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How to Be Successful Potty Training Your New Puppy

How to Be Successful Potty Training Your New Puppy

Bringing home a puppy is exciting. You have likely already purchased all the necessary accessories – collar, leash, deep-dish Sherpa cuddler dog bed, coordinating food and water bowls, food, treats, and an assortment of doggie clothing for every occasion. It looks like you might have forgotten a couple of things, like a crate and puppy pads.

We might as well clear the air now – puppies potty. They have tiny little bladders that cannot be expected to hold urine for extended periods. As a general rule, you can assume the number of months in age is the number of hours the puppy can “hold it.” This rule can be considered accurate until the age of nine to 12 months.

So, how can you effectively potty train your puppy?

Routine is Everything

Like infants and young toddlers, your puppy will do better on a regular schedule. Creating a schedule isn’t as hard as you might think; it just requires consistency. What can you do to help make the training process go smoothly?

Take Your Puppy Outside Frequently

In the beginning, it is recommended that you take your puppy outside at least every two hours. Some equate an activity transition to a perfect opportunity for pottying. You can also designate an indoor spot for a puppy pad if they have a sudden urge and can’t get outside in time.

Each time you take them outside, go to the same spot in the yard. Use this opportunity to use key phrases that may be used later to remind them what to do. You can use a long walk as a reward for a good potty.

Reward Your Puppy

Using positive reinforcement teaches your puppy that when they use the potty outside, they get rewarded. Rewards for a puppy are different than the rewards a human would expect. Actions like energetic praise, a fun toy, or great tasting treats are all the motivation it takes. Take care not to reward them too soon, let them finish, or else they may become distracted and not finish doing their business.

Regulate Food and Water

What goes in must come out. A regular feeding schedule for a puppy should include feedings three to four times per day. Feeding them at the same times each day means that you will soon be able to predict the schedule they need to go outside.

It would be best if you took your puppy’s water bowl away about two to two and a half hours before bedtime. This action will help reduce the urgency for your puppy to go potty during the night. Having a puppy pad inside the crate can teach them that they can use it in an emergency. Make sure there is plenty of room in the crate to accommodate a pet bed and the pad, distinguishing one from the other.

Create a Bedtime Routine

To further ensure your puppy makes it through the night accident free, taking them out before bedtime can help. After your puppy does their business, put them in their crate with the anti-anxiety bed you have purchased for them.

Turn off the lights and be as quiet as possible, keeping the excitement level to a minimum. These actions will signal to your puppy that it is time to go to sleep.

Puppy Piddle Happens

You can’t expect that your puppy will never have an accident inside your home – that is an unrealistic puppy potty training goal. Having the puppy pad in a designated area may help eliminate consistent accidents, but they will happen.

What to do if your puppy does their business indoors:

  • If you happen to catch them during the act, interrupt them. You can do this by making a noise that startles the puppy (try to avoid scaring your puppy) or use the phrase you use when you take them out to signal to them that they should be doing that outside. If the puppy finishes in the outdoor spot, make sure to praise them for it.

  • Punishment voids the success of positive reinforcement. If you didn’t catch them in the act, clean up the mess and move on.

  • Ensure you clean any area where your puppy has pottied using specially made cleaners to eliminate the odors. A puppy is motivated to use the same spot again if it continues to smell like a toilet.

Using your routine and supervising your puppy can help minimize the number of accidents you find in your home. Having a place to eat, a place to potty, and a dog bed for sleeping helps your puppy distinguish the home’s different areas.

Puppy Potty Training in Three Days

What if we told you that there was a way to potty train your puppy in three days? It is possible to accomplish with a little bit of determination and a whole lot of patience. Having puppy treats on hand doesn’t hurt the situation either! Using a three-day weekend to potty train your puppy will require a lot of dedication and determination but can be accomplished.

