Saturday, June 28, 2014

Guest Article - The Ultimate Puppy Potty Training Accessory Checklist

Are you about to get a new puppy? Next to hugs and snuggles, potty training is one of the first things you'll need to consider! This quick checklist will walk you through everything you'll need to get your puppy started off on the right track.

 Scoopers and Bags

This guide starts with the simple stuff. Scoopers and bags seem straightforward but you'll probably have to experiment to see which options work best for you. There is a huge selection out there: heavy-duty or lightweight, cute colors or plain and inexpensive, biodegradable, scented, odor-blocking, etc. Make sure to figure out which type of bag you prefer before investing in the little dispenser mechanism to go with.

If you happen to purchase a jaw scoop for the backyard, make sure to put quality first. They aren't fun to repair and are expensive to replace.  Not up to the task? Ask your local lawn care services to recommend a good weekly pickup team.  You'll still have to handle waste when walking the dog though, but the squeamish can still rely on handheld scoopers to avoid getting too close.

Indoor Potty Supplies

It might seem strange to enable a pet to potty indoors, but sometimes leaving the puppy alone for more than a few hours is unavoidable – and a puppy's underdeveloped bladder cannot function on pure willpower alone. The good news is that setting up an indoor potty zone does not have to be detrimental to the training process.

Many trainers recommend using an enclosed space that contains a newspaper-lined place to potty and a separate space to sleep, stretch, and turn around.  Some puppies are quirky and might want to sleep on the newspaper instead of evacuating on it, so you may want to check the pet store for other options to see which substrate your pet likes best: shredded, granular, etc.

Complete Cleanup Kit

Puppies make mistakes. Don’t panic! Just make sure to clean the soiled spot well enough to remove every trace of the scent. Any remaining smell will trigger the puppy's need to potty there any time he smells it. A good cleanup kit should include a puppy-safe enzymatic cleaner formulated specifically to break down and remove traces and urine and feces. You can find these cleaners at any pet supply store.

Puppies are incapable of making mistakes just to spite their owners. If the problem persists, the puppy may feel scared to potty in front of a human due to negative experiences with a past owner, or because the habit of going indoors is too engrained. Strict supervision (to prevent any accidents in the first place) and lavish praise for success (to reaffirm the correct action) is the only way to prevent future accidents.

Training Books and Resources

Don't let your guard down! Even if it seems that your puppy is on the right track, there is always the possibility for bad habits to start cropping back up again. And sometimes even when you're doing everything right, the puppy might need to work on a few other skills – like avoiding distractions or feeling confident around strangers – before potty training progress can move forward.

Books and videos are great, but not as good as social training classes. A good training class goes beyond obedience and tricks, actually helping your pup get used to unpredictable experiences he might encounter daily. If you cannot work training into your schedule, take some time to contact for potential solutions, or like their Facebook page for updates and advice.

Fun and Games

Every successful potty trip deserves a celebration. Whether you want to reward your pup with a small treat, a quick round of playtime, or just a vigorous pat on the head, success is a shared victory worth acknowledging.

Get excited about potty training! The effort you put in now will serve your puppy well for the rest of his life. If keep an upbeat attitude throughout the training period, your puppy is sure to look forward to potty breaks every time.

Potty training may seem simple, but it serves as a powerful bonding tool by opening the lines of communication between owner and pet. The learning habits established now will serve as a foundation for future skills your puppy will need. Think of potty training not as a chore, but as a worthwhile investment that will pay for itself many times over.

Written by Lisa W.

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