Potty Training Tips for Dogs and Cats

potty training your catIs your new pet prone to relieving itself in random puddles? We’ve all been there!

It can seem as though your pet will never break the habit of going to the toilet wherever they feel like but we’ve got some good news for you! It won’t necessarily happen overnight but regular training will go a long way towards solving this problem and helping your pet to get into a good routine that becomes second nature to them. Here are some tips for encouraging dogs and cats to go outside or use a litter tray to do their business.

Toilet Training for Cats

1 – Be Careful Where You Put the Litter Tray

Your cat will be put off using a littertray if it is too near to where he or she likes to eat and sleep. Make sure that you keep it in a separate area.

2 – Make Sure There Are No Underlying Problems

Urinating outside of a litter tray can be a sign of illness so it’s always worth making sure that this isn’t a contributing factor. Urinary tract infections, kidney stones and bladder inflammation are common culprits, especially if your cat is also struggling to urinate properly or is crying.

3 – Keep Litter Trays Clean

Once your cat has started to get the hang of using a litter tray, you’ll want to encourage this to continue. Get into the habit of cleaning out your cat’s litter tray and replacing litter at least once per day and don’t wait until it’s obvious that it’s been used. Cats have a habit of burying the evidence out of sight so you may not realise that it‘s actually been used. Your cat will be well aware though and won’t be inclined to make a return visit until the litter is changed. This increases the probability that he or she will find somewhere else to do their business.

Potty Training for Dogs

1 – Get Into a Routine

It’s easier to train dogs when they’re younger, although it’s by no means impossible to toilet train an older dog. For puppies, it’s particularly easy to introduce a potty training routine.

Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning to get him or her into the habit of urinating when they wake up. Beyond this, a lot will revolve around mealtimes. You can expect your puppy to need to urinate roughly fifteen minutes after eating, while defecation will happen around thirty minutes after a meal. Toilet trips will be rather frequent – weak bladder control means that puppies need to urinate every one to two hours. You might find it useful to keep a note of when your dog urinates and defecates so that you can spot patterns.

You’ll probably find it useful to encourage your dog with phrases such as “wee wee” when you want them to go outside and while they are going to the toilet. This will help them make an association.

2 – Don’t Scold Bad Behaviour

If your dog urinates or defecates inside, don’t get mad. He or she doesn’t yet realise that this was supposed to happen outdoors and in their eyes, your anger must be directed at the act itself. This will only strengthen the idea that it’s not a good idea to go to the toilet in front of you so you’re running the risk that he or she will be even keener to do this in secret so that they avoid getting into trouble.

3 – Avoid Toilet Training Mistakes

No matter how hard you try, there are some errors that can significantly affect your dog’s ability to become toilet trained. We’ve already highlighted the impact that scaring your dog can have but this isn’t the only problem that might crop up. Other mistakes include:

  • Excess food
  • Irregular mealtimes
  • Foods that aren’t suitable for dogs
  • Salty foods (which will encourage your dog to drink more and therefore to urinate more as a knock-on effect)

Do you have any pet potty training tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

[Photo credit: wolfsavard]