Whether your family welcomed a new furry friend over the holidays or you’re just starting to think about welcoming a new puppy into your home as a way to ring in the new year, it’s important to think about how you’ll keep your carpets clean as you go through the housetraining process.
Check out these tips for keeping your home in tip-top shape even as your new family member learns how to use the bathroom outdoors.
Forget the puppy pads.
While puppy pads may seem like a convenient idea, they don’t teach your dog how to use the bathroom outside. Using puppy pads is a shortcut and won’t actually protect your carpet long-term, and also will undo the hard work you’re doing to housetrain your dog. Forget the puppy pads, and instead, get committed to teaching your dog how to do the right thing.
Know how often your pup needs to go.
Generally, your pup can hold it for one hour per month they are old. If you have a three-month-old puppy, that means they can hold it for about three hours (and yes, that includes at night). Set an alarm on your phone if you need to but know that this is the maximum amount of time your puppy can go between bathroom breaks.
Have spot treatments on hand at all times.
Accidents are going to happen, no question about it. To save your carpet, have a spot treatment available at all times, and be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area of your carpet (such as in an upstairs closet or under an area rug) to be sure that the treatment doesn’t negatively affect the carpet fibers. When an accident happens, soak up any excess with an old towel that you can toss in the wash, and then apply the spot treatment right away.
The old ways of shaming animals for doing the wrong thing have been proven ineffective. Positive reinforcement is the way to go, and it’ll create a happier dog – and a happier you. Go out of your way to praise your dog every time they do the right thing. Spend extra time outside with them so that you can give them a celebration and a treat every time they go outdoors. Soon, they’ll associate going to the bathroom outside with extra love from you and your family.
Schedule a professional cleaning more often than normal.
In the first six months or so of having a puppy, it’s a good idea to schedule two professional carpet cleanings. This will help keep your home smelling great as you adjust to both shedding and your pet learning how to use the bathroom outside.
Remember: it’s key to have patience with your new pup and to know that accidents are going to happen, no matter what. Taking care of your carpets and knowing what to expect can allow you to fully enjoy your new family member while keeping your house in great shape.