|Updated: 4/17/2007 12:08 pm
||Published: 4/17/2007 12:08 pm
Housebreaking puppies and kittens can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Let your pet know when it is acting inappropriately, but avoid violence and yelling. If you witness your pet soiling in an improper area, immediately move the animal to the desired location for that activity. This means taking your puppy outside and your kitten to the litter box. Be sure to follow each successful attempt by your pet with praise. Rewards for positive behavior are the best method of housebreaking. If you have not witnessed an accident, but have found that your pet has soiled an area out of your presence, do not scold the animal. Punishment after the fact will only confuse your pet and hinder your efforts. When you are away from the house, leave your pet in a confined place such as a crate or carrier. Always place the animal in the same place so that it will regard it as its personal territory. While you are away, the pet will be less likely to soil its own living space and will wait to relieve itself until you return. Soon, this territorial behavior will be generalized to your entire house, and the pet will realize the proper areas to relieve itself. Always take your pet to the litter box or outside at approximately the same times everyday to help establish a pattern. For more information, contact your veterinarian or an animal care specialist.