Learning how to house train your pup in the winter months might seem like an extra challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. It is cold and no one really wants to go outside every couple of hours, including your dog. So make it fun! You have to bundle up and go out anyways, so once he does his duty, have a little fun. Here are some of my suggestions on how to house train your pup in the winter.
Related: Important Safety Tips for Training Your Dog in the Snow
Tips to Help You House Train Your Pup in the Winter
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Shovel him a spot: When the snow flies, his usual spots get covered and he is left wondering where he is supposed to go now. You can help him with this! When you are out shoveling paths to cars and the mailbox, shovel your pooch a path to his spot. Would you want to tromp through the cold snow with no pants on and find a spot to pee? Neither does Fido He will thank you, and you will thank yourself, because he won’t be doing his duty in the house.
Bundle up: If you are wearing a coat to take him out to go potty, he might want to be warm when he is out there as well. Be sure to get a coat that fits the way it should, so he when he is doing his business, you won’t be adding to your laundry pile as well. Depending on how long you will be outside, you might want to dress him in layers. Check out www.ruffwear.com for some great choices in dog wear!
Booties: It will be comical at first to watch your pooch walk around with these new additions to his paws! These are actually beneficial, especially in the potty training stage. It is cold outside, no one wants to go out and your pup is no exception. Booties are going to help to keep his feet a little warm and definately free of snow, ice and the harmful chemicals used on sidewalks and roads. You can go to your local Petco or Petsmart stores or you can check www.amazon.com or www.ruffwear.com as well for lots of choices and prices ranges.
Regular breaks: This is important. When you have a puppy, it is kind of like having a toddler, you need to keep eyes on him at all times and keep track of how long it has been since he ate and drank, so you don’t find surprises in some corner of your house. In general, you want to take him out 20 minutes after eating, and once every hour or two hours during the day. And make it fun! After you bundle him up, take some training treats with you and a toy. Bring him to his spot that you have shoveled out and when he is done, play in the snow a bit, and give him lots of praise.
Keep it indoors: I know the ideal is that you train your dog to go outside, but the reality is that it might not be the best choice for your pet, or even you. I have a Chiweenie and she hates to be cold. She was originally trained to go on a puppy pad in the house. Later we trained her to go outside when we moved to a warmer climate, but living in New England, those were rough winters. Not to mention, I could have lost her in the snow! You have some choices when it comes to training indoors. There are puppy pads, or you can use a litter box, or even a grass-covered area to make it more comfortable for your pup. You still have to keep track and take him to the spot every hour or so, but it can be done.
House training your pup in the winter has it’s challenges but it is not impossible. Actually, it is a good time to do it! You are getting your pup used to the snow and cold. Just be sure to dress him warm. Don’t think of them as fashion accessories, coats and booties serve a purpose. Wouldn’t you rather be curled up on the couch with him in the warmth, then cleaning up his messes?