The sight of using your dog a litter box to poop and pee sounds unfamiliar and weird, right? But it is similar to train him to go out and poop. If your dog just uses the litter box like cats then you don’t have to take them out every time they need to pee or poop. Imagine you’re working late and are exhausted and you don’t have to take your dog on a trek for defecating. That sounds so relaxing. Well, this can be possible if you introduce your canine buddy with a dog litter box, train them well, and use the right equipment.
Set Up A Litter Box Right
The foremost step is to buy a plastic litter box for your dog. A simple plastic box that can contain litter is enough. However, there are more modern versions like self-cleaning cat litter boxes are available on the market.
Some dog litter boxes also are available with grass on the top and waste collecting bottom pan. But if you choose to go with the conventional way, here are the things you need to keep in mind.
- The box has to be large enough for a dog to turn around inside.
- The sides of the container should be low enough for your dog to easily enter without needing a ramp or any help. And it should be high enough to stop your dog’s pee fall outside the box when it lifts a leg to urinate.
- If you believe in a privacy hood things and use one, cut open the top. This will be helpful for your dog to use it and for you to clean it.
Dog litter and cat litter are different. Dog litter contains larger pallets to absorb more. Dog litters are available in forms from clay to charcoal mixed litters. You can choose any of them but we do not prefer you to use cat litter for your dog litter box. Moreover, you should apply a layer of Sodium Bicarbonate, baking soda, inside the box before you fill the litter in. This will be effective for absorbing liquids and trapping smells.
Get a scoop and place a step-on trash can nearby for easy cleaning. Now, place this litter box somewhere your dog will feel his privacy is not compromised and their food, water, and bedding are away. Dogs do not like to defecate near their food or water.
Dogs have a tendency to dig before they poop, just like cats. So, they might just make a mess around the area where you have placed a litter box. All in all, place it at a spot where cleaning is not tough and meticulous.
Cats are highly territorial. If you have cats inside your house, you may have observed that sometimes your cat acquires your dog’s bed and sleeping inside. The same can happen with litter boxes. Considering this, you have to make sure there are enough separate litter boxes for your cats and dogs.
Make Them Familiar With The Litter Box
Like other positive reinforcement training or reward-based training, teach your pup “use the box” command. Lift him up and put inside. Now, praise him in your sweetest voice and give him a treat.
Your dog initially won’t understand why he is being praised, so just strengthen this behavior. Let him feel it’s ok to be in there and it’s a happy place. Wait for your dog to get outside and place them inside again. At this point, you have to be patient and consistent. The first aim is to make them familiar with the box.
Keep doing this until your pup starts getting inside by himself on the command “use the box”. This will take some time but he eventually will learn.
Train Them For Using The Litter Box
How does your dog know that he should defecate in the box?
Let Them Know It’s Ok To Eliminate Inside the Box
Soak a piece of newspaper in your dog’s urine and hide it under the layer of litter. Also, take his poop from outside and place it in the box. So, the next time they feel the urge to eliminate, and you command them to use the box, they will get inside the box and will get an idea that it’s ok to eliminate there.
Be Consistent On Their Diet
Feed your pup every day at the same time and in equal amount. There should be no food in between his mealtime. Regularly eating will make their poop urges regular and you will easily be able to identify their urges and train them accordingly.
Never ever use punitive methods to teach them certain behavior. If your dog has accidents outside, don’t beat him or scream at him. This will make things only worse. Have patience and be consistent at teaching.
Watch For Signs
If you have an adult dog, watch for the signs of their urge to eliminate. They will whine, pace, sniff around the house, and will try to grab you to the door when they feel so. When you’re maintaining their diet on time, they will more or less feel the urge at the same time every day.
And at those times, just tell them “use the box”. They will likely to go poop and pee inside. In the beginning, use treats to encourage this behavior.
For Your Puppies
Puppies feel the urge to go almost every hour. However, a pup can hold pee for the same duration in the daytime in his age of months. And in the night time, they can usually hold longer. They can go without peeing throughout the whole night.
And using the litter box should be the first thing in the morning. Also, send him before they sleep at night and before you confine them.
How To Avoid Accidents
This is a big concern when you’re allowing your dogs to use litter boxes. If your dog does not get to use the litter box when he urges to eliminate, you will have accidents in your house. And this is really bad.
So, when you find out your dog is whining and indicating that he wants to defecate or urinate, send them to the litter box using the command immediately. If you are confining your dog, you should confine him to a small room with a baby gate. Put a litter box inside so that he uses it when he needs it.
I hope all these points have helped you how you can teach your pup and your dog to use a litter box. Apart from this, clean your dog’s litter box after every use. Dogs won’t like it dirty for so long and will also help in eliminating odors. If you have any questions, you can let us know in the comment section below.