately with an enzymatic cleaner to prevent repeated mistakes in the same spot, we suggest Skout’s Honor Urine Destroyer.
To sum up, housebreaking your pet can be a difficult process but with the right techniques and consistency, it can be done. By understanding why pets prefer to use the same bathroom spot in the house, implementing positive reinforcement techniques and using scent marking to their advantage, pet parents are in a better position to successfully housebreak their furry friends. With patience and understanding from both parties, there’s no reason why your pup or kitty won’t have good potty habits in no time!