House Training an Older Dog

Teach an old dog a new trick? How about house training an adult dog, again! One of our readers noticed that when their pet got older, it began to start having accidents in the house. It seemed to be connected to a visiting puppy’s “accidents” on his home turf—or carpet, anyway. However, such accidents are not unique and can happen to quite a few pets.

While this situation might be chalked up to simply old age, there may be other reasons as well. When you first start to notice that your dog is “using the potty” inside the house, the best thing to do is to schedule a visit with your veterinarian to rule out medical reasons. For example, if you have an older dog that is on medication, that could be the cause of the increase in accidents. However, there are a variety of other reasons as well, such as surface preference, urine marking and fear of going outside.

Once you have ruled out medical reasons behind the puppy-like behavior, here are some steps you can take to house train your pet, again:

  • Keep your furry friend on a consistent daily feeding schedule. After feeding your pet, allow it to relieve itself outside.
  • Keep an eye on your pooch. This allows for you to catch an act of elimination before it happens. The signs of a dog about to use “the bathroom” include: circling, sniffing, whining, pacing, or leaving the room.
  • Invest in a crate or kennel. Dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep, so this can help you sleep. The space should just be big enough for the dog to lie down comfortably.
  • Gradually over time, give your dog more space and freedom until it only uses the great outdoors.

For other suggestions, consult with your veterinarian.

Did you ever have to house train an older dog? Share your tricks with us in the comments!

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