Pet bathroom accidents are bound to occur. However, with patient training, your pet will learn where to go to the bathroom and stop going in the house, whenever and wherever he pleases. Getting a pet is a commitment that involves consistent training to teach him right from wrong.
Train your dog to go to the bathroom outside. Continue consistent training until your pet understands where he is to eliminate and where he should not. Take your dog on frequent trips outside to evacuate followed by praise and rewards when he does go to the bathroom outside. Clean up accidents quickly so the smell does not set in for your pet to associate the accident spot with elimination. During training, crate your dog for no more than four hours at a time to limit access to the run of the house. Dogs typically will not soil their confined resting and sleeping space.
Take your dog outside frequently. Per the ASPCA, a puppy’s age in months is the number of hours between potty breaks. A 6-month-old puppy will need to eliminate about every six hours. Watch for cues that he needs to go to the bathroom such as barking for attention, walking in circles and dragging his rear end across the floor. Dogs should go outside first thing in the morning, following meals and after napping. Following a schedule for feeding and breaks may help your dog maintain regular outdoor elimination.
Hire a pet sitter or dog walker if you work or plan to be away from home long hours. A pet sitter is paid to come to your house and walk or let your dog outside at a designated time when you cannot be home. This may likely prevent your dog from having an accident in the house if he cannot hold it in until you can let him outside.
Train your cat to use a litter box. Though the litter box is often inside your house, your cat has a specified place to eliminate. After meals, naps or play, put your cat in the litter box and praise her after eliminating. Until she is fully trained, keep a trace of her elimination in the box so she can associate it with going to the bathroom.
Visit your veterinarian if your housebroken dog or litter box trained cat continues to go to the bathroom in the house. The vet will examine for an underlying medical condition, such as urinary tract infection, upset stomach or abrupt change in diet, that is causing him to go frequently.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.