Can your puppy learn to use a litter box?
House training your puppy is one of the most important things you will teach him. There are several different ways to teach your puppy his house training. Some owners are interested in teaching their puppy to use a litter box. it’s possible? Absolutely!
Most puppies can be taught to use a litter box. It’s very similar to teaching a cat to use a litter box, although puppies don’t use it as instinctively as cats. If you have a toy dog, especially, it can be helpful to crate-train your pup, as he will remain small throughout his life. This means that the crate will remain a convenient size for him to use even as an adult dog.
If you have a puppy that will become a medium or large dog, you can still teach him to use the litter box, but it may not be very comfortable for him to use the box when he grows up. However, by the time he gets older, he should be able to wait longer to relieve himself. That should allow you enough time to get home from work, for example, so he can take you for a walk or leave you outside.
To teach your puppy to use a litter box, you will first need to get a large box. It’s usually best to get a simple, large rectangular box. Plastic is fine. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to buy one of the fancier cat boxes with hoods or other gadgets, as your pup may have trouble fitting in or may try to chew on it.
You can use regular cat litter in the litter box for your puppy. Many dog breeders teach their puppies to use a litter box. They like to use a mix of kitty litter, such as Fresh Step, and alfalfa pellets or pine shavings. Alfalfa pellets are used for rabbit food and litter, so your pup may try to eat some of them, but they won’t hurt him. He will probably leave them alone after trying them a few times. Alfalfa pellets are good because they are very absorbent and reduce odor. Pine shavings are good because they are fluffy and also reduce odor.
You should avoid using cedar shavings as a litter box filler, as they have an oil that can harm your pup’s eyes.
At first, you should place the litter box in a place where your puppy is sure to find it. You can put it in a place where your puppy has already had an accident, for example. Be sure to place a scouring pad or mat under the box to reduce the amount of litter your pup kicks up or scoops out of the box. Your pup will likely try to dig in the box at first. He is a dog and dogs like to dig so you should expect this at first.
Watch your puppy carefully and when you see signs that your puppy needs to go to the bathroom, you should take him (or pick him up) to the litter box. Put it back in the box if it tries to leave. With a good time, your pup should relieve himself in the crate. Be sure to praise him and give him a treat. Tell him what a good puppy he is. Keep doing this whenever you see your puppy needing to go to the bathroom.
If you are consistent about taking your puppy to the litter box every time he needs to go to the bathroom, then you will have box trained him very quickly.
Some puppies accept litter box training very quickly, but some puppies will always prefer to go outside.
Keep the litter box clean. Pick up deposits quickly and change the sand frequently, especially the top layer. You can scrub the entire litter box with bleach and water as needed.