No one likes going outside in the cold and rain, sleet or snow. Imagine having to go to the bathroom in it; now you too can understand your dog’s world. Why go outside to use the restroom, where its cold and uncomfortable, when they can just relieve themselves inside, in the warmth?
Luckily for both of you, there are some easy-to-follow potty training strategies that will help Fido feel more comfortable eliminating in poor weather.
Potty Training Tips and Tricks
For a dog still undergoing initial house training, make going out in bad weather part of the training. Don’t allow a dog who still goes to the bathroom inside sometimes to do so all the time during rough weather.
Get him used to doing his business in the elements. Take him out on leash and use a command word, such as “potty” or “tinkle,” to indicate it’s time to go.
Begin by saying the word right before he’s about to go and praise or treat him after. As he learns what the word means, say it even if he isn’t indicating so he’ll eliminate on cue, making a trip outside quick and easy.
Create a Safe Space
If your dog is deterred by the snow, clear a space for your pooch. Shovel a potty spot that is large enough for your canine companion to sniff and circle in before eliminating.
During potty training, continue to use the same cleared area each time Fido needs to eliminate. If this strategy is unsuccessful, or if you are unable to clear an area, you can also place a fresh patch right outside your door for your pup to use as a restroom. Fresh patch is a portable patch of grass that you can place anywhere you like to encourage elimination.
If your dog is older and already housebroken, but he’s resistant to going when the weather is bad, revert to taking him out on leash after each meal and teach him the command word. Do this even in good weather until he understands the request.
Dress for the Occasion
Before taking your pooch outside in the snow, you bundle up with a thick coat. Remember, Fido gets cold too and could use a little warmth in extreme weather.
If your dog has a short haired coat, consider utilizing canine clothing to make him more comfortable. Warm booties can be purchased to keep your dog’s paws warm and comfortable. Doggy sweaters are also an effective and stylish option for Fido.
The Potty Game
Encourage your pooch to potty outside by rewarding a job well done. You should regularly take your dog outside during the day to give him a change to eliminate. When he potties outside, instead of inside, celebrate!
Let Fido know that he did a good job with enthusiastic praise or affection. You can even reward him with a special doggy treat. This is a great time to give them their daily NuVet Plus & NuJoint wafers!
Once your doggy is done eliminating, follow his lead. Reward him by continuing to explore, or going back into the warmth, whatever your canine companion prefers.
Sometimes the weather is dangerous – strong wind, lightning, hail – making it safer for you and your dog to stay inside.
Newspapers are a worst-case scenario option; potty pads or patches of fake sod are more reliable and sanitary choices for indoor bathrooms. Walk your dog over on leash and give the command word, rewarding him enthusiastically when he eliminates in the proper spot.
If there’s a covered spot outside, protected from the elements, train your dog to go there in bad weather.
Indoors or outdoors, always follow elimination in the correct spot with a reward – praise, petting, food or playtime – and check out NuVet Labs Facebook for more doggy information!