When you first welcome your new puppy into your home, you might be surprised at how often they evacuate their bladder. This can actually be up to 12 times in a day!
With their frequent peeing, it is inevitable that they will make a mess in your home, so making sure that you have a plan in action for potty training is incredibly important.
So where to begin? Potty training your pup can seem like a minefield, especially with so much conflicting information out there on how best to achieve your goal.
Don’t get overwhelmed though, I’ve compiled a handy guide to help you on your journey to potty training, that you’ll be able to refer back to when you need to.
Simply keep reading, as we take a look below.
How Often Do Puppies Pee In A Day?
This is a very good question, and one that many first time dog owners have. As I mentioned above puppies pee incredibly frequently, so keeping an eye on when and where they pee will be very important.
It is known that puppies can hold their bladder before needing to evacuate it for one hour for each month that they have been alive. So let’s say, for example, that your puppy is three months old, the typical age they are taken to a new home, they will be able to hold their bladder for only three hours.
This should not, however, be taken too literally, but it is a handy guide for measuring a general rule for how many times you can expect your puppy to need to pee.
Knowing how often they pee will be an important step in establishing when they need to go to the toilet, and setting up a routine based on this.
You should aim to give your puppy ample opportunity to go to the bathroom, this means taking them out at several different times during the day.
The best times to take your puppy to the garden to evacuate their bladder will be:
- The very first thing in the morning, and after they’ve been asleep during the day
- After they have drunk a significant amount of water
- After playtime, where they’ve been running around a lot and playing with you
- Before you put them to bed, and as late as possible, so that they will not need to go to the bathroom too much during the nighttime.
If your puppy is under 16 weeks of age, then they won’t be able to control their bladder themselves, but, setting up a routine early on in their lives will help to build a good foundation.
If your puppy is under 4 months old, you’ll probably need to take a trip downstairs in the middle portion of the night to take them outside, but after this point, they’ll be able to hold it throughout the night.
Identify Where They Like To Pee
A great step for preventing your pup from soiling all of your favorite carpets and clothing items is identifying the surface on which they prefer to pee.
A great way to do this is by speaking to the breeder directly, who will likely have the information that you need. You can however, figure it out yourself simply through observation.
Some surfaces where puppies like to go to the bathroom include:
- Grass that varies in different lengths
Keep an eye on your puppy’s bathroom habits, then if it appears as though they’ve developed a habit of peeing on the carpet, or on their own bed, you can take the necessary precautions and prevent them from accessing these areas at the beginning.
What Happens When My Puppy Pees On The Carpet?
I must to emphasize that if your puppy does have an accident and pees on the carpet, you should not under any circumstances, proceed to scold them. This would be punishing them for something that they have no control over.
Shouting or yelling at a puppy that might already feel timid and uncomfortable in a new environment could cause emotional damage, so take care to always be gentle with them.
It could even cause them to become afraid to go to the toilet in front of you, and then resort to doing it in places that are hidden from sight.
If you catch your puppy peeing on the carpet however, I’m not saying that you should simply leave them to do so. The best thing to do is to calmly stop them and take them outside, where they can finish peeing.
After this, make sure that you clean up your carpet with a cleaner that is odorless and neutralizes the smell of the pee, so that your puppy won’t be drawn to that area in future.
The more times you catch them in the act, and calmly bring them outside, the stronger the association will become. Especially when you reward them for the times when they do pee in the correct area.
Training Your New Puppy Using Pee Pads
A fantastic way for training your new puppy is to simply use some pee pads that you can easily purchase from your local pet store.
This is a great way to prevent them from peeing all over the house, saving you a lot of unnecessary hassle and stress. It is a great intermediate step from transitioning them from peeing wherever, to peeing outside.
This is a fantastic method too if you’re living in a flat instead of a house, and you have to make countless trips up and down the stairs each time they need to go to the bathroom, where they’ll need to hold their bladder for longer amounts of time.
Simply set down the puppy pads in areas around the house or apartment where you’d like your puppy to go to the toilet, then take them to the toilet area regularly so that they become accustomed to it.
When they get to the area, make sure that you give them plenty of time to do their business, as well as giving them lots of praise following it.
During the occasions where you are able to time when your puppy needs to go to the toilet, take them outside and praise them even more. This will show them that it makes you happy when they manage to pee outside, and will encourage them to do so in the future.
