If you have a new puppy at home, you’ll perhaps want to know if you should carry your puppy outside when he needs to pee. Is it a good idea? When should you do it? And when should you stop? How can you help your puppy make the transition to teaching him to go outside on his own? Here’s everything you’ll want to know to answer these questions.
So, should I carry my puppy out to pee? It is generally recommended that you carry your puppy outside to pee, but only when he’s little and at the beginning of potty training. In time, you should transition to a position where he goes outside or expresses a desire to, on his own accord.
In the early days, it is all about repetition.
You want your puppy to quickly learn that the house is out of bounds for peeing, and that outdoors is where they can freely go.
It’s about building their confidence in the great outdoors, too.
Now the only way to establish these things is to show them. And show them routinely.
You need to build the activity of going outside into their little routines.
But it will affect you as an owner too; and your schedule. So do bear this in mind.
If you know that you’re not going to be around much during the day (due to work, commitments, etc) then you could also consider getting an indoor doggie lawn – this is the one I recommend, by the way).
Nevertheless, let us continue to explore the need for carrying, when to stop and delve deeper into that transition!
Is It A Good Idea To Carry Out Your Puppy To Pee?
In most circumstances and contexts, it is a good idea to carry your puppy out to pee. It will help reinforce that they need to go outside, it will help protect them from any stairs/steps, you can keep them away from dangerous areas/potential bacteria/viruses, and you can keep them safe while they are bit drowsy.
If You Have Stairs
Puppies aren’t meant to go up or down stairs until they are fully grown.
Doing so when they haven’t finished developing physically can cause hip problems in later life, including arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Carrying your puppy up and down stairs may sound like a daunting prospect – particularly for larger breeds.
Consider getting a puppy carrier, shoulder bag, or similar for added back support.
Some doggie carriers or slings can hold pups that weigh up to 22 pounds.
If Other Dogs Or Animals Use Your Yard
If your puppy needs to do his business where other dogs do theirs, it’s worth carrying him.
When your puppy is little and he hasn’t had his full set of vaccinations, he’s more susceptible to diseases carried by other dogs and animals.
All dogs love smelling what they find on the ground, and your puppy could pick up an illness from a sick dog who has peed or pooped in the same outdoor area.
The risk is considerably less than before the 1970s, but it’s still worth knowing about if you have wild animals around your property.
Nighttime Toilet Breaks
Your puppy’s brain will be a little bit addled when he wakes during the night needing the toilet.
He may not want to hold his bladder when he’s still sleepy. This is why it’s best to carry him outside for these middle-of-the-night toilet breaks.
The easiest way to do this is to set an alarm according to the schedule your pup needs.
- If your puppy is 2 months old, he’ll need a toilet break every 2 hours(!)
- If your puppy is 3 months old, he’ll need a wee every 3 hours
- Once your puppy is 4 months old, you can set the alarm for every 4 hours
And so on. Once your puppy is 8 months of age, you’ll see that he’ll be able to hold his bladder for an 8-hour night.
When To Carry A Puppy Outside To Pee
It’s a good idea to carry your puppy outside to pee at the beginning of his potty training, but you don’t want to make a habit of it for too long.
Starting Potty Training
Carrying your puppy outside at the start of potty training is a good idea because you are showing your puppy where to go. You are also encouraging him to learn to hold his bladder.
However, you don’t want to teach your puppy that he doesn’t have to walk on his own. Otherwise, he will always expect you to carry him like royalty!
Best Times Of Day To Carry Your Puppy Outside To Pee
Here are the best moments to carry your puppy outside to pee at the start of his potty training:
- When you see him circling, scratching, staring, sniffing, etc.: you will soon learn his cues that signal he needs the toilet
- Right after he wakes up in the morning
- At nighttime for potty breaks every few hours (according to his age: he can hold his bladder roughly every hour for one month of age)
During the above moments is when your puppy will most likely be desperate to use the toilet.
Note: When you carry your puppy out to pee at night, make sure he knows it isn’t playtime. Carry him to the potty spot and say your command word or phrase, e.g., ‘go potty.’ When he finishes, carry him back to his crate so that he (and you) can go back to sleep.
