Dealing With a Puppy's Potty Accidents

Frequently walking your puppy can help prevent potty accidents.
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When your puppy has a potty accident, do you get angry? Do you yell at him or swat him with a newspaper? If so, realize that your behavior might interfere with the house-training process -- you might end up with a scared puppy who poops and pees all over the place and doesn't know what's expected of him. To avoid this, learn how to properly deal with the aftermath of your puppy's accidents. Be patient and consistent and reinforce good potty behavior. Before you know it, you'll stop finding wet and smelly surprises on the floor.

Step 1

Avoid punishing and scolding your puppy after finding a wet or smelly surprise on the floor. Reprimanding your pet companion after the fact is ineffective -- your puppy won't know what he's being punished for, because he doesn't have long-term memory and forgets what he did right after doing it.

Step 2

Clean up your pet companion's accident thoroughly, because if your puppy can smell his feces or urine, he might feel the urge to eliminate in the same area again. Scoop up any feces and blot up as much urine as you can with paper towels. Rinse the stain with cool water and blot it again, putting pressure on the paper towels so you remove as much liquid as you can. Apply an enzymatic cleanser to get rid of the odor, and if necessary, use a commercial pet-stain remover thereafter.

Step 3

Figure out what caused your puppy to have the potty accident and make adjustments so it doesn't happen again. Ask yourself: Were you watching him consistently? Did you let him out of your sight? Did you confine him for too long to the point where he was unable to hold his bladder? Have you changed his diet or feeding schedule? Does he get a potty break every two to three hours?

Step 4

Stop your puppy in his tracks when he's having an accident. Hit the wall with your hand and firmly say "na-ah." This startles your pet companion and might stop him from further eliminating. Pick him up and bring him to his designated potty area. Tell him "go potty," and wait patiently for him to finish relieving himself. Reward him lavishly with hugs and treats immediately after he does his business so he associates his action with getting rewarded. It might motivate him to repeat the behavior.

Step 5

Bring your puppy to a veterinarian if all your housebreaking efforts seem ineffective. A veterinarian can rule out conditions, such as a urinary tract infection or intestinal parasites, which can cause him to eliminate inappropriately.


  • Keep your puppy on a set schedule -- have him eat, sleep, play and go potty at the same times each day. His body clock will adjust to the routine and potty breaks will become predictable.

  • Prevent accidents by consistently observing your puppy. When he starts pacing, sniffing or staring at you, take him to his designated potty area, because these are signs he has to go.

Items You Will Need

  • Paper towels
  • Enzymatic cleanser
  • Pet-stain remover
  • Dog treats