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Tips on Toilet Training Puppies

A cute puppy in toilet training

Toilet training puppies can be a frustrating and often stressful experience. Sometimes it seems as though you are on the right track, and then your puppy pees on the carpet right in front of you ?. Mistakes are normal and part of the learning process. Here are a few tips to help the toilet training process for you and your puppy.

Crates and Play Pens

For young puppies, it’s useful to have a short term containment area such as a play pen or crate so they can be safe and secure when you can’t supervise them. This prevents access to unwanted areas of the house and toilet mishaps.

Toilet Mats

Some puppies can learn to toilet on a ‘toilet mat’ such as fake grass (like the Pet Loo) or a square of real grass if you live in an apartment or have limited outside space. You can have this toilet area inside your puppy’s pen, away from where they sleep and eat.

When to take your puppy to the toilet

If you have an outside space, designate a certain area/part of the yard for your puppy to toilet. Take them to that area, or their toilet mat;

  • When your puppy wakes up
  • After they have been playing for 10-20 min
  • After they have had a meal or a drink
  • If your puppy stops playing and starts sniffing around or walks to the door
  • If your puppy hasn’t pooped since their last meal
  • If you can’t remember when they last toileted!
  • Even take them when the ground is wet or it’s lightly raining – some puppies take a step backwards in their toilet training when it rains! To avoid this, have a short play and give lots of praise and treats for walking on wet ground/rain.

Off Lead

Taking them on the lead can often prevent your puppy getting distracted (oh look! A butterfly…puppy runs off), then take them off the lead once they have toileted.

Reward and Praise

Remember to tell your puppy how fantastic they are when they toilet in their area (praise and treats). If they haven’t gone to the toilet after 5 minutes or so, bring them back inside, but…supervise your puppy closely or confine them and be prepared to take them out again in a hurry.


If you follow these tips you will get there with your puppy. Supervise and be pro-active! The more you can help them get it right, the less accidents they will have, the quicker they will be toilet trained.


For further help and advice, contact a qualified trainer in your area.

Visit the vet-n-pet DIRECT store for some products to help you and your puppy through the toilet training experience.

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