When it’s cold and snowing outside, all we want to do is cuddle up on the couch with our favorite blanket and a good book.
Your home is warm and cozy, so why would you want to go outside?
Odds are, your puppy is probably thinking the same thing, but unlike us fortunate humans who have our own bathroom, your pooch doesn’t have this luxury, and needs to go potty come rain or shine!
House training your puppy during these winter months can be a struggle, as they aren’t likely to want to venture outside when it’s cold, especially if it’s raining or snowing.
If you’ve got a relatively young or small pup, they’re also likely to feel the cold more, and are more susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite!
Luckily for you, we’ve got some amazing tips that will make your life a lot easier during the colder months.
Practice Making It Quick!
One thing that will really help, is training your pup to go quickly. Make sure you have everything with you, such as poop bags, leash, and warm clothing, and practice making it quick.
You can do this by limiting any play time or walking, and head straight to the desired area the minute you leave your home.
Using a certain cue, so your pup knows it’s time to go will also help, this can be any word or phrase, or even a clap of your hands or a click.
Positive reinforcement is also a great tool, so remember to take plenty of treats with you!
Create A Designated Spot Near The Door
When it’s cold, it’s a good idea to create a designated area for your puppy to go. If you make sure this spot is close to your door, then neither of you will have to venture too far into the cold.
If you live in an apartment, this can be just around the block or corner, or if you live in a house, you can make sure this spot is close to your door.
Make sure this spot is big enough and has been cleared from all snow, ice, or dirt and debris. Use your usual markings as an incentive, and give them positive reinforcement when they manage to go in this area.
You can also leave your boots, coats, scarves, and anything you need directly by the door so the going in and out is as swift and quick as possible.
Adjust Their Schedule In The Winter
You can also adjust your puppy’s feeding time so their need to go is less in the nighttime when it’s colder.
If you can, try and delay their feeding time until slightly later in the morning so that it is warmer when they need to go.
You can also make sure they have their dinner earlier in the evening, so it’s not so late when they need to go outside again.
It may take some time for them to adjust to this, but once they do, it’ll be worth it.
Keep Playtime Spots And Potty Spots Separate
If you have managed to create a designated quick potty spot for your puppy, use this area for potty training only.
If you take your puppy to this area on your usual walks and playtime dates, then you run the risk of them associating that area with playtime, and they won’t do their business as quickly as you’d like them to.
Be sure to find separate areas for walks and playtime, and if they’re far away from their quick potty spot, even better!
Make Sure You Have Appropriate Clothing For Them
As mentioned above, your young pup is likely to feel the cold a lot more than older dogs, so make sure you suit them up appropriately.
You can put them in a sweater, a coat, a scarf, whatever you feel will keep them warm and comfortable. This will also give you more flexibility when it comes to staying outdoors, so they can do their business.
The same goes for you as an owner. You should make sure that you’re wearing the appropriate clothing, in case you need to stay outdoors for longer than anticipated in order for them to go.
Keeping yours and their clothes right by the door is also a great way to make this quick and easy, as mentioned earlier.
Use A Potty Pad
Indoor accidents are inevitable when it comes to puppies, especially during the colder months.
During this period, puppy pads will decrease the amount of mess and damage in your home. They also serve as a good form of potty training, as you can train your pup to relieve themselves in a designated area in your home.
While some believe that this will make your puppy think that it’s okay to go inside, others have stated that it has helped them train their puppies to go in a designated area, and this easily translates to outside.
Whichever side you are on, these pads are very useful, as they are super absorbent, block odor, and are very easy to clean up.
If you notice the weather is getting rough, place several puppy pads around your home, so your little pup knows where they can go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay for puppies to pee outside in the cold?
Some puppy breeds aren’t too affected by the cold weather. In this case, potty training them outside during the winter months isn’t a problem.
However, there are many small puppies that are more sensitive to the cold, which makes potty training during the winter a lot harder.
Despite this, it is perfectly fine for them to pee outside in the winter, as long as they are wrapped up warm and comfortable.
At what age should a puppy be housebroken?
For a puppy to be completely house-trained, it normally takes around 4 to 6 months, with the appropriate training.
However, some can take up to a year. This all depends on the puppy itself and how early training is started.
Puppy training in the winter can be unpleasant for both puppy and owner, especially if you live in very cold regions.
These tips have provided you with some guidance and tricks on how you can get your puppy to go about its business quickly and easily.
Even if your puppy is trained to go outside, if you do notice the weather is getting very unpleasant, you should always place some puppy pads around your home, so you can be assured your puppy has somewhere to relieve itself and will make a limited amount of mess.
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