New dogs and puppies are sweet little bundles of joy, even when they poop on your favorite carpet. Still, that's not the kind of habit you want your pup to continue, and if you've got a crazy social life and hectic work schedule, getting Fido housebroken has got to be priority one. An indoor dog restroom, used consistently, can be a solution to this problem.
You can turn just about any spot in your home into an indoor dog restroom -- the trick is to use the same place repeatedly so your pup gets used to it and recognizes it as the “go to” place to go. If possible, choose an area without carpeting, like a laundry room, or area of the basement that has tile or linoleum flooring. If you must set up an indoor restroom on carpet, put a cleanable surface underneath it, like a tarp or linoleum remnant. Avoid areas of your home like living areas, bedrooms or the kitchen -- basically, avoid places where you don't want to see or smell your dog's business.
Types of Indoor Restrooms
A lot of different surfaces can serve as an indoor restroom -- it really depends on the size of your dog, how much you want to spend, and how much work you want to put into cleanup. Commercially-produced indoor restrooms from pet supply stores are basically large covered litter boxes with an artificial turf surface. These often have odor-blocking fabrics, but they still require cleaning on a regular basis. Alternatively, go low-tech and put down newspapers or puppy pee pads in a certain area and make that you're pup’s indoor potty.
Training Your Dog
The effectiveness of any kind of housebreaking routine is based on consistency and rewarding good potty behavior. An indoor restroom can work only if you devote yourself to training your dog where you want him to do his business. Put your dog on a leash and take him to his restroom area every hour when you're home, or within 15 or 20 minutes of your pup eating or drinking. Also, take him to the restroom after he wakes up, or spends a long time chewing. Don't play or mess around when you do this -- it's potty time and nothing else. If your pup doesn't use the restroom, keep him on his leash while you go about your regular routine and take him back to the restroom every 15 minutes. When he uses it, get excited, show praise, and give treats.
If your pup piddles anywhere in the house other than in his restroom area, clean it up right away with an enzymatic cleaner to make sure he doesn't go back there again. Don't physically reprimand your dog, but if you catch him going potty in another room, quickly pick him up, saying, “no, no, no,” and take him to his restroom spot. If you're having trouble with training, check out different commercial “pee attractant” sprays that are designed to make your indoor restroom more aromatically enticing for your dog.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.