If you just got a new puppy, you might be wondering if you should pick up the puppy and take it outside when it needs to pee.
Is this a good idea? When is the right time to do it? When should you stop doing it? How can you help your puppy learn to go outside by itself?
Here’s all the information you need to answer these questions.
So, should you carry your puppy outside to pee? It’s usually a good idea to carry your puppy outside to pee, especially when it’s young and you’re starting to teach it where to go potty.
As time goes on, you should gradually let the puppy learn to go outside on its own when it needs to pee or shows that it wants to go outside.
In the beginning, it’s all about doing things again and again.
You want your puppy to learn fast that they shouldn’t pee in the house, but it’s okay to do it outside.
It’s also about helping them feel comfortable and brave when they’re outside.
The best way to teach these things is by demonstrating them. Do this regularly.
Include the habit of going outside in their daily routines.
Remember, this will also impact you and your schedule as a pet owner. Keep this in your thoughts.
If you realize that you won’t be home a lot during the day (because of work, plans, etc.), you might think about getting an indoor dog potty area. By the way, I suggest this option.
However, let’s keep looking into the reasons for carrying, when to stop, and dig deeper into that transition!
Is it a Good Idea to Take Your Puppy Outside to Pee?
In most situations, it’s a good plan to pick up your puppy and take it outside to pee.
This will remind them that they should go outside, prevent them from encountering stairs or steps, keep them away from risky spots and germs, and ensure their safety when they’re a bit tired.
If You Have Stairs
Puppies shouldn’t use stairs until they are all grown up. Going up and down stairs before they’re fully grown can lead to hip issues later on, like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Carrying your puppy up and down stairs might seem a bit scary, especially for bigger breeds.
Think about getting a puppy carrier, like a shoulder bag or something similar, to support your back.
Certain carriers or slings are designed to hold puppies weighing as much as 22 pounds.
If Other Dogs Or Animals Use Your Yard
If your puppy needs to go to the bathroom in a place where other dogs go, it’s a good idea to carry him.
When your puppy is small and hasn’t received all his vaccinations yet, he’s more likely to get sick from diseases that other dogs and animals might carry.
Dogs like to smell things on the ground, and your puppy could get sick from a dog that’s unwell and has peed or pooped in the same outdoor area.
Some people worry about puppies getting a serious illness called canine parvovirus, but there are effective vaccines and remedies available nowadays.
The risk is much lower than it used to be before the 1970s, but it’s still important to know about, especially if there are wild animals near your property.
Going to the Toilet at Night
Your puppy’s brain might be a bit confused when he wakes up at night and needs to go to the bathroom.
He might not want to wait and hold his pee while he’s still feeling sleepy. That’s why it’s a good idea to pick him up and take him outside for bathroom breaks during the middle of the night.
The simplest way to handle this is by setting an alarm based on your puppy’s needs.
- If your puppy is 2 months old, it will need to go to the toilet every 2 hours!
- If your puppy is 3 months old, bathroom breaks will be needed every 3 hours.
- When your puppy reaches 4 months, you can set the alarm for every 4 hours.
- This pattern continues. By the time your puppy is 8 months old, it should be able to wait for 8 hours during the night without needing to go.
When Should You Carry Your Puppy Outside to Pee?
It’s smart to pick up your puppy and take it outside to pee when you start teaching it where to go. But remember, you shouldn’t keep doing this for too long.
Beginning Toilet Training
Taking your puppy outside when you begin potty training is smart. This helps your puppy understand where to go and learn to control its bladder.
But be careful not to make your puppy think it doesn’t need to walk on its own. If you do, your puppy might always expect to be carried around like a king or queen!
Ideal Moments to Take Your Puppy Outside for a Pee
These are the perfect times to take your puppy outside for peeing when you begin potty training:
- When you notice him circling, scratching, staring, or sniffing – these are signals he needs to use the toilet.
- Right after he wakes up in the morning.
- At night, for bathroom breaks every few hours (based on his age: about once every hour for each month of age).
During these times, your puppy will likely really need to go potty.