Keep Your Puppy Constantly Supervised

This may go without saying, but it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder. Think of your puppy like you would a newborn baby. If they need to nap in the pet bed you purchased, you can put them in a puppy playpen or a crate. These are also solutions if you can’t constantly keep your eye on them. Please don’t keep them confined for too long, or you may be dealing with a lot larger mess to deal with.

Commit to Frequent Outdoor Visits

The key to success in a three-day potty goal is repetition and consistency. It may seem like too much to take your puppy out to potty every hour. Still, the more opportunities you have to praise them for the right behavior, the less likely they will be to have accidents. Your puppy will learn quicker with more frequent positive reinforcement.

Signs Your Puppy Has to Go

Puppies need to relieve themselves more frequently than older dogs. They have tiny bladders and haven’t learned to be able to “hold it.” You can often assume that your puppy needs to potty:

  • When waking up in the morning

  • Before they go to sleep at night

  • After playing inside

  • After spending time in a crate or confined space

  • When waking up from a nap in their dog bed

  • After chewing on a bone or toy

  • After eating

  • After drinking

As you take them out after each of these instances, you can observe how they act. Some of the early warning signs that your puppy may need to potty are circling, sniffing, whining, or scratching. The best way to stop an accident before it happens is to learn your puppy’s body language. They will give you clues or try to tell you when they need to potty, especially if they associate pottying with their “special spot” in the backyard.

Patience is Golden

Puppies and older dogs alike are sensitive to your emotions and moods. If you are anxious, they are anxious (use an anti-anxiety bed for an overly anxious dog), and so on. If you want to help your puppy transition and train, you have to be patient and enthusiastic.

Try to put yourself in your puppy’s paws. They are in a new place, with new people, and have no clue what to do or where to do it. Keeping this in the back of your mind can help promote a more peaceful and patient situation for your puppy, leading to potty success.

You may want to consider your puppy’s breed, too. For example, if you have a retriever, they may see a game where they have to retrieve items more rewarding than a food treat. You want to use your puppy’s natural instincts and characteristics to aid in the potty training process.

Don’t Give Up

The worst thing you can do when trying to train your puppy to potty outside is give up. Best Friends by Sheri has the toys and accessories you need to help create a positive reward system for your puppy. You can also find the perfect dog bed for your new furry friend.

Your puppy is learning you just as much as you are learning them. The entire process is a learning opportunity for both of you. If you are patient with your puppy, your puppy will be patient with you (after the initial bounds of excitement).

When you use the techniques we have shared with you, it is possible to potty train your puppy in an efficient way. Remember that routine and frequent visits outside help build the foundation of keeping accidents to a minimum, but that they will happen. Also, make sure that you are using only positive reinforcement and praise when potty training your puppy. No one said you couldn’t treat yourself, too, when you maintain a certain level of patience during this project. Make it a celebration for you and your puppy. The bigger it is, the more likely they are to remember that the act of pottying can be associated with positive feelings!


Bringing Home a New Puppy? Here’s How to Prepare

Bringing Home a New Puppy? Here’s How to Prepare

There is no question that bringing home a new puppy is an adjustment. Maybe your family has recently nursed a sick senior pet until it died, or you haven’t had a furry family member in a while. Your house may have small children, older children, or no children. Perhaps you are bringing a puppy into a home that already has another pet. No matter your family situation, however, bringing home a new puppy requires more preparation than just buying bowls and a comforting dog bed. Here are some tips to help you adjust to an extra family member.

Decide Who is Doing What.

If you are the only human in the house, then there is no question that you are going to do the lion’s share of the work. Perhaps you will use a pet sitter occasionally or a walking service while you work, but everything else falls to you. Make sure that you understand the level of commitment involved in caring for a puppy. You will need to feed, groom, walk, train, comfort, and clean up after your new dog. In addition, there will be the occasional vet visit. Having a new puppy all to yourself is a lot of work, even with a comforting dog bed to keep him happy.

