How To Teach Your Small Dog to Use a Cat Litter Pan
Teaching your dog how to use a litter pan can be especially convenient for those living in urban cities, who have no choice, but to walk their dogs.
Teaching your dog how to use a litter pan can be especially convenient for those living in urban cities, who have no choice, but to walk their dogs. They typically have to walk their dogs in heat, rain, and snow. They have to walk them at all times of the day or night, which could be dangerous. It can also mean safety for the dogs whose owners have their own homes, and typically use doggie doors. Several years ago we started having a rash of thefts of small dogs here in Tucson. At the time I had ten Chihuahuas. I started to become so frightened. I was worried that when I would be out and about, that someone would come in my yard and steal one of my dogs. I got the idea that maybe they were small enough to use a cat litter pan. I was going to do anything to protect my babies. So I started my little project of teaching my dogs to give up their so called out-house.
I first checked out the litter pans in the local pet store. When I looked at them I felt they may be to small for them to maneuver in. However, they may work for your pooch. My dogs like to the circle the runway before dropping their load. My Chihuahuas are not the really small kind, anyway. I went to my local hardware store, and there I found, on sale, the pans that allot of mechanics use to drain oil form cars. Not the round ones. These were black heavy duty plastic square like pans. They are very sturdy, and have more than enough room for the smaller dog to maneuver in. The height is only about 6" off the ground so it's fairly easier for them to get in and out of. I've had them for a long time and there still going strong. I then picked up a bag of regular cat litter. I find the unscented is better because the dogs have such sensitive noses, sometimes the scented ones cause them to sneeze. You will have to judge for yourself whether the scented ones would be acceptable to your particular dog. I then went home to introduce the new potty to my dogs.
I highly recommend that you put the litter pan in a room that you don't mind a little odor, and that is tiled. At first they may not always make it in to the pan every time. It's allot easier to clean up accidents on tile than carpet. If you have all carpeting, I suggest an inexpensive clear plastic painting tarp you can get at the hardware store. Their very inexpensive, and can just be picked up and thrown away. Just place these under the little pan. Fill the litter pan about 1/4 full, evenly spread out. This is where your going to need some previous droppings to place in the litter pan. The fresher the better. Otherwise, they won't have a clue what the new box is for. Place some of the droppings in 2 the corners of the box, on top of the litter. not in the 2 corners where the dog will enter the box. You don't want all that stuff on his paws. Now you're ready to start training Fido, or Fiffi.
Most owners know when their little munchkin likes to go out and fertilize mother nature. Placing him in the box when he actually has to go, works allot better. The more often you can do this the better, he will learn faster. When you introduce your dog to the new litter box, be very attentive, calm, and loving. You want them to have a positive experience with their first time. Do not try to push, or coax your dog over the edge to get into the box. Gently place him in the middle of the box, while loving and praising him. Let him learn how to get into the box by him attempting to get out of the box. He'll get the idea. The way out is the way in. A little treat for him while your holding him in the litter box is a good idea.
Again, anything you can do for him to relate to the box as a positive experience. If he keeps jumping out and attempting to runaway, just get him, and gently place him back in the box, while loving and praising him. If you get pushy or rough, he may become afraid of the box. Little dogs are easily frightened. At this point it's just a matter of consistency on your part, so your dog gets the idea about his new place to potty. When he does use the box, use a lot of praising, love, and a treat if you wish. The more he sees it pleases you, and rewards him, the more he will use the box. My dogs were between the ages of two and eight at the time. One of them, my Teenie, she learned the first day. All the others learned within the first week. By the seventh day , it was a clean sweep. No punn intended.
Well there it is, your guide to a more convenient, safe way for your precious little pooch to potty. No more scooping the poop in the yard. No more walking in the rain, or sweating in the heat. You and your pooch will be happy, content, and safe!