Knowing how to potty-train your puppy in the winter is essential if you are living in a 4 season country. Due to the seasonal changes, you will likely face more accidents with potty when the weather turns cold.
Thus, it’s important that you learn and know how to help your puppy with his potty during the winter.
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Potty Training A Puppy In The Winter
To potty train a puppy in the winter, you have to take care of how your puppy’s body is going to react in the cold weather as well as to do some essential preparation (keep the path to his potty spot clear of snow, make him wear a coat or dog booties) to ensure that he have a safe and smooth elimination.
Keep the Potty Session Quick And Short
If you are still feeling cold despite fully “gear” up when going outside during the snow, the same goes for your dog.
So it is important that you keep the potty session short and do not stay out too long. Also choose a potty area that is near to your home.
Bring him to the same potty area (this is important as your puppy would likely be able to pee and poop instantly on his favorite spot) and be there with him.
Do not show any sign of excitement or making any eye contact with him as you do not want him to get distracted and forget that he is here for his elimination.
Usually a puppy would start his peeing within a minute if he has to go and remember to reward and praise him once he has done it.
I would not encourage your puppy to do his elimination indoors despite the unfavorable condition (cold weather) because this might have a negative impact on his house training process.
As with all training programs, it is important to maintain consistency in your training approaches and if you are training your puppy to do his potty outdoors in the summer and change that to indoor during the winter, that would confuse your puppy and would lead to more accidents.
As a general guideline, for a puppy of one month old, he can walk and stay in the snow for about 5 minutes. So if your puppy is 2 months old, you should bring him back home after spending 10 minutes outside.
Bring your puppy straight to the potty spot the moment you bring him outside and back to your home after he finishes his elimination. If your puppy wants to play in the snow, allocate another session for him.
Keep in mind that he cannot be in the cold weather for too long.
Bundle Up Your Puppy
Do not feel odd if you see some dog owners making their dogs wear coats during the winter. This is perfectly normal, just as you would wear more clothing during the winter, you should do the same for your puppy.
So do observe your puppy and if you see him shivering when you bring him outside for potty during the winter, get him a vest to give him some additional warmth.
The normal temperature range for a puppy without the need to expand his energy to maintain his body temperature is 20 to 30 deg Celsius.
When his temperature falls out of this range, and he is not able to maintain it (especially in the winter), this may affect his overall well-being.
So keep a close watch out for your dog reaction during the winter and have him put on coat if necessary.
Take Care Of Your Puppy’s Paw
During the winter time when you have to bring your puppy out for his pee and poop, it’s important to make sure that his physical state is well taken care of, especially his paw.
If you see your puppy walking funny like hiking, or he is simply just laying down on the snow ground despite the fact that the ground is so icy cold, your puppy is likely doing that in response to a cold foot.
You would need to address this issue as you can’t expect your puppy to do his potty when he is in an uncomfortable state.
What you can possibly do is to make him wear booties.
Now, I have heard many dog owners mentioning that their dogs simply don’t like the idea of wearing booties and would attempt to try “kicking” that off.
This can easily be overcome. What you need is some patience and let your puppy get used to it gradually.Just like when you first wear your spectacle, you would feel discomfort and would attempt to make adjustments here and there, but gradually you will be getting used to it once you start wearing it often.
This goes for your booties experience for your puppy. Go for a few rounds of having him wear the booties and reward him consistency till he feels comfortable with his booties.
This will take time, so get your puppy booties and do the training before the winter comes.
Beware Of Risk
Always make sure that you have a leash attached to your puppy as he may start to roam around when he is out for his potty and may run into the risk of falling through the ice of a frozen lake or pond.
If possible, keep the potty area away from these areas and preferably just a few steps away from your home.
If you want to bring him for a walk before his potty, do keep this “risk” in mind.
Clear A Path From Your House To Potty Spot
If your area is full of snow during the winter, make an effort to clear up a pathway from your home to the designated potty spot and you will save yourself the hassle of cleaning up your dog’s paw after his potty.
Also removing the ice will avoid your dog from attempting to play in the snow and forget that he is supposed to do his elimination.
Of course, the other alternative will be to hand carry your puppy to the potty area for him to do his elimination.
Do Not Be Lazy – Bring Him Out For Potty
There are times when it’s the owner who feels the trouble of bringing his puppy outside for potty rather than the dog.
There are many reasons for this and the most common one is simply because the weather is just too cold, and he doesn’t really want to face the cold outside. The other reason could be it’s too time-consuming as he would need to keep a close watch on the puppy.
These factors might make the owner opt for an easier route, which is making use of a peeing pad or newspaper to “settle” his dog potty in the house.
As I have shared in the start of the post, making your puppy do his elimination indoor during winter might adversely affect your potty training (as you are confusing him whether he should do his pee in the house or outside).
So motivate yourself and put up with the cold weather to bring your puppy outside.
Your puppy cannot house-trained himself and would need your help to bring him outside, show him the place and guide him to do his potty. This needs to be carried out constantly regardless whether it’s summer or winter else your dog would not be properly potty trained.
Just ensure that you keep him warm when he is back from his potty in the winter time.
Stick To A Consistent Schedule
Make sure that you have a consistent schedule that includes your puppy feeding, walking and resting time.
By having a fixed routine schedule, your puppy will be more inclined to know when he should do his potty and you would certainly not have to wait for a long time in the rain or snow to wait for him to do his elimination.
In fact, dogs like routine as this will allow him to expect what is coming next and be physically and mentally prepared.
Potty Area During Winter
At times, the usual potty area that your puppy used to go is fully covered up with heavy snow in the winter and this makes your puppy not willing to do his pee and poo over there anymore.
You can observe this behavior if you see your puppy keeps sniffing around to look for another potty spot.
What you can do is to shovel out another area for your puppy to do his potty. Create a little spot in your backyard and pave a nice little pathway for him to walk to the spot.
You can leave some of his stool to create the scent for him to be comfortable with the new potty area.
There you go, you have just learned the 8 TIPS to help you with the potty training of your puppy in the winter. Give these tips a try and feel free to leave any comment or if you have more to share with us (Dog Lovers!)