When Should You Stop Carrying Your Puppy Outside to Pee?
When you should stop carrying your puppy outside to pee depends on when you began teaching him about potty training. In general, you can stop carrying your puppy outside when you believe he can:
- Hold his bladder for a reasonable time (this improves with age, as mentioned earlier).
- Recognize that he should wait until he’s outside to pee, instead of doing it inside the house.
If you start potty training when your puppy is around 12 to 14 weeks old, most puppies will learn where to go within about a week.
However, it’s a good precaution to continue carrying him for an extra 3 to 4 weeks just to make sure he’s got the hang of it.
If you’ve begun potty training before the suggested time (before your puppy is 12 to 14 weeks old), your puppy might be too young to grasp what you’re teaching.
In this case, you should keep carrying him outside to pee until he’s around 13 to 14 weeks old.
Helping Your Puppy Learn to Pee Outside by Themselves
To teach your puppy to pee outside by themselves, create a regular bathroom routine and choose a specific spot.
When your puppy follows your plan, give them praise. Be ready for accidents or challenges along the way.
Set Up a Toilet Routine for Your Puppy
Puppies are great with routines because they learn what to do. Your puppy wants to make you happy, so set up a bathroom schedule right away.
Apart from giving him regular chances to pee, make sure he understands that he should go out first thing in the morning, after playing, and after drinking lots of water or eating.
Take away his water bowl 2 hours before bedtime, and take him to pee just before he sleeps.
Designate a Specific Area for Your Puppy’s Bathroom Needs
Ensure your puppy understands where his bathroom spot is. If he gets used to always going to the same place, he’ll likely remember it.
You can make this spot more clear by using a command like “go potty” when your puppy uses that area.
Note: When you start carrying your puppy outside to pee, remember to be patient. Puppies usually don’t pee all at once – they don’t know to empty their bladders completely. It’s a good idea to wait for about 10 minutes to see if your puppy pees again.
Give Your Puppy Praise When He Uses His Designated Area
Whenever your puppy goes to his designated spot, show your approval with words or actions.
At first, offer a treat within 3 seconds of him doing what you want.
This way, he will connect peeing outside with getting rewarded.
Gradually Decrease Treats
Slowly reduce the number of treats you give your puppy as he becomes more accustomed to using his designated spot for going potty.
Start phasing out treats before you anticipate your puppy being able to go outside on his own.
Dealing with Accidental Incidents
Avoid shouting at or punishing your puppy if he has an accident. Even after he’s learned to go potty outside, accidents can still happen.
Keep in mind, he doesn’t mean to make a mess, and yelling will only make him scared and confused.
If you catch your puppy having an accident indoors, gently interrupt him, saying, ‘Go outside.’ You could also try clapping your hands loudly.
Then, take him outside and praise him if he finishes there.
Make sure to clean the accident spot very well to remove the smell. Younger puppies might be tempted to pee in the same spot again because of the smell. Use a special cleaner that removes odors.
Consider using an enzymatic cleaner, which gets rid of smells effectively.
If you have a backyard, you can put the paper towels you use to clean up urine in your puppy’s chosen bathroom area outside.
Leave them there, making sure they’re held down by a heavy rock or something similar. When your puppy smells his urine on the paper towels, he’ll connect the smell with going outside to pee.
Once your puppy consistently goes outside to do his business, you can take away the paper towels.
Be mindful of potential challenges that might arise. Your puppy’s ability to go potty could be influenced by situations like:
- Feeling anxious or scared of going outside
- Having a urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Dealing with separation anxiety
- Having preferences for specific surfaces to eliminate waste on
- Marking objects in your home with urine
- Peeing when overly excited or submissive
If you see any of these affecting your puppy, seek advice and assistance from your veterinarian.
Taking your puppy outside to pee is definitely a good plan, especially when they’re young and still learning that they should do their business outdoors.
Remember, you shouldn’t and wouldn’t need to carry your puppy outside forever.
There will come a time for a transition, and this will need a schedule, a chosen spot, and consistent praise.
You’ll reach that point. Just stay determined. All your efforts will pay off in the end.