Pros and Cons of Having a Litter Box Trained Dog

Our dog Bailey uses the litter box. Do you think it’s weird? You’re not alone. First hearing about my boyfriend’s dog using the litter box had me giggling thinking it’s cute and awesome.

I didn’t know a litter box was even a possibility for puppies, but boy am I happy our pup has one. The litter box way of living fits us, but it’s not for every dog owner.

Here’s a pros and cons list we came up with for you. Who knows, maybe you would also like to give the litter box lifestyle a try.

Pros of litterbox training your dog:

Pup’s ok when we are away for hours at a time

When my boyfriend first moved here from Michigan, we found a small dog to infuse our apartment with some life and keep him company as he works from home.

She was an older dog and would need to go out about 5 times a day to relieve herself. To make matters worse, we lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment building with no elevators!

Taking her down to use the bathroom wasn’t hard, but taking her out at night before bed was kind of scary because of the wild pig population (yes, and they would come right up to the front door at night).

We loved her but couldn’t take her everywhere we went, so unfortunately she would have to sit and stay home by herself and not use the bathroom. She was such a good dog she would hold it all in until we were home to take her out, despite the fact we’d leave puppy pads for her comfort.

With Bailey, he has the litter box, and so even if we were to leave him home alone for the entire day, at least we know he’s not suffering trying to hold it in for us.

Doesn’t wake us up to go outside

Our last dog would wake us up in the middle of the night freaking out because she needed to pee. We had to limit her water at night.

I’d feel really bad doing that because our apartment could get pretty warm some nights and she would get really thirsty. Before heading to bed we’d have her drink some water.

After waiting for a half-hour or so she’d finally be ready to head outside to do her business.

With Bailey being trained to use the litter box, we just keep his water bowl filled. He can quench his thirst at any time and pee whenever he needs to without having to wake us from our deep slumber.

Minimal accidents

When my other dog was a puppy, she got sick one night and her stomach was upset. When she and I were getting ready for bed, she started whimpering but didn’t try to get to the door so I just pet her a little bit before getting into bed myself.

Laying there in the dark, I heard her get up and run to the door. Before I got to my feet I heard another noise.

We didn’t have enough time to get outside before her poor tummy exploded all over my carpet, multiple times. Not pretty! Then I got to spend time cleaning up while I should’ve been sleeping.

Sometimes Bailey gets an upset stomach and develops diarrhea, but he always makes it to his litter box making clean up so easy.

Thankfully he doesn’t get sick often, but when he does it’s pretty easy to deal with. Actually, his only accident was when we were cleaning his litter box and he went without it for too long. Now we clean and dry his box faster!

No smelly carpet

Bailey’s accident will never stain or ruin our rug, but I’ve been in houses where carpets were covered in urine spots.

Our neighbors at our last apartment complex had a carpet ruined by their dog. It was stained with urine spots and smelled pretty bad.

I’m grateful we don’t have to deal with these bathroom messes very often and that our throw rugs remain in great condition.

Don’t have to go out in the rain

To me, one of the biggest pros of having a litter box pup is he doesn’t need to get wet.

Our last apartment was at a higher elevation on the side of a dormant volcano in Kona, so the weather was usually wet and rainy.

Which meant the grass was wet. This meant that every time we took the dog out to do her business she would get wet. Sometimes it would storm and we would feel bad having to take her out in the howling wind and pouring rain so she could use the bathroom. Thankfully this is Hawai’i and we don’t have to deal with the snow!

Now we don’t have to go out in rainstorms, pup pup stays dry, and we don’t have to clean up mud and grass from our floors.

Con’s of litter box training your dog:

You have to keep the litter box and its area clean

For me the biggest con of the litter box lifestyle is upkeep. Sometimes the litter will stick to Bailey and we’ll find litter pellets on the floor.

Every once in awhile Bailey misses and we need to clean up his urine around and under his litter box. We have to make sure to clean it quickly because if it sticks to the floor or carpet it can leave a gnarly looking stain. We stick an old towel under his litter box to aid in the war against his misfires and urine splashes.

Also, we have to flush his poop several times daily.

Every 10 days or so we replace the litter after making sure his box is scrubbed and dried. If you put it off a few more days it can get really smelly. To be honest, though, the upkeep isn’t bad. We just have to make sure that we stay on top of it.

The litter box can be an eyesore

Let me just say the litter box isn’t cute. It’s not! We don’t have an excess room to designate as the pooches bathroom so it’s just in the corner of our bedroom. It’s ok and we can overlook it day to day, but when the company comes over we hide the litter box under our bed!

We haven’t seen any nice litter boxes like some we’ve seen for cats, and until that happens, we will keep using the eyesore.

Litter can be expensive

We don’t want the smell to ruin our bedroom so we clean and replace the litter box 3-4 times a month. Which means we go through about two and a half bags of litter a month. Each bag is about $20 from Petco.

Thank goodness for online shopping to help keep the costs down. We buy in bulk so we have some on hand and have it delivered to our porch. It’s great!.

Some people might think you’re weird

I grew up with cats. I understand the appeal of litter boxes, but until meeting Bailey, I had never entertained the idea of a puppy using one. Mind blown! I think it’s the best thing ever. However, not everyone reacts as I did.

Apparently some people are weirded out by the thought of a puppy doing his business in a litter box. Where I see convenience, they seem strange. People laugh. Others look at us like we are aliens.

One time my boyfriend needed to board Bailey for a week. When he got to the boarding house he asked if they wanted him to leave Bailey’s litter box too. Poor guy, he said the workers just judgingly stared at him like he didn’t know the difference between a kitty cat and a puppy.

If we don’t go for a walk, the puppy doesn’t go outside

We love our pup and enjoy taking him for sunset walks around our neighborhood. The sun setting in the pacific ocean blasting the clouds with neon colors is one of our favorite sights to see as a family. Bailey is happy because he gets to run around and get some exercise and we get a break from work.

As much as we enjoy it, sometimes we work so hard the day gets away from us and before we know it, it’s time for bed. Pup Pup didn’t get to go frolicking in the nearby fields and we feel bad he didn’t get to go outside even once that day.

The litter box lifestyle is not a fit for every puppy owner. In my opinion, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. I love it.

I recommend it. It’s great for us. We just have to be cognizant of the cons and be sure to keep it clean. I’m sure your indoor pooch will be grateful when you’re gone for a few hours, and you’ll love not having to wake up to a bathroom emergency. Give it a shot!

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