Puppy Nutrition and House Training

Puppy food is a major factor in the success of “potty-training” your new puppy.

Nutrition plays an important role in house-training, whether you have a big dog or a toy breed– but, with so many foods on the market, how do you know what effect each will have on the health of your dog and the ease with which it is able to become house-trained in an efficient manner?

These general guidelines should help you narrow down the countless puppy food choices to find the formula that best suits your pets nutritional needs.

Pay attention to sodium content.

Make sure you choose a food that is low in sodium. Puppies need to drink a lot of water, and many commercial pet foods have high sodium content, which will make your new pup drink more water. Drinking water isn’t bad for puppies, but be aware that just like people, the more little Buddy drinks, the more he’ll have to urinate.

Sodium levels are generally higher in supermarket brand dog foods than the premium foods that use human grade ingredients. Moreover, dog foods that use animal by-products, which means the food consists of clean parts of the animal carcass (necks, feet, and intestines), may increase bowel movement size and frequency.

The first five items listed under the ingredients on the puppy food packaging are the most prominent in the food, as dog food manufacturers are required to list ingredients in descending order.

The frequency and amount your puppy eats also affects its bathroom habits.
It’s standard for puppies to eat three times a day through the age of six months. After that time period, you can go ahead and cut the feeding schedule back to two meals per day. If it’s not possible to feed your pup three times a day to start out with due to work schedule or some other limitation, twice a day is usually fine. Again, the more a pup eats, the more they will have to use the bathroom, so be sure to match the pup’s bathroom breaks with its feeding schedule.

Want more advice on house-training your new puppy? Contact the Bergen County, New Jersey experts of Haggerty Dog Training by filling out this short contact form or calling 201-444-9893​.

Puppy Pad Training Basics

People love their pets from the second they lay eyes on them, but many don’t factor in all of the hard work their new four-legged friend requires in order to settle into their new life. Owners of young pups throughout Midland Park and Bergen County, New Jersey will have to put up with some inconveniences and increase their patience level when teaching their puppy new things. We’re not talking about funny tricks, we mean the basics- such as simple obedience commands and the Number 1 “new puppy” problem we hear about here at Haggerty Dog Training: house training.

House or “potty” training can be the most frustrating, disgusting and disturbing problem for new puppy owners, and unfortunately, there are many breeds that have a predisposition to difficulty with house training.

Let’s break down the different types of “potty” training and their pros and cons.

Over the next couple of blogs we will break down the different types of dog “potty” training, along with pros and cons for each. We’ll cover pad (or paper) training here.

Based on their own convenience, some people want to have a pad-trained dog at first, but then decide later they want the dog to “make” outside instead (house training).

It’s important to note that if you use one method and then switch over to the other that it will be very difficult for the dog to decipher where it is supposed to go to the bathroom. Think of it this way: It’s like teaching a child that he is supposed to go on the toilet, but when it is more convenient (for you), he should just go in his diaper. So pick one, stick with it and be consistent.

People who live in large urban areas like New York City are encouraged by their veterinarian to not let the dog go outside until it has received all of its vaccinations and is at least four months of age. This can make house training difficult, since between 8 weeks and four months of age the dog is going to be forced to relieve itself on pads (wee wee pads), which creates a bathroom habit that you may choose to change once your pup is completely vaccinated and “of age.” If you think you may want to do pad training then house training, the best thing for you to do is have the dog go to the bathroom in a court yard, a roof garden or another outside area isolated from other dogs so that the dog does not have to be trained on the pads until it can go outside. This eliminates the need to train, break habit, then re-train.

Pad Training for Dogs

Taking the previous paragraph into mind, it makes a lot of sense for those of you who live in urban areas where it may be inconvenient to take the dog outside multiple times per day to pad train. Below are some pros and cons.


  • Makes it less likely the pup will acquire diseases and viruses from other dogs.
  • Pads are portable, so if you like your pup to tag along with you, you won’t have to worry about bathroom mishaps.
  • You and your dog won’t have to brave the cold or heat outside every time the pup has to relieve himself.
  • Cons:

  • Pad training can become very expensive, as the pads are not cheap. Some people choose to be more environmentally friendly and use newspaper. However, not everyone wants their dog to get the newsprint all over them.
  • Wet newspaper and pads can also create an odor in the house that not everyone wants.
  • Pads/newspaper does take up a bit of room in a home where space may be limited.
  • Is it time to revamp your pouch’s potty schedule? Contact the Bergen County, New Jersey experts of Haggerty Dog Training by filling out this short contact form or calling 201-444-9893​.

    Happy New Year Doggie Resolutions 2014

    It is that time again where we resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, stop cursing and the list goes on.  How about making a resolution with your dog? Here are a few ideas:

    1.  Commit to a 15-30 minute brisk walk each day. You can both reach your exercise goals.
    2.  Commit to spending five minutes a day teaching your dog a trick. Roll over and play dead are easy to teach and fun for your dog.
    3. Help support a local rescue group. You can offer to foster a dog, walk a dog or even fundraise for a group. 
    4. Be a good neighbor.  Spend a morning at the local park and clean up the poop others left behind.
    5. Be a conscious consumer.  When traveling choose pet friendly hotels, whether you have your dog with you or not.  Let the management know too.  They will appreciate it.

    These few things can easily become habits which can be incorporated into your life and help make the world better for you and your dog. Continue reading “Happy New Year Doggie Resolutions 2014”