As your puppy grows more accustomed to peeing on the pads on a regular basis, you can gradually move them closer to the door leading to the garden each day, this will prepare them for going outside to pee every single time.
When your puppy does eventually manage to make it outside on a regular basis, you may still have to continue setting down the puppy pads on the grass outside for a while so they can get accustomed to the area.
They may think that they can only pee on the puppy pads at first, so they may need a bit of a transition phase.
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Toilet Training Your Puppy Without Using Puppy Pads
If you want to train your puppy without using puppy pads, there are some steps that you need to take to do this effectively. One of the benefits of using this method is that you don’t need to purchase loads of puppy pads, which can become expensive over time.
It’s also more consistent, and doesn’t require the hassle of moving the pads around the floor all the time. The only drawback is that your puppy will most definitely have lots of accidents on your floor, as you won’t be able to catch them at all times during the act. Plus you probably won’t always be at home to handle the situation.
If you decide to toilet train your puppy using this method, then you need to be incredibly strict about your routine. This means taking them to the backyard each time that they wake up, after they’ve been playing, after all of their meals, and straight before bed. Essentially, take them out at regular intervals to give them plenty of time to pee.
Make sure that you provide them with a lot of praise when they go to the toilet outside, this means using verbal cues, and giving them treats. You should do this even if they go to the toilet when you’ve been outside for a while, or on a walk, for example. With time, the association will become stronger.
If you do, on occasion, witness your puppy peeing inside when they shouldn’t be, you can stop them in the act simply by picking them up in a gentle manner, and moving them outdoors where they can continue.
It’s ok if you witness a mess in the house that you’d previously missed, the best thing to do is to just clean it up and not give them a row for it, they won’t be able to understand what they’ve done wrong.
If this happens, you can reassess the situation to figure out why it happened, in order to give them another toilet break next time.
Potty Training Your Puppy At Night Time
One of the most difficult and yet important aspects of potty training your new puppy is allowing them toilet breaks at night time. This can be especially challenging because if your dog needs to go to the bathroom when you’re asleep, there’s not much you can do.
Having to wake up in the middle of the night may happen regularly at the beginning, especially in the first few weeks, but this will stop in time and you won’t need to sacrifice your beauty sleep.
In order to avoid having to get up in the middle of night to allow them a toilet break, there are some steps you can take to ensure that they’re as comfortable as possible to see them through until the morning.
The easiest way to do this is to go ahead and purchase a crate for them, so that they have a designated area where they can relax. They will, over time, begin to associate this area with sleeping rather than going to the toilet.
Make sure that you take your puppy out as late as possible in the evening before you put them to bed so that they’ve had enough time to relieve themselves.
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In addition, make sure that you didn’t time their last meal too late, as the closer their mealtime is to bedtime, the more they’ll need to go to the bathroom. The trick is to leave about 4 hours between giving them their last meal and putting them to bed.
If you want to aid their digestion before putting them to bed, make sure that you play with them in order to get their systems moving. This will help to tire them out, as well as getting them to go to the toilet
They will also sleep for longer with some playtime before bed, so you won’t have to worry about any night time accidents.
Around half an hour before you’re ready to put them to bed, make sure that they’re given adequate time to settle down so that they’re not all riled up after playtime. This is something that we as human beings need, and puppies are no different.
When you are ready to go to bed yourself, you can put your puppy in the crate, and then go to bed yourself. If they start whining or want to continue playing, don’t give in, because this will encourage them to keep doing so in future.
It may be advantageous to have the crate next to your own bed, so that you know exactly what is going on with your puppy. Because at the beginning, they have very little bladder control, if they soil their bed area, they can become very distressed.
This means that if they start to whine in the middle of the night, or try to get your attention in any way, it’s best to take them outside so that they have the opportunity to relieve themselves.
If you do need to take them out in the middle of the night, it’s best not to speak or interact too much with them as this will wake them up, and disrupt both yours and theirs sleep cycles. Quietly pick them up, and carry them gently outside.
In the morning, wake up and take them to the toilet immediately.
Don’t worry if they’re waking up in the middle of night frequently needing to urinate in the first few weeks, this is completely normal and will fizzle out until they’re sleeping all the way through.
Toilet training a puppy does require a lot of time and effort at first, but with plenty of patience, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. It’s all about figuring out which methods work best for you and your dog.
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