If you think that Boomer will cross his legs and hold his bowels and bladder until you come home from work, think again. Most likely you'll come home to find wet or smelly surprises on the floor. To prevent a soiled house, and for easy clean up, teach Boomer to do his business in a designated area inside. All you have to do is provide him with his own potty and motivate him to consistently use it.
Select an area of the house with easy-to-clean flooring and a doorway that you can block off with a baby gate. Use an area that's large enough so one end can be Boomer's lounging and playing area with his crate, toys and water bowl in it, and the other end can be his bathroom area.
Purchase a litter box that's big enough so your dog can comfortably stand in it. Alternatively, use a plastic kiddie pool. If you have a puppy or a small dog, make sure the edges of the box are low enough so he can easily climb into it, or tape an old, plastic shower curtain on the floor instead so no climbing is required.
Line the litter box with a pee pad to absorb urine. These pads are often scented with an attractant and have waterproof backing and leakproof edges.
Place substrate in the litter box that's similar to the material Boomer is used to going potty on. If Boomer's outdoor potty is a grassy area, place a sod square in the box to mimic his outdoor bathroom. If he's used to going on gravel or bark chips, partially fill the box with these. If he hasn't yet developed a preference, just the pee pad might be enough or a commercial dog litter is another option.
Place a soiled rag that was used to clean up one of Boomer's accidents in the litter box. The scent will tell your dog what that strange box at the end of his confinement area is for and will stimulate him to use it, because dogs usually continue soiling in areas that they've previously used.
Observe Boomer closely and when he seems restless and starts sniffing, circling or scratching at the door, put him in the litter box and say "go potty." When he does, lavish him with praise and treats to reinforce the behavior. Consistently do this until he understands what the litter box is for and starts using it without your assistance.
Clean your dog's potty frequently, because if it's dirty he might refuse to use it and find a different potty area. Replace the pee pad when it's soiled, and if you're using sod, regularly replace it with a clean slab. In between sod replacements, spray the slab with a urine neutralizer several times a week to eliminate odors.
Items You Will Need
- Baby gate
- Dog toys
- Water bowl
- Litter box, kiddie pool or shower curtain
- Sticky tape
- Pee pads
- Sod square, gravel, bark chips or commercial dog litter
- Soiled rag
- Dog treats
- Urine neutralizer
- Avoid letting your dog's indoor potty rob him from exercise. Walk and exercise him daily so he can socialize and get mental and physical stimulation.
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