Litter boxes come in all shapes and sizes, and litters come in as just a wide variety as well. Training your dog to use an indoor litter box will actually depend on what materials you use, how comfortable they feel, and how well you prepare your dog for their new potty environment.

Litter box training for your dog

Space plays a big factor in creating a comfortable environment. Some boxes surround your dog with raised edges, limiting room and maneuverability. Some even have tops, but those should be avoided, since they can quickly accumulate smells and end up dissuading a dog from wanting to potty there (dogs don’t like a dirty potty area). In order to give your dog plenty of room to eliminate within the box, they’ll need to have enough room to enter and turn around without trouble.

Litter is the next part to cover. You don’t have to start with a dry litter immediately, especially since the texture can feel odd on puppy paws. Shredded newspaper and absorbent pads make for good starters and can be incentivized to help encourage your dog to use the area. You may even consider temporarily using sod, which is naturally familiar to a dog’s instincts. You can always change to litter at a later time.

As for litter preferences, it may be helpful to try several different types of litter to see which one your dog prefers. Just remember that a dog likes familiarity and security, so don’t continuously change the scent of their litter box. Even after litter is being used, it is still preferable to have a filler material or an absorbent layer such as newspaper at the bottom of the litter box. This will make cleanup a lot easier.

Sanitation is a very big concern with an indoor litter box. Remember that dogs will have to potty more frequently, and unlike cats, they won’t bury their feces. These characteristics mean that feces will accumulate very quickly, and if it goes unchecked, it will dissuade your dog from wanting to use the litter box. So, you’ll definitely want to keep the area clean by scooping out clumps and maintaining a fresh potty atmosphere. A litter scooper can make this quick and easy.

Always be prepared for accidents, especially ones surrounding your dog’s litter box. They may track litter out of the box and detect the scent later. Also, keep in mind that your dog shouldn’t eat litter, especially the kind that clumps. This can quickly make your dog sick, so beware of signs such as digging in their litter box or sniffing in the litter when they have no intention of eliminating.

Litter isn’t just for cats, and many dogs have discovered that they don’t have to go outside to potty all the time. By setting up an atmosphere that is attractive and comfortable to your dog, litter training should go by smoothly and accident-free.

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