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How to Litter Train a Puppy


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How to Litter Train a Puppy

Most dog owners don’t seem to know this – but it is possible to train your puppy into using a litter box instead of (or as well as) going outdoors. The best use is for nights when you’re asleep or days while at work. Your puppy would not have to cross their legs and wait for you.

There are a few problems when you start learning how to litter train a puppy.

Firstly – you will need to make sure you do not buy kitty litter for them. Most dogs eat anything at least once and young puppies make a mission out of it. The contents of those kitty litter bags are potentially very dangerous. You can get specialised dog litter from the local pet store or save yourself some money and use wood shavings meant for rabbit cages. The cheaper option is rolled up balls of newspaper but this doesn’t have as much absorbency or oder reduction benefits.

Secondly – you will need to continually clean the litter box. This should be common sense (and you should be cleaning up after your puppy outside also) but it is *very* important. If you don’t regularly clean the litter tray it will become unhygienic for the puppy – not to mention the rest of the household. It will also start to smell and the puppy may stop using it which leads him or her back to the carpet or kitchen floor.

For the litter box itself you have a lot of options. You’re going to want something plastic or at least easy to clean. Cardboard is a very bad idea (think it through) but you don’t have to go to the pet store and buy a specialised litter box (although they do exist). Your best bet is any kind of low lined plastic box. Nothing with holes in the bottom and it needs to be big enough for your puppy (keep in mind he/she will grow!) while being the right size to be able to be cleaned and fir in your home.

Going straight to working out how to litter train a puppy should not be your first goal. Learning how to potty train a puppy normally should be your main concern and the litter training should be used as a backup.

To actually litter train a puppy it’s a very similar process to potty training for outside (for example see our how to potty train a puppy article). When you catch him or her making a mess indoors give a loud clear ‘NO!’ and move them into the litter box. Once every hour and before (and after) meals lead the puppy to the litter box. Stand him or her in it and use a consistent command such as ‘make!’ ‘Go!’ and reward them if they do so.

Continue this training method (consistency is key!) until your puppy knows what to do. The transition between the litter training and outdoors training is fairly simple. A good place to start is placing the litter box in the garden or veranda during the day. 

I hope this has helped you get started with how to litter train a puppy. Be sure to check out the rest of the articles on how to potty train a puppy. We cover a lot of different techniques and methods which will hopefully help you get that puppy trained.  


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  • About us

    Hello, Chris here and thanks for stopping by. I hope I'll be able to help you learn how to potty train a puppy without too much of a headache!

    There's nothing quite like living with a dog and I've potty trained a fair few in my time. I put this site together to help people who were having problems potty training a puppy.

    It doesn't have to be as hard as people make out and the guides you'll find here should make things nice and easy for you.