Congratulations on your new puppy or kitten! When they are so little, everything they do is adorable… that is until they have an accident on your clean white carpet or antique rug. Start getting your pet in the habit of going outside or in a litter box as soon as you come home from the shelter or breeder.

Here are a few tips to help you with establishing a house training routine:

House Training your Kitten –

Cats are very easy to house train! They are naturally very clean creatures and instinctively cover their messes (to hide their waste from predators). Chances are your kitten will already have learned how to use the litter box from her mother before she comes to live with you. All you need to do is buy a litter box big enough for your kitten to move around in and fill it with enough litter to cover the bottom of the tray.

A few tips to consider:

  • Put litter boxes in quiet, calm locations that are easy for your kitten to reach, away from noisy household appliances
  • Empty the tray regularly – your kitten will not want to use it if it’s “dirty.”
  • Don’t use disinfectants and bleach to clean the litter box. Some disinfectants are toxic to cats, so it’s best to use hot water and detergent.

House Training your Puppy –

House training your puppy is about consistency, patience and positive reinforcement. It typically takes 4 to 6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained. How often you take your pet out depends on their size (smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms) as well as your dog’s previous living conditions (you may need to help your puppy break old habits).

A few tips to consider:

  • Take your puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning, and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also take him outside after meals and when he wakes up from a nap. Make sure he goes out before bed at night and before he’s left alone.
  • Take your puppy out to the same spot each time to do his business. His scent will prompt him to go.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is also a nice reward.
  • Take advantage of your dog’s den instinct (their desire to curl up in a snug, protected place) by crate training your dog. Most dogs will not soil their sleeping quarters, and it gets them in the habit of waiting to go to the bathroom until they are let out. Always take your puppy outside right after being let out of his crate.

Remember, accidents do happen. If your puppy or kitten does make a mess, don’t punish them. More often than not, the problems are yours – either you didn’t let your puppy out in time, or you forgot to clean the litter box. If your pet just won’t housetrain, bring them to Animal Health Center. Your kitten or puppy might have a physical problem, such as a bladder infection, that you need to address.

Bring your new puppy or kitten to any Animal Health Center location in the month of January for a health check and receive many freebies to start your new furry friend on the right foot towards a long and healthy life. Call us today to book your appointment!