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House Training: Stop Accidents Before They Happen

House training your puppy is a necessity. No one wants a pet who eliminates wherever they want. Although dogs can be potty trained at any age, the earlier it’s done, the sooner you’ll see success.

The one exception to this is puppies under 12 weeks of age. This is because they have little to no control over their bladders. You can begin training with your puppy before he’s 12 weeks, but anticipate more accidents during this time.

Formulate Your House Training Plan

Preparation begins even before your puppy comes home. Create a plan based on your lifestyle and living situation, then purchase the supplies you need.

Unless someone will be home with the puppy all day, you’ll need to keep him in a safe, designated area. You can use a crate, a room with a closed door, or section off an area with a baby gate.

If you’re using a room of the house, be sure it has bare floors rather than carpeting or rugs so accidents don’t get soaked up while you’re away. Remove any items the puppy could chew on or get caught up in, including window blind cords and electrical wires. Puppy pads are recommended in this situation.

Using a Crate

If you’re going to crate train your puppy, decide what size crate you want to purchase. Do you want to purchase a crate that fits him now, or one he will grow into? A non-house trained puppy should have just enough room inside the crate to stand up, turn around and lie down.

The rule of thumb is to get a crate one-and-a-half times the length of the dog from his nose to the start of his tail. However, if you know your puppy will be much larger when full-grown, you can begin with a crate big enough for his adult size as long as you can attach partitions that will limit his access to the appropriate amount of space.

Leave the bottom of the crate bare. Puppies normally will not lie in their own urine. Therefore, limit the space in the crate to the room he needs to sleep, with nothing absorbent to pee on.

No matter the method you choose for house training, the most important and abundant supply you’ll need is patience.

Getting Started

Several rules of thumb will help you through the house training process.

  • Until your puppy has shown he understands the concept of eliminating in a designated area, keep him with you on a leash whenever he’s in the house. This allows you to quickly escort him outside if he looks like he’s about to go to the bathroom.
  • Puppies generally can hold their bladders for as many hours as they are months old plus one. For instance, a 4-month old puppy will likely be able to hold his urine for 5 hours. Therefore, if you leave your puppy alone for longer than that, expect to come home to an accident.
  • Never punish your puppy for an accident. It will only serve to create fear in him whenever he has to eliminate. If you catch him in the act, make a quick, sharp noise to get his attention, but not scare him, then quickly take him outside or to the puppy pad to finish. Praise him with words and petting when he finishes properly.
  • If he has an accident outside of your view, do not react when you find it. He won’t understand that you’re yelling or punishing him for something he did minutes before. Simply put the dog in another room and use an odor-eliminating cleaner on the spot.

Setting a Routine

Dogs respond well to structure. Create a routine for house training. No matter your schedule, try to stick as closely to the routine as possible every day.

1.Morning Elimination

Begin each morning with a trip outside on the leash. Give your puppy 5 minutes to eliminate. Immediately upon finishing – not before so you don’t startle him – praise him for it. Remain outside for another 10 minutes to ensure he empties his bladder and bowels completely.

Puppies don’t always totally eliminate in one squatting. If you bring him inside immediately after going, he will learn to hold it just to get more time outside.

If your puppy doesn’t go in the first 5 minutes, bring him back inside. Once inside, confine him in his crate, a small penned-in area or tether him to you with constant supervision. Continue to take him outside on leash every 15 to 30 minutes until you get a successful elimination, as described above.

2.Supervised Free Time

After the extra 10 minutes, come back inside and give the puppy supervised “free time” for 10 to 30 minutes.

When the puppy has developed manners in the house – not chewing on items or jumping on furniture – you can drop the leash to the floor and allow the dog to follow you around. Grabbing the leash if the puppy acts up or tries to wander off still gives you control over his actions.

3.Before and After Breakfast

Take him out again to go potty before you feed him breakfast. If he doesn’t go in the first 5 minutes, feed him in his crate or confined area to keep an eye on him.

Don’t give him more than 10 to 20 minutes to eat and drink, then take him outside immediately after he’s done. The additional 10 minutes is especially important after eating, even though he’ll likely relieve himself very quickly after a meal.

4.Getting Ready for Your Day

Bring him back inside as you get ready for your day, keeping him tethered to a heavy object in your view. Take him outside again after this resting period.

If you don’t get a successful elimination, bring him back in and confine him while you finish getting ready. Try one more trip outside before beginning your day.

Going to Work

If you work outside of the home and the puppy will be left alone for an extended time, be sure to take him outside to eliminate and exercise him just before you leave. Then put him in his crate or confined area with a small amount of water and a toy or two for entertainment.

If you will be home with him all day, continue the routine of taking him out after resting, eating or drinking water.

If someone won’t be home within the maximum time your puppy can hold his bladder, leave puppy pads in his area. Ideally, he’ll have an enclosed area near the door you take him through when eliminating outside. Leave his crate open inside the area and puppy pads placed as close to the exit door as possible.

