So, your dog thinks their snuffle mat is a toilet? No worries! We’ve got some simple steps to help you put a stop to this and keep that mat for its real purpose: fun and games.
Here are the stopping steps:
Check for health issues
First things first, make sure there’s no medical reason behind the peeing problem. If there’s a sudden change in behavior, consult your vet to rule out any health issues like infections or incontinence.
Clean It Up
Get rid of any lingering pee smell on the dog snuffle mat. Dogs have a super-sensitive nose, and if they smell old accidents, they might think it’s okay to go there again. Use pet-friendly cleaning products to wipe out those odors.
Designate a Pee Spot
Create a designated outdoor bathroom area for your dog. Take them there regularly, especially after meals and before bedtime. When they do their business in the right spot, give them treats and heaps of praise. Consistency is key during this training phase.
Keep an eye out
When your dog is near the snuffle mat, keep a close watch. If you catch them sniffing around or getting ready to pee, interrupt with a firm but gentle “no” or “outside” command. Then hustle them to the designated bathroom area. Timing is everything; catching them in the act helps them connect the dots.
For times when you can’t keep an eye on them, consider using a crate. Dogs usually won’t pee where they sleep, so it’s a nifty way to prevent mat mishaps when you’re not around.
Always reward your dog for using the designated bathroom area and for steering clear of the snuffle mat. Positive reinforcement—treats, praise, cuddles—goes a long way in motivating them to repeat the good stuff.
Stick to the Routine
Dogs love routines, so establish a set schedule for meals, bathroom breaks, and playtime. Predictability helps them know when it’s time to go outside, reducing the chances of mishaps.
Hide the mat temporarily
If the problem keeps hanging around, try removing the snuffle mat for a bit. This break can help break the association between the mat and peeing. Bring it back when your dog’s bathroom habits are on point.
Call in the Pros
If all else fails, consider calling a dog trainer or behavior expert. They’re like doggy detectives and can come up with a personalized plan just for your pup.
Stay cool and patient
Changing doggy habits takes time, so be patient and stay cool. Avoid scolding or punishments; it just makes things worse. Focus on the positive stuff, and before you know it, your snuffle mat will be back to its sniff-tastic self.
With these steps and a bit of understanding, you’ll have your dog using the snuffle mat for fun, not the bathroom. Happy sniffing!