What are the Best Tips for Potty Training Animals?
If you are bringing a new puppy into your home, house training will need to be a serious consideration. You cannot have your pet using the bathroom indoors, creating a health hazard and doing serious damage to your property and hiking up homeowners or rental property insurance. If you plan on leaving your pet at home alone during the week then you will need to get them on a constant schedule so they can use the bathroom outdoors when you take them out without worry.
The first step in potty training an animal is getting them on a regular feeding schedule. Feed them the same foods at the same time of day every day to give them a chance to adjust to their schedule and get used to their diet. This will eliminate much of the worry that something will not "sit right" and cause your dog to have diarrhea they cannot control. This will also get them on a schedule of needing to use the bathroom around the same time every day so you can get on a regular schedule of taking them outside when they need it.
When taking your pet outside to use the bathroom encourage routine. Do not allow your pet to wander around or play until they have done their business. Teach them a specific word like "outside" to signal them and let them know that it is time to go do their business. Use plenty of reinforcement to each them when they have done a good job. Offer treats and speak positively when they do their business the way they should and withhold treats when they make a mistake. Reinforcement has to be consistent in order for pets to learn what is right and wrong.
At some point during your training your pet is going to have an accident. If you catch your pet in the act of using the bathroom indoors, tell them "no" in a low voice, but do not yell in a way that is threatening or frightening. You may feel the need to punish your pet by giving them a time out or other discipline but only do this when you catch them doing their business in the house. If you punish them afterward they will not understand why they are being punished which will result in your pet fearing you.
Remember, potty training takes time. It is not uncommon for it to take up to a year for a pet to develop enough bladder and bowl control to successfully avoid accidents in the house. You will need to be patient and understanding throughout this time so your pet gets the reinforcement and encouragement they need to learn. Monitor their progress carefully and keep track of accidents so you have a clear idea of how they are doing and what you should be doing differently to help them along. You will need to adjust your schedule to match their body so you are not asking your pet to "hold it" longer than they are able.
These animal potty training tips are not always fool-proof, so If your pet has an accident on a hard surface it is easy to clean. Simply wipe away the bowel movement, dispose of it and sanitize the floor with cleanser. If your pet has an accident on the carpet a mixture of vinegar and water can help lift away the stain. Since pet urine contains ammonia, the smell of ammonia may attract your pet to the spot you have cleaned to select a cleanser that does not contain ammonia to avoid any further accidents.