Returning Home

When you return home, immediately take your puppy outside to eliminate, and then play with him for half-an-hour in the yard. Leash him to encourage elimination before returning inside.

Give him 30 minutes of supervised free time as you change or prepare dinner.
After he eats, take him outside immediately and follow the same routine as breakfast.

The rest of the evening should feature a walk, play time, obedience training and multiple trips outside to eliminate. Pull your dog’s water bowl at least 2 hours prior to bed time and take him out immediately before putting him in his crate or pen for the night.

Although your puppy may hold his bladder until morning, be prepared for middle-of-the-night potty breaks when he’s young. If he normally begins to whine around 3 a.m. and has to eliminate, set an alarm for 2:30 a.m. and take him out before the whining starts. This will discourage a tendency to cry simply to be let out of the crate or pen.

Advanced Behaviors

When your puppy has consistently eliminated successfully for several days or a week, you can begin to give him the “go potty” cue when you see him squat, circle or sniff the ground, indicating his need to go.

He will eventually learn this cue like “sit” and “stay,” allowing you to instruct him to eliminate when and where you want. Your puppy may eventually learn to go to the door you take him out of when he needs to eliminate, but you can easily reinforce or train this behavior.

Attach a small bell to or near the door and use the puppy’s paw to ring it before you take him out each time. Or simply use his paw to tap the door once or twice. He will learn that this behavior results in him being let outside.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • While puppies usually need to eliminate almost immediately after eating, drinking or resting, even adult dogs tend to have to go within 15 to 30 minutes after these activities.
  • During the house training process, always praise your puppy after a successful elimination. It reinforces the behavior you want.
  • Always accompany your leashed puppy during house training to be sure he goes to the bathroom. Don’t assume he eliminated because you let him go outside.
  • If you don’t have a yard to take your puppy into, substitute puppy pads for some of the trips outdoors, using the same timing and routines.
  • If your puppy consistently has accidents despite a training routine, take him to the veterinarian to see if there can be something else contributing to your puppies accidents.

5 Steps and Tips to Biking with Your Dog

biking, Fido, dog

If you are a bike-riding enthusiast and have considered biking with your dog by your side, continue reading. NuVet Labs, your pet’s best friend, list some important information about what you will need, what you should do and what to consider before taking Fido for a bike-run.

Dog Biking Supplies:

  • A non-tangling leash
  • Body harness
  • A lead baton
  • Reflective lights or tape – Reflective vests specifically made for dogs are also available
  • A collapsible container to hold water.

Step 1

Make sure to clear all physical activity that you and your pet plan on undertaking with your veterinarian first. Chances are you will get the green light. However, your veterinarian may also shed some light on something regarding your dog’s health that could surprise you, like hip or joint problems your pup may have.

Step 2

Get your dog familiar with your bike by walking your bike and your dog at the same time. You can also get an idea of your dog’s comfort level regarding the bike. Continue to do this until you feel your dog is ready for the next step.

Step 3

It’s time to get on the bike! Make sure that you ride at a pace that is easy for your dog. Like Fido, there is going to be a learning curve for you as well. Riding a bike with your dog running next to you is going to take some time for you to get used to.

Step 4

Bike with your dog consistently and regularly so you can build up Fido’s endurance. Before you know it, riding your bike with your dog will be easy.

Step 5

Enjoy the exercise benefits of a healthy, low-impact bike ride and the emotional benefits of spending quality time with your pup.

Tips:

  • Make sure your dog is suited for exercise. Certain breeds of dogs are not designed for endurance exercises and may get overheated, or will just be plain miserable.
  • If your dog is overweight, it’s a good idea to work on reducing his weight before beginning strenuous exercise.
  • Don’t leave your dog attached to the bike if you are not on it. Your bike could fall on your dog and cause injury.
  • Don’t attach the leash to the handlebars while riding as this cold turn the wheel and cause an accident or difficulty steering and balancing.
  • Biking with a puppy is not recommended. They are too small and more prone to injury.
  • Consider another way of transporting a puppy or smaller dog on your bike. There are baskets on the market that can be attached to your bike for this purpose.
  • Consider a dog trailer for your bike if you have an older dog or a larger dog that is not suited for running.
  • Don’t get frustrated with your pooch if she doesn’t really take to biking. It’s not for every dog.
  • A bike designed for trails, with wider tires is better suited for dog bike-running.

Pet Health

One way you can get your dog in running mode is by making sure they are in good health. You can help get your dog healthy by adding a nutritional supplement like NuVet Plus to their diet.

NuVet Plus is comprised of human grade ingredients and manufactured in an FDA approved lab. Trusted by dog parents around the United States and Canada, NuVet Plus has been chosen by the discerning families of canines for the benefits they have seen their dogs gain from a daily regimen of NuVet Plus.

The NuVet Plus supplement strengthens the immune system, promotes a healthy skin and coat, supports ear and eye health, improves digestion, and more. Dogs with joint issues have also benefited from NuJoint Plus, a nutritious supplement especially designed for joint health.To learn more about exceptional NuVet products, please visit nuvetonline.com.