Transitioning From Puppy Pads to the Great Outdoors
Puppy pads can be a useful tool for helping to house train a new puppy, but few pet owners want to spend the rest of their pet’s life with soiled potty stations inside their homes.
At some point most of us desire to have our pets use “nature’s toilet” for their relief. Transitioning from puppy pads to outside, can be a little tricky, but with help from your team at Goldorado Animal Hospital your dog should catch on in no time at all!
The Problem With Puppy Pads
There’s no doubt that puppy pads have a lot of utility. Most pets can find them easily and learn quickly that they are where their scent belongs. There is no having to deal with rain or cold and they are easily accessible.
Using a pad is not the same thing as pottying outdoors, however, and it is important to recognize that these skills don’t necessarily transfer. Going potty outdoors requires dogs to communicate with you rather than just relieving themselves when nature calls.
Some pet owners just choose to skip the pad altogether, but if your dog is already using them it is possible to make transitioning from puppy pads to outside a little easier.
Tips for Transitioning From Puppy Pads
If you have made the decision to move the elimination outside, set yourself up for success with the following tips:
- Slowly decrease the number of pads and locations offered over a few weeks.
- Avoid removing pads cold turkey.
- Don’t offer praise for using puppy pads (but don’t scold, either).
- Supervise closely so that you can get your pet outside when nature calls.
- If you cannot closely supervise, set yourself up for success by crate training or offering a back up pad.
- Watch your dog’s potty behaviors (looking for the pad, sniffing, etc.) and use these signals to teach another signal like speaking or ringing a bell so that they can indicate it is time for them to go.
- Go outside with your pet so that you can lay on the praise when they potty.
You may also wish to slowly move your puppy pad from its original location to the door, and then outside. It is important to remember that once the pad is outside you must supervise closely to pick up on signs that your dog needs to go outside.
Transitioning from puppy pads to the great outdoors can be a little work, but most dogs catch on quickly when you are doing the right things consistently. If you are having trouble, don’t hesitate to ask us for help. After all, that’s what we’re here for!