When To Stop Carrying Your Puppy Outside To Pee
The time to stop carrying your puppy outside to pee depends on when you started potty training him. Generally speaking, you can stop carrying your puppy out to pee once you think he can:
- Hold his bladder for long enough (which comes with age, see above)
- Realize that he needs to hold his bladder till he is outside, rather than peeing in the house
If you start potty training at 12 to 14 weeks of age, most puppies will understand where they need to go to the toilet within a week.
However, it’s a good idea to carry him for 3 to 4 more weeks just to be on the safe side.
Note: If you have started potty training earlier than recommended (earlier than 12 to 14 weeks old), your puppy is too young to understand what you want him to do. You will want to continue carrying him out to pee until he is at least 13 to 14 weeks old.
How To Transition A Puppy To Going Outside To Pee On Their Own
To get your puppy to go outside to pee on his own, establish a toilet schedule with a dedicated toilet spot. Praise your puppy when he does what you want, and be prepared in case of accidents or other pitfalls.
Establish A Toilet Schedule For Your Puppy
Puppies do well with schedules, as they can easily learn what’s expected of them. Your puppy wants to please you, so establish a toilet schedule from the very start.
In addition to offering him regular toilet breaks, make sure he knows he goes out first thing in the morning, during or after his playtime, and right after he’s had a lot of water or a meal.
Remove his water bowl 2 hours before bedtime, and take him to the toilet right before he goes to sleep.
Establish A Dedicated Bathroom Spot For Your Puppy
Make sure your puppy knows where his spot is to go to the toilet. He’ll be more likely to return to it on his own if he gets into the habit of always going in the same place.
You can reinforce this spot with a verbal command like ‘go potty’ when your puppy uses this spot.
Note: In the beginning when you’re carrying your puppy outside to pee, remember to wait a bit. Puppies don’t usually pee all in one go: they don’t have the instinct to empty their bladders fully. It’s worth waiting up to 10 minutes to see if he pees again.
Praise Your Puppy When He Uses His Spot
Each time your puppy uses his spot, praise him with verbal or physical cues.
In the beginning, give him a treat within 3 seconds of him doing what you want him to do.
In this way, he’ll associate peeing outside with rewards.
Reduce Treats Over Time
Gradually give your puppy fewer treats as he gets used to relieving himself in his spot.
Phase them out before you expect your puppy to go outside without you.
In Case of Accidents
Don’t shout at or punish your puppy if he has an accident. Even once he’s successfully house trained, he can still have accidents.
Remember that he doesn’t mean to have an accident, and if you yell at him, he’ll only become fearful of you and confused.
If you spot your puppy having an accident inside, interrupt him, saying, ‘Go outside.’ You could also try clapping your hands loudly.
Then take your puppy outside and praise him if he finishes outside.
Clean the site of the accident thoroughly so that the smell doesn’t linger.
Younger puppies can be tempted to pee again in the same indoor spot because of the smell. Use an enzymatic cleaner (like this from Amazon) that eliminates odors.
If you have a backyard, you can take any paper towels that you use to soak up urine and place them outside in your puppy’s designated toilet spot.
Leave them there, securing them with a heavy rock or another object. When your puppy smells his urine on the paper towels, he’ll associate the smell with going outside.
Once your puppy relieves himself regularly outside, you can remove the paper towels.
There are a few situations to be aware of that could present pitfalls. Certain conditions can affect your puppy’s ability to go to the toilet, such as:
- Anxiety or fear of going outside
- A urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Separation anxiety
- Preferences for eliminating waste on certain types of surfaces
- Urine marking of objects in your home
- Urinating when overexcited or submissive
If you notice any of the above affects your puppy, consult your vet for help and guidance.
Carrying your puppy out to pee is certainly a good idea. At least while they are young and before they have truly learned that the outdoors is where they need to go.
Unless of course, you plan on offering them an indoor arrangement, such as DoggieLawn.
Just be mindful that you shouldn’t, nor would want to carry your puppy outdoors forever.
So there will need to be a transitionary period and this will require a commitment to a schedule, spot and regular praise.
You’ll get there. Just be sure to preserve. It will all be worth it in the end.
- Can You Train Dogs To Use A Litter Box?
- Why Does My Puppy Pee In Her Sleep?
- Why Does My Dog Drink His Pee? [And How To Respond]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.