An X-pen (or exercise pen) is a series of gates that snap together to become a sort of open-top cage that has a lot more room than a crate. Most trainers don’t advocate using X-pens as a housetraining device unless you’re going to put a crate inside of it and use a small area as a “potty spot” with a pee pad or newspaper.
However, that’s not a permanent solution to housetraining because presumably you’ll want your pup to only potty outside. X-pens are good for confinement in the same way that you’d use a baby gate – to restrict your dog to an area that can be easily cleaned in case of an accident.
The Ever Trusting Pee Pad
Pee pads are a staple for small dogs, those that live in apartments, or incontinent dogs. Essentially, these are the same pads that hospitals and nursing homes use for their bed-ridden patients, just packaged differently. Some pads come infused with a scent that attracts the puppy to the pad.
Pee pads can be very helpful, particularly for people who are unable to take a puppy out frequently. The pads encourage a puppy to use one place for elimination and can be moved close to the door that will be used to go out for bathroom duties. Over a period of time, the pad can be moved outside if your ultimate goal is to have your pup use a yard.
Here are a few times when choosing pee pads:
1) Look for a brand with the best liquid-retaining properties.
2) Choose a size large enough for your dog.
3) Look for a brand that locks in moisture to prevent tracking.
Fan Of The Pan?
A few years ago, litter boxes came into vogue for potty training small dogs, especially those that live in apartments. Litter boxes can be effective but some dogs would rather play in the litter or eat it instead of doing their business there.
However, some dogs will use the litter box appropriately, making potty duties very easy on an owner – just clean the box, add new litter, and you’re done. These boxes tend to work well with dogs that weigh less than 10 pounds.
Look for a dog-specific box because cat boxes aren’t tall enough for dogs, especially males that like to lift a leg. Using a litter box won’t untrain your dog from going outside; it will just give him an option if he has a tiny bladder.
Brand New Bag
If you live in a big city it’s likely that you have a “pick up the poop” ordinance. If so, you know that there’s a pretty steep fine involved if you don’t clean up after your dog. Or, perhaps you have kids and you want to keep your yard or neighborhood free of “landmines”. Whatever the case, you’re going to need to carry poop bags.
Sure, it’s easy to use a plastic grocer bag, but imagine the day that you put your hand inside of it, reach down, and find yourself with a handful of feces because there was a hole in the bag – YUCK! Not a pleasant experience!
If you have a small dog you can use clear sandwich bags from the grocery store, but if you have a larger dog, you might want to invest in a leash dispenser for dog waste bags. There’s even a cute leash pouch available to store the poop bag (with the poop inside) until you can find a trash can.
The benefits of dog waste bags are:
1) Most are colored, opaque plastic; no one has to see what you’re carrying.
2) Some are scented.
3) Many come in tightly rolled, easy-to-use bundles.
4) Many bag dispensers have cute designs and attach conveniently to the leash.
5) Some are made of recycled plastic and are biodegradable. Even flushable poop bags are available.
The Scoop On Scoops
If you have more than one dog and you let them use the backyard to do their doo, you’re going to want a pooper scooper. You’ll not only save your back, but you’ll also find that the chore isn’t so loathsome if you have an easy tool to do it with.
Choose a scooper that’s easy to use with one hand. You can find a scooper that has a place for a bag attachment on the scooper end so that the scooper never gets dirty. Just remove the bag and toss the waste away.
If you have a bunch of dogs (or a really big one) and a backyard, think about using an in-ground digester to dispose of dog waste. These products are kind of like compost bins, but you don’t use the contents for compost. For less than $100 or so, you can get a digester, bury it in your backyard and never worry about what to do with the waste again.
Be sure not to bury the digester near a vegetable garden because the waste eventually ends up in the soil, and only use this product if you intend on maintaining it, which is as easy as adding powder to it once a week.
The information shared on this site is for information only. It does not take the place of professional advice from your pet’s healthcare provider.