If you’ve recently brought home a new puppy, or you’re considering doing so, one of the most important things to know about your responsibilities is that puppies have to go outside a lot. We don’t mean three walks a day a lot, either—we mean roughly every hour and a half to two hours.
The general rule of thumb when housebreaking a puppy is that for every month of age, that’s how many hours the dog can go without a potty break. So, for example, if your pooch is four months old, the absolute maximum amount of hours he can be left alone inside is four hours. Of course, that’s meant to be a guideline, and you should really only leave your dog for long periods of time without walks if you have to.
If you’re worried about leaving your pet home while you’re at work, you can hire a puppy walker in Chicago to help out—while most dog walkers only come once a day, many puppy walkers will come twice for shorter walks to help your pup learn how to do their business outside.
Scheduling Walks At Good Intervals
In general, you should try and walk your dog first thing when you wake up, then again after the puppy eats breakfast. Since puppies have tiny bodies, they digest a lot faster than bigger dogs and will need to go to the bathroom sooner. Going outside a couple of times in the morning will help them get used to going to the bathroom outside, not in the house.
Assuming you work a standard 9-5 schedule, after you leave for work, the dog can benefit from being taken out during the late morning and once again in the mid afternoon. This way, the dog doesn’t go more than three or so hours without a break to go outside. This can help the dog become acclimated to a potty schedule, so that you spend less time cleaning up messes.
After you get home from work, the dog should go out once when you first arrive at home, then again shortly after you feed the pup dinner (for the same reasons as the before and after breakfast walks).
Managing Your Busy Schedule With Your Dog’s Rigorous Training Plan
One easy way to manage the highly demanding routine of housebreaking a puppy is to bring on a puppy walker until your dog gets used to going to the bathroom outside. Puppy walkers help the transition along, and help prevent accidents in your home. Additionally, they’ll help let your dog run off some excess energy—it’s a win-win situation! Puppy walkers typically stop by your home twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes each time—just enough time to get your pooch ready for a walk, take him or her on a quick jaunt around the block, then settle back in.
Keep in mind when your puppy is small that the hard times don’t last forever—after a few months of consistent training, they should be able to hold it long enough to stay at home for a while on their own. Of course, dog walking still helps them stay entertained and well-exercised, but with any luck, you won’t need to clean up any accidents they have!