DogTime Blogs

Monday, April 13, 2009

ASK THE VET: When Dogs Use their Crate as a Toilet

Toilet training can be frustrating at the best of times. It is important to ensure your pet is healthy and that you have a set schedule to help them learn. Not only is it convenient to have a specific toilet marked out, it is also more hygienic for the family.

Reasons for why your pet may toilet in the crate:
• Puppies brought up in pet shops are often conditioned to toilet in the same area they eat and sleep. It is possible to train them out of this habit.
• Young puppies 8-12 weeks that cannot control their bladder or bowel movements
• Disease – diarrhea (viral or bacterial) or worms
• Lack of a strict toilet or meal schedule
• Meals right before or during confinement

• Create a strict schedule for meal and toilet time and stick to it (every 3-4 hours they should be let out to toilet)
• Crate them with water only (avoid meals in there)
• Toilet your dog immediately after a meal - take them to the designated toilet area and wait until they go
• Always reward your pet when it uses the right area (hugs or very small treat)
• Collect any of your pet’s toilets and place into the specified toilet area. This helps mark the area.
• Never punish your pet when it goes to the wrong area as this may scare your pet from going to the toilet or going when you are around
• Use barriers or citronella spray in the wrong areas where they may have toileted previously
• If you are unable to let your dog out to toilet every 3-4 hours, set up a puppy pad as the toilet area within the crate
• Keep your pet occupied with toys or the radio/TV on to keep your pet stimulated whilst in the crate

Our question this week came from Erin

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