While having more than one person to care for the dog is less work for each person, it is important to know who is responsible for each task. Before picking up the dog, you need to discuss these responsibilities with each member of the family. Keep in mind, many of the tasks can be divided between more than one person. For instance, one person might give the dog a brisk walk in the morning, while the other adult does it at night. Children can take turns feeding the dog once they know how to do it.

Plan a Happy Ride Home.

For many dogs, the ride home from a shelter or breeder can be traumatic. Especially for dogs that have never been off the property where they were born, everything about that ride will be brand new. This can include the movement of the car, new sounds and smells, and unfamiliar people. If the puppy has a bad experience with that first car or airplane ride, then there is a chance he could fear car rides for life.

Fortunately, it is easy to minimize the fear factor with a little planning. While your puppy won’t experience his new comforting dog bed until he gets home, you can create a comforting environment during the ride. Experts recommend that you have plenty of old towels or blankets to wrap him in. Besides the blankets, use a box or pet carrier, which will give a sense of security. Since the car or plane moves around a lot, it is crucial that the container you choose can rest securely during transport. Ideally, you will also have someone riding with you who can pet or comfort the dog while traveling. Hearing a soft and encouraging voice is soothing for the dog and will show that you care. Consider giving him a chew toy, which can channel puppy anxiety throughout the ride.

Puppy Proof the House

One of the challenges of getting a new puppy is that it will likely chew everything in sight. Targets for chewing can include shoes, furniture, noxious substances, electrical cords, and more. Sometimes the excessive chewing is a way for the puppy to explore its environment. Like small children, puppies are curious about everything and often look for answers by putting things in their mouths. They also chew when teething or feeling anxious. Unfortunately, such chewing can be both destructive and dangerous. Chewed objects can break off and cause stomach upset, intestinal blockages, and other problems. Worse, exposed wires can result in electrical shocks and fires.

Fortunately, there is a relatively easy solution to this problem. First, make sure that any dangerous items are out of the puppy’s reach before bringing it home. Once you have the puppy, be sure to safeguard shoes and other items, so the dog is less tempted to chew them. Second, it is important to have alternatives to chewing household objects. Providing chew toys and a comforting dog bed will help keep anxiety low and provide an outlet for teething. Finally, if your puppy starts chewing an unapproved object, be sure to gently express your displeasure and offer an alternative.

Find a Reputable Vet

Like children, pets require a good veterinarian to provide basic healthcare. Most experts recommend taking your new puppy to the vet within a week of arriving home. During this visit, the vet will ensure that the new puppy is healthy and schedule any necessary vaccinations. Typically, breeders and pet stores will have a time limit during which you can return the puppy if a vet finds it isn’t healthy.

Finding the right vet takes is important. We suggest that you talk to friends, family, and neighbors who own a dog to see who they recommend. Once you have chosen a vet, try to schedule the visit as far in advance as you can.

Purchase Basic Equipment

Puppies require more than just food and love. As a new pet parent, you will need food and water bowls, a collar and leash, crate, toys, grooming tools, and a comforting dog bed. These are items that will need to be purchased in advance, along with treats and a bag of dog food. For the latter, ask the breeder or shelter what they are feeding your pet. Consider purchasing a small supply of it, even if you plan to change food later.

At Best Friends by Sheri, we have a wide variety of supplies. For a new puppy, consider an anti-anxiety dog bed that can fit inside its crate. You can also get a soothing dog bed that has a top on it, which can be put in another room. Consider the Honeycomb Lux Hut Cuddler, which surrounds your pet on all sides. It would be an excellent escape from the chaos of your home.

Arthritic Pet? Here's How to Help.

Arthritic Pet? Here's How to Help.

Part of being the parent of a senior dog or cat is dealing with aging. While all pets "slow down" as they age, many of them develop arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. Of course, it is hard for us to watch our family members suffer. Fortunately, there are several things that we can do to help our pets. Some of them, like providing a comfy dog bed, are easy for us to do ourselves. Others require the help of a vet or other professional.

