Senior dogs, with their age, may have several health problems. Your golden-year pup can get too exhausted after long walks or even be too tired to excuse himself on eliminating at the right place. On top of it being heart-breaking to watch our senior side kicks slow down and grow old, we also know that consistently taking care of messy clean-ups can be frustrating, and that's why we have pee pads.
Though a lot are readily available in the market with different features, having your dog use it does not happen overnight. Why? Because many senior dogs are not accustomed to using pee pads at all.
And contrary to the belief that it’s hard to teach old dogs, it’s fairly easy to teach them new things. Training senior dogs to use pee pads comes with so many benefits, both for you and your dog.
Always have enough time to train your dog.
Before anything else, time is most important when you want to train your senior dog to use pee pads. So it’s almost necessary to push aside and block off some extra time, but if that is not an option, you can hire a professional or somebody you trust to do the job.
Plan scheduled feedings.
Feed your dog at the same time everyday and never let any food bowl to just lie around. Take it away after he’s done eating even if there are still some leftovers. This way, it will reduce any chances of him having that “extra fuel in the tank.”
Introduce him well to the pee pads.
Introduce your dog to his new toilet. Allow him to sniff it, develop his interest on the pee pad. You can do this a couple of times a day until he's already used to it.
Set a 'bathroom' area.
Set the pee pad in an area that will show your dog it's okay to relieve himself there. In this way, your dog will become familiar to go that exact same place whenever he wants to pee or poo.
Practice the routine.
When you think he's about to eliminate, walk him to the pad and encourage him to eliminate there. But also, don't forget to give him a little privacy.
Reward him when he does a great job.
When your dog eliminates on the pee pad, make sure you praise him and reward his good behavior. This way it will be clear to him that peeing/pooping on the pee pad is a good thing!
Never punish your dog for any accidents he might cause.
If you catch your dog about to “drop the bombs” at wrong places in your house, startle him instead of scaring. You can do that by shouting or clapping your hands to get his attention and then you can lead him to the pee pad to do his thing. Don’t forget to give him a praise or offer him a reward after he finishes eliminating.
Most pet parents believe that yelling and punishing their dogs for eliminating at wrong places in the house is okay, but this will only cause your dog to be afraid of you. And when your dog is scared of you, he will hide from you every time he finds the need to take a break.
Keep in mind that nothing happens overnight and you just have to practice the routine over and over again until he's got it. Consistency is key.
Other things to keep in mind
Here are some other helpful things to keep in mind when he eliminates on the wrong spot:
- Engage in some deep cleaning so that the smell of his poop or urine will not draw him back to eliminate in the same spot again.
- Use a cleaning product that disinfects and breaks down the smell, rather than those products that just cover up the mess with another odor.
- Never use ammonia-based cleaning products; these smell like urine to your dog and he’ll end up eliminating on the same area again.
These tips will mostly be enough to pee pad train your senior dog. But always remember that potty training will be challenging and will take time. As a Pet Parent, you can now improve the quality of life of your senior dog while keeping your home clean, and your pet family happy.