Winter potty training
Potty training is an essential part of having a dog, and you don’t want to delay it for too long. You might get a puppy in colder months, even when it’s snowing outside. Does that mean it’s going to be impossible to potty train? The answer is no!
Here are 6 useful tips to potty train your puppy in the winter.
1) Clean and prepare the area
Don’t expect your puppy to dig a tunnel through the snow to come out of the house. Properly cleaned areas, free of ice and snow, are a must. You should remove salt and chemicals used to dissolve ice. In case of a harsh winter, prepare a spot that you will always keep clean for this purpose.
2) Don’t just let the dog out, take him out
Different dog breeds have different affinity for snow. Certain kinds have more body hair and adapt to winter conditions (Huskies for example).
Some dogs will be more reluctant to go outside when it’s cold or snowing. For dogs who are more sensitive to cold, you can use snacks and rewards to tempt them outside.
It’s very important to start with cleaning and preparing the area. The puppy will understand that’s the spot for potty training, which will help him adapt faster.
Never just let the dog out into the cold. Always take him out and use positive reinforcement (treats, play, etc.).
3) Have everything ready
Prepare your boots, coat, leash, and plastic bags, always having them at hand.
For dogs more sensitive to cold, you can buy doggy clothing to keep them warm. If there is a lot of ice, salt, or snow outside, consider purchasing protective boots for your dog. It might take a while to get used to them, but they will prevent cuts and damage to the paws.
4) Make it more than just potty training
Consider playing outside with the puppy, rewarding him with treats. Rewards will make the experience more pleasant.
The winter is not solely snow blizzards and freezing winds. There are always days that you can use to play with your dog.
You can also turn it around and use play as a reward after training. Don’t forget to bring treats.
Remember to be consistent and try not to get lazy. Consistency is vital in potty training.
5) Don’t buy the “show”
Your dog might become a good actor when it’s time to go outside in the cold. Most dog’s natural coat will protect them from freezing. In other cases, use clothing and protective boots.
However, they might try to make you believe they are having a terrible time. Your job is to prepare the area so your dog can keep warm. Other than that, they will be just fine!
6) Extreme conditions
If the weather is terrible and it’s almost impossible to take the dog out that day, consider other solutions.
You can buy pads and artificial grass patches. Dog litter (similar to cat litter), is also an option.
If the weather is tolerable, try not to resort to these options, as they might prolong the time of potty training.