Puppy Potty Training FAQs

It’s exciting to bring home a new puppy, but it’s also a lot of work. Potty training your new family member will take patience and consistency. With expert guidance from the team at De Anza Veterinary Clinic in Cupertino, you can teach your puppy where and when to go, without having to deal with unsightly accidents in the house.

How can I get my puppy on a schedule?

Your puppy already has a natural elimination schedule. Puppies normally need to urinate upon waking up, and they tend to eliminate after eating, after vigorous physical activity, and before going to bed. As a general rule of thumb, puppies can hold their bladder for one hour for each month of age. In other words, a puppy can retain urinary control for two hours when he or she is two months of age. This means that your puppy must be taken outside about every two hours, in addition to after meals, naps, and playtime.

Is there anything I should do during each visit outside?

Puppies will generally eliminate in the same area each time. You can encourage this behavior by carrying your puppy over to a designated area in the yard when it’s time to eliminate. Doing so will make cleaning up easier and keep the rest of your yard in good condition for the years to come. Upon reaching the designated area, use a voice command such as “Go potty,” or “Get busy.” Use the same command every time. Offer praise as soon as your puppy eliminates.

What should I do after an accident?

It’s difficult to supervise a puppy constantly. Even with consistency and patience, accidents are bound to happen. When your puppy eliminates in the house, you can rebuke him or her in a stern tone of voice, but only if you catch your puppy during the act of elimination. Reprimanding your puppy even a few minutes later is ineffective and will only confuse him or her. Never strike a puppy or rub the puppy’s nose in the mess. This is ineffective and it will only encourage problem behaviors. Instead, take your puppy outside to finish eliminating and offer praise afterward. After cleaning up the messy area, spritz some vinegar or mouthwash on the spot to mask the odor. Continue to apply it every day for a few weeks.

Should I use a crate?

A kennel or crate is an excellent training tool when used correctly. Puppies will only eliminate in their sleeping area when they cannot hold it any longer. You can confine your puppy to the crate for one to two hours at a time when you cannot provide constant supervision. Your puppy can also sleep in the crate, but be sure to keep the crate in your bedroom, since you’ll need to hear your puppy vocalizing his or her elimination needs during the night.

Bring your new puppy to De Anza Veterinary Clinic in San Jose for complete wellness services, including training support. Call (720) 329-2613 today to schedule your puppy’s first appointment.

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