Old Dog, New Tricks? – How to Housetrain Older Dogs

by on May 16th, 2011 at 7:00 am

Recently due to the abundance of dogs in shelters and kennels, many singles and families have been purchasing older dogs from such places. However, it can be hard to try and “teach an old dog new tricks”, especially when they are urinating and defecating around your home, but with some common practices it can be done.

First and foremost, you must make sure that your new pet doesn’t have any medical conditions which would cause your new dog to have accidents in the house, like incontinence. Older animals or animals that have been recently spayed or neutered tend to have incontinence, otherwise known as a “weak bladder”. The best thing to do is take your new pet to the vet to make sure he/she is checked out extensively, if your pet has a clean bill of health, then you can start taking measures to properly housetrain your pet.

Animals who have lived in a kennel often “mess” in their space due to not having the freedom to go outside whenever they want. This can be a hard habit to break, and you will often find presents left for you around your home. The best thing you can do for your pet is take them outside regularly for a while until they understand that being outside means going to the bathroom outside. If you are away for most of the day, it may be in your best interest to hire someone to come and take your pet for short walks while you are out – remember it’s a lot cheaper than new carpet.

Another issue you may encounter is your pet may have a surface preference. When your new friend has only eliminated on a hard surface due to kennel and shelters, they will defecate in your home.  If you find this may be the case with your dog, try putting wet-pads down outside and slowly take them away to show them where they should be going to the bathroom.

Lastly, changing your pet’s feeding times can ultimately turn into a problem. Some pets need to go to the bathroom right after they eat, while others take a little while to digest their food. Keeping your pet on a proper eating schedule is key to a healthy and happy pet and owner. Decide whether you want to feed your pet in the morning or evening and stick with that routine. After you feed your dog, take him/her for a walk so they can do their business on the grass and not your carpet.

Remember, animals will often feel scared, insecure or have anxiety about being in a new environment. Being patient is necessary for a successful relationship with your pet.

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One Response to “Old Dog, New Tricks? – How to Housetrain Older Dogs”

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