We all know it’s not very pleasant to use a cold bathroom in the middle of winter. So, it’s no surprise to know that our dogs feel the same discomfort when it’s cold outside. Often dogs refuse to go potty outside in the cold or rain, causing them to hold it all day and eventually have accidents in the house. This is harmful to your pet and not to mention bad for your rugs, that’s why we have a few tricks to get you through!
Shovel a Spot:
Uncover a small grassy area for them to use, it should be big enough for them to turn around a few times and sniff the area. It’s best to do this in an area that they have used before, they will get the “green light” to go if they can pick up the scent of past potties. Also, make sure to bundle them up in jackets and sweaters that fit snug to avoid accidents. You may want to invest in little booties for them as well for days where the ground is frozen.
Give Out Treats:
You can help train your dog to go on command by using cue words such as “Go Potty or Time to Go” to help them know when it’s time to potty. In my house, we say, “Let’s go do a good boy” to let our dog Rigsby know when it’s time head out for a bathroom break. Once you use the verbal cues, make sure to dole out treats liberally. It may be cold for you outside as well but stand right next to them to hand them out as soon as they go. If you wait until they return to the doorway then they may think they treat is because they are coming to you and not because of the potty break.
Make an Indoor Potty Place:
If all else fails and the weather is truly terrible outside for weeks and your dog absolutely refuses to use potty outside, you can make an indoor bathroom for your dog. Be aware that if you do this, it can be very hard for them to be house trained to use the bathroom outside again. It does, however, make sense for some families to set up an exercise pen or baby gate in the garage/laundry room and make a special area for them use. Put real grass bathroom patches or a pee pad in the area so they know that they have a safe space to use in the home and leave your carpets safe from accidents
It can be really hard on pets and pet parents in the winter months, so hopefully, these tips will help you get through until spring. Don’t forget to let us know any tips that work for you in the comments!