Get a diagnosis

Before starting arthritis treatment, it is important to rule out other possibilities. Dogs and cats can move more slowly than usual for many different reasons. For instance, dogs that do not feel well are likely to prefer their comfy dog bed to running and jumping around the house. Likewise, if they are having trouble moving around, get grumpy, or show signs of discomfort when petted, it's time to investigate.

While each of these symptoms can be caused by arthritis, there are other potential explanations. A massive stomachache, for instance, is likely to make a pet grumpy. Minor injuries, especially those sustained in vigorous exercise, can also result in discomfort. If your pet is struggling in these areas for more than a couple of days at a time, you should talk to your veterinarian.

Once you know why your dog is not feeling well, you can comfort it more easily and accurately. Especially with arthritis, you now know that you are dealing with a common condition that is relatively easy to manage. Some of these tips will work any time your pet needs comfort, while others are more arthritis specific.

Stay active

One thing that works almost as well for dogs and people with arthritis is getting enough exercise. Exercise allows the dog to move its joints, which in turn helps to keep them in good condition. To explain what this looks like, consider what happens when you have been sitting for too long in one position. Often, when you stand up, your joints will feel a little bit stiff, and they stay that way until you have walked around a bit. This is the same thing that happens when a pet has arthritis, except the problem is more severe. With moderate exercise, your dog will move around better.

However, as with any exercise, be careful not to overdo it. Like their pet parents, animals can experience pain and injury when they are exercised too much. Let your pet choose its own pace when being walked or exercise. Since stiffness tends to be worse in the morning, you should be especially careful after your dog has spent the night on a comfy dog bed.

Watch that weight

Being overweight increases the stress on joints and ligaments for both people and animals. If you know someone who carries too much weight, he or she will tell you that joint pain is one of the unpleasant side effects. The same is true with dogs. Combine the added joint stress with arthritis, and it is easy to see how significant suffering can result.

To combat the effects of arthritis, many pet care experts recommend that you carefully manage your pet's weight. Your vet can advise you on an appropriate target weight, and if necessary, how to lose the pounds. Sometimes this involves a special diet, but exercise can also help. Whether you are using diet, exercise, or both to manage weight, a comfy dog bed can also help reduce strain on joints.

Consider physical therapies

As with people, pets often find some arthritis relief through physical therapies. That can include traditional physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, or other methods. All of them follow the same basic strategy: improve mobility and reduce inflammation so that the animal can enjoy life better. For physical therapy and acupuncture, you will have to make clinic visits on a regular basis. While the expense can add up fast, they are a great way to help your dog have more energy for playtime.

Massage, on the other hand, can be taught to pet parents. Here, you apply targeted pressure to affected areas. As with human massage, the goal is to release tension and reduce pain. As an extra advantage, you will learn more about how his body works and when he is hurting. Best of all, this is a great way to spend time with your pet while making it feel better. Then, you can let your dog retreat to its soothing dog bed while you watch TV or make dinner.

Medications can help

Over the years, scientists and vets have developed a wide variety of treatments for arthritis. Some aim to slow down the disease, while others try to dull the pain in some way. In consultation with your vet, you can try nutritional supplements. If these strategies do not go far enough, there are prescription therapies available. Experienced pet parents generally recommend encouraging your dog to take pills using a treat. Both commercial ones and homemade varieties work, so long as you choose something that is vet-approved. This way, giving meds or supplements becomes a way to nurture that special bond.

Adapt to their needs

Finally, comforting an arthritic pet often involves adjustments to the set up in your home. For instance, you might decide to add stair treads to your steps. These allow the dog to get more traction going up and downstairs, relieving the effects of mobility issues. This way, they can move to their comfy dog bed upstairs while you sleep and back down in the morning.

Another adaptation that you might consider is changing to a fur dog bed designed for pets with arthritis. Made of memory foam, these rectangular nap mats cushion a dog's bones and joints. Vets have recommended orthopedic beds for decades, and they work very well. These can be a replacement for the old bed or a supplement to what you already have. Check out our range, which includes options for pets of all sizes.