Since my last post, I am still sold on using a litter box for potty training puppies and giving them an alternative potty place when no one is home to let them outside. The management and cleanliness over the other methods I have used is much superior.
I have evaluated three different kinds of litter for the puppies and two containers and would like to share my experience for my puppy buyers and also for breeders that may be considering this method of potty training.
Sterlite Type Under Bed Container
Pros: Room for puppies to move around a bit, contains litter very well with 6″ sides. Easy to clean. Easy to use small dustpan to scoop litter out to garbage for emptying.
Cons: Puppies with very short legs had trouble scaling the side to get in but once they were 5 weeks old and learned to hop over, no issues. Container is heavy when filled.
Rabbit Hutch Tray
Pros: Shallow for ease of entry and exit. Contained litter well.
Cons: Little boys found they could stand with front feet inside, back legs outside the container for peepee. No problems on poopies.
Wood Stove Pellets from Tractor Supply
Pros: Pups did not try to eat the pellets. Turned to sawdust when wet. Minimal smell. $4.50 for 40 pound bag. Made of compressed wood sawdust so biodegradable
Cons: Pellets were not as compact and bags contained some sawdust from purchase.
Horse Bedding Pellets
Pros: Pups did not try to eat the pellets. Turned to sawdust when wet. Minimal smell. Liquid seemed to “disappear” with no dampness in bottom of tray. Pellets were very compressed with no sawdust in bag. $5.00 for 40 pound bag. Made of compressed wood sawdust so biodegradable. Minimal tracking. Easy to scoop solids with cat litter scoop.
Cons: I didn’t find any cons unless you are allergic to the wood source, a non issue for me.
Dog Litter Box Pellets from PetCo (ordered online)
Pros: Non allergenic because made of compressed newspaper. Minimal to no smell. No tracking. Easy to scoop solids with cat litter scoop.
Cons: Pups liked to carry the pellets around and chew on them (at 6 weeks old). $17 per 18 pound bag. Paper absorbed the urine rather than changing form.
Evaluation: For a litter of six puppies, starting at 3-4 weeks old, the combination of under bed box and rabbit hutch tray has been sufficient for containers for litter box training. Long term as a puppy grows, I would prefer the under bed box. My choice of puppy litter is the horse bedding pellets from Tractor Supply both for practicality and cleanliness and price. The textures of the 3 kinds of pellets are similar, so it is easy to transfer from one to the other and is a matter of preference and price.