Cats aren’t the only pets that can learn to use a litter box. Here are some suggestions for litter box training your dog. Many pet owners prefer dogs to cats, but there times when even dog owners envy the cat owner’s freedom to use litter boxes.
Can you litter train dogs? The good news is that dogs can learn, too. However, it takes patience, consistency, and discipline.
Reasons for Litter Training Your Dog
Alternative to bad weather: When rain, snow, and/or extreme heat pose problems for your dog to relieve himself (or herself) outdoors, a litter box is an excellent alternative.
Reduced health problems: Because dogs can suffer numerous threats to their health from long periods outdoors, litter training is a good idea. Also, if a dog is unsupervised for too long outside, there are greater risks of poisoning from toxic landscaping. What’s more, dogs forced to “hold it in”, waiting for their owners to return run health risks of urinary tract infections.
More freedom for the owner: If you don’t have a large fenced-in yard, it’s hard to walk your dog every time he has to go potty. And, you don’t have to have that routine late-night walk. On the other hand, if you’re in a rush in the morning, a litter box is convenient.
Best Dogs for Litter Training
Although some contend that only small dogs can be litter trained, it’s possible to also train larger dogs. However, small dogs have smaller bladders, so it’s more important you train them.
Fillers and Litter Pans
There are many different types of “fillers” for litter pans. While some owners prefer newspapers or absorbent materials (such as “Pee Pads,” which serve as diapers for floors), others favor commercial dog or cat litter. Because dog feces are different from that of a cat, it’s advisable to use materials suited best for them. Companies actually make specially made litter and litter boxes for dogs. Search online for different products and determine what products best fit your needs.
Crate Train First
As soon as you bring home your new puppy, start crate training. Then, when you see him starting to go potty, immediately remove him to the litter box.
Setting Up the Litter Box
Don’t choose carpets — Choose a surface that’s easy to clean, such as tiled or hardwood floors. A kitchen-tiled floor is excellent as it’s a place where you can be close to him (rather than an isolated bedroom or basement.) Once you’ve established a spot, keep it there to avoid confusing the dog. While training, give your dog only two choices of where he’s to be stationed—either with you or near his litter box. When you see him starting to do his business somewhere else, immediately remove him from the litter box. If he performs, shower him with praises and a small treat as an incentive for continued success.
Add “samples”: By adding one of his own feces to the box, you can give him the idea that this is where it’s done.
Expect some accidents. Just have plenty of cleaning supplies close by. Let him know when he messes up, but don’t hit or berate him. In other words, lovingly correct his behavior. Just as a surplus of towels, much patience is also needed.
Don’ Forget to Walk Fido
Finally, just because you litter train, your dog doesn’t mean you don’t have to walk him anymore. Exercise is important and helps dogs live longer. The difference is that you can pick the times for walks at your convenience.
You may also be interested in The 9 Best Small Dogs For Kids And Families.
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