Potty Training Your Pet

 In Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital, Pet Care

One of the most dreaded aspects of pet ownership includes potty training. It’s different for each type of pet you have, but very important nonetheless. So we’ve created a guide on potty training for both your cats and dogs.


We’ll start this potty training guide off with the easier pet to train, your cats. These strategies work for both kittens and older cats. Before you bring your new feline home, you need to make sure you have the proper supplies. Cats prefer to go to the bathroom in a litter box. You will need a litter box, cat litter, and a scoop. You will want to assess your cat’s size, which will then help you decide on what size your little box will be. A tip is to always go with the bigger litter box.

If you have a kitten, remember they will grow and not always need a small litter box. Once you have filled your litter box with cat litter, you are ready to start potty training. When your new cat gets home, the first thing you should do is place them in their litter box. They might not use it right away, but it allows them to associate the smell with where they go to the bathroom.

If you’ve noticed your cat has not used the litter box a few hours after you’ve been home, place them in it again. Sometimes it may take a few times to reiterate that this is their space. Once your cat has properly used the litter box, you can reward them with a treat. After this, your cat will likely know where to go from now on. Feel free to place them in their litter box a few more times to emphasize that’s where they go. Make sure it’s in an accessible area and somewhere your cat can see it.


Now in terms of potty training, dogs are notorious for being the more difficult pets to train. Unlike cats, dogs require a bit more attention and consistency to fully understand where they can go potty. Plus, they will not be using a litter box and require assistance to go outside. There are a few different tricks to potty training your dog, but it ultimately depends on what works best for you two. You will need a few different supplies to begin potty training. We recommend puppy pads, a crate, treats, and a leash.

A great way to start a training routine with your dog is by bringing them outdoors every few hours. Take your dog’s age and use that as a gauge of how long they can hold it. For example, if your puppy is two months old, they can likely hold it for two hours. Make sure you bring your dog outside however many times you deem necessary, and reward them when they go outdoors. Over time your dog will associate treats with going potty outside.

You should supervise your dog at all times when potty training. Accidents happen, so it won’t be helpful to scold them after they’ve gone inside. If you were able to catch them in the act, try to bring them outside so they can finish outdoors. If you can’t be home, eliminate the option to go to other places in the house. You can leave them in their crate with a puppy pad while you are gone. With that being said, make sure you are not gone for hours on end. Your dog will need to go outside, and that requires your help.  When outdoors, make sure to keep them on a leash if you do not have access to a fenced-in area. You want your dog to be as supported as possible for successful results.

To learn more on potty training your pets, visit Andes-Straley Vet Hospital. At Andes-Straley, we offer various services, including general care, exotic care, daycare, boarding, and more. We know that bringing a new pet home is fun, and we are here to support you in those transitions. You can visit us online or call us at 423-247-4984 today!