A Litterbox ... for My Puppy?

Did you recently bring a puppy home? Feeling overwhelmed with potty training? Don’t fret, we have a solution for you!

Bringing a puppy home can be the most joyous, wonderful thing. But raising a puppy can quickly become daunting when it comes to housetraining, considering most puppies will need to eliminate every 1-2 hours when they come home around 8-10 weeks of age. This can lead to frequent accidents, many sleepless nights, and a lot of frustration!

Did you ever consider using a litter box for your pup? Using a litterbox can significantly speed up the housetraining process by drastically reducing potty accidents inside the house. The litterbox allows you the time to get used to and figure out your puppy’s potty routine. It also gives you peace of mind if you need to be out of the house for more than an hour without needing to rush back to get the pup out or coming back home to a mess! The litterbox also makes nights a lot easier because you won’t need to get up in the middle of the night (or get up multiple times) to let the puppy out.

How Does it Work/ Why Woes it Work?

Puppies usually have a natural instinct to keep their resting and feeding areas clean hence the “traditional” use of crates and x-pens for housetraining: to limit the puppy’s space and encourage them to hold their bladder/bowel. This instinct means puppies will naturally be drawn to a specific, separate area to potty so that their resting area stays clean.

Puppies develop substrate preference at a very young age. Substrate preference means that the surface on which your pup eliminates gets recorded as “toilet” and your pup will then look for that texture when they have to potty. We can use that to our advantage by providing a substrate in our litter box that doesn’t match any other textures inside the home but will be a very close match to textures found outside (grass, pine straw, mulch, etc.).

What You’ll Need

- Litterbox: An underbed storage bin (40 or 60 QT with sides no more than 8 inches tall) for large puppies. For toy or miniature pups, you can use a large kitty litter box

  • You can also substitute the litter box for a potty patch : a tray of artificial grass or real sod

- Litter material

  • DO NOT USE CLAY CAT LITTER. Puppies will try to eat it and it is TOXIC.

  • DO NOY USE PEE PADS – remember that substrate preference: pee pads feel like fabric and a lot of puppies will confuse carpeting and rugs with pee pads.

  • Large Pine pellets (link)

  • Shredded Newspaper or Newspaper pellets (link)