California’s shelter-in-place order has proven to be extremely beneficial for animal shelters throughout the state. As it turns out, now is a wonderful time to adopt a dog or cat! You may find that with all this time at home, your new family addition will easily adapt to its new surroundings, including quickly potty training!
While cats tend to be easier to house train as long as there’s easy access to a litterbox, puppies (and even some older rescue dogs) definitely require more attention once you bring them home. To ease this transition, here are five tips for housetraining your new adorable fur baby while living in an apartment.
Set the routine.
We are all creatures of habit—your pet included! Establishing a clear daily routine for your new pet is the very first step to creating a loving environment for your new family member. Schedule set times for meals, walks, playing, and sleeping. Remember, puppies require potty breaks immediately after waking or coming out of their crate, and within five to 20 minutes of eating, drinking, or playing. This puppy potty log is a great way to keep track of their routine.
Reward only good behavior.
When your new rescue pet or puppy is adjusting to a new home and schedule, there will likely be accidents. That’s OK! Clean up quickly to maintain a positive living space, and reinforce positive behaviors. Did Fido wait to go potty outside after being in his crate for a few hours? Give that doggy a treat! Don’t punish for accidents; this will only make the pet fear you as an owner.
Training your dog to sleep in a crate is not just about protecting your home from accidents. Crate training is also essential for providing a sense of security and enabling safe travel. The American Kennel Club gives many tips on how to crate train effectively.
Designate play areas.
For a more obedient pet, be sure to provide them with the stimulation they need. A big part of this is giving your pet adequate playtime and a space for it. Even when living in small spaces, this can be done by providing a specific play space where you also keep all the toys. Outside, scope out the grassy areas in the neighborhood as well as the nearest dog parks. Those dog parks will be a great way for your new furry friend to socialize with other dogs and burn off some energy.
Prep for loud noises.
Loud noises are bound to startle a new pet and can interfere with potty training. With city life, these loud noises will happen more frequently. Work to reassure your puppy that loud noises are not a threat by engaging in distraction or increased exposure methods. Over time and with your assistance, your pet will adapt.
By adhering to a routine, rewarding only good behavior, crate training, setting up specific play areas, and preparing for loud noises, your pet will be housetrained in no time. In addition, you will likely find that your pup is quickly adapting to its new apartment lifestyle as well.