Let’s face it, puppies are adorable. Any new puppy parent will tell you that cuddling with a tiny little furball will always bring a smile to your face.
What’s not so adorable? The puppy messes that can happen while you’re still potty training.
One of the first tasks for any new puppy owner is house-training. You want to set your new puppy up for success right from the start! This means getting your puppy on a schedule to help prevent puppy messes.
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Puppy House-Training Basics:
The best way to house-train a puppy is to stick to a routine and take them out at regular intervals throughout the day. Here’s some basic puppy training guidelines for new puppy owners:
- 30-Minute Rule – Take your new puppy to a potty area (indoors with puppy pads or outdoors) on a leash at least once every 30 minutes when you are home during the day.
- Wait & Watch – Stand still for 5 minutes and quietly watch to see if your puppy goes to the bathroom.
- Praise & Reinforce – Give your puppy some praise and a treat as soon as they pee or poop outside to reinforce the behavior. If they don’t go, that’s okay too. Take them back to a confined puppy area in the house and try again in 30 minutes.
- Play Time – After your puppy goes to the bathroom, give them a little off-leash playtime with you to further reinforce the behavior.
- Repeat – For a week or two, give your puppy plenty of opportunities to go to the bathroom in an appropriate potty area. Keep using positive reinforcement (praise, treats, off-leash playtime) to encourage them to do their business in the potty spot. The more your puppy gets it right, the faster they’ll learn, and the fewer puppy messes you’ll have to clean.
Puppy Potty Training Dos and Don’ts:
Even when you’re doing everything right, accidents will happen. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to help keep puppy messes to a minimum and discourage your fur-baby from remarking in the same spot.
DON’T “Paper Train” Your Puppy.
This old-school method has got to go. Newspapers don’t absorb urine very well and might leak, which can lead to even more puppy messes.
DO Use Specially Designed Puppy Pads.
Modern technology to the rescue! Puppy training pads have pheromones in them that entice puppies to go potty. In addition, they’re lined with plastic and can absorb a lot of liquid.
DON’T Ignore Pet Odors You Can’t Find.
If you can smell puppy pee but can’t immediately find the location of the mess, don’t just give up and hope it goes away. Your puppy has an amazing nose and will find that spot… and pee in it again!
Even if you can no longer smell the odor, your dog can. You need to locate the puppy mess and treat it with an enzymatic stain and odor remover.
DO Practice Your Odor Investigation Skills.
If accidents are happening in the house, it may be worth investing in a black light bulb. A black-light will illuminate difficult-to-find puppy urine messes. You can pretend you’re in an episode of CSI.
DON’T Use Chemical-Based Stain Removers.
As we said above, puppies have an amazing sense of smell. Once they’ve marked a spot with urine, they are likely to think of that as a ‘potty zone’ and go back to the same spot again unless you find a way to eliminate the smell. Chemical cleaners might be able to remove stains, but they also leave behind a whiff of urine that your puppy will be able to sniff out.
DO Use an Enzyme-Based Stain & Odor Remover Specially Formulated for Pets.
Check the label! You want to find a product that uses natural enzymes and bacteria to break down organic matter and remove puppy stains and odors at the source. Just be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions on the bottle to get the maximum stain and odor-fighting power.
Recommended Products for Cleaning Puppy Messes:
For indoor puppy stains and odors – Simple Green Bio Dog Stain & Odor Remover
For outdoor puppy smells – Simple Green outdoor Odor Eliminator
Cleaning New Puppy Messes:
While your puppy is still learning there will inevitably be a few accidents along the way. Accidents involving urine require a quick and effective clean-up to prevent the problem from happening again!
Getting urine-soaked carpet or fabric back into shape requires using a stain and odor remover specially designed for pets. You need a cleaning product with enzymes and live bacteria that will break down the source of tough ammonia odors to neutralize smells and prevent remarking.
DIRECTIONS for Cleaning Puppy Messes:
- Grab a bottle of Simple Green Bio Dog Stain & Odor Remover and shake gently.
- Blot and absorb any excess urine with a paper towel.
- Spray the soiled area thoroughly with Bio Dog and allow the product to remain on the surface until dry. For heavily soiled areas with a strong odor, saturate the area cover it with a clean cloth or paper towels, and set something lightweight (like a book) on top of it. The pressure helps wick up the liquid underneath.
- Don’t let anyone walk on the affected area while it is drying, this includes pets.
- Let sit. Allow covered stains to remain as they are for 4-5 hours. You will see the stain absorb into the cloth or towel.
- Repeat this process as needed until the stain is gone.
- Once the stain is gone and the area is dry, softly brush the upholstery or vacuum your carpet.
**Be sure to do a spot test on an inconspicuous area of your carpet or upholstery before use. Read and follow all label precautions.