This post was graciously provided by Jessica Benoit RVT, CPDT-KA, Fear Free Certified Trainer of Companion Veterinary Clinic, Edmonton.
Cold Weather Bathroom Blues
It’s hard to go outside in the winter months. Some of you may also notice it’s difficult for you dogs to make it outside for their bathroom breaks!
Here are some helpful tips to encourage your dog to maintain their housetraining habits even during the cold winter months:
1. Bundle Up
Have your coat, boots, gloves and treats ready to go outside with them. This way we can ensure they are going to the bathroom and it gives us the chance to reinforce this behaviour.
2. Bundle Your Dog Up
Have THEIR boots and coat ready! Some dogs would prefer to bundle up to go outside. If this makes your dog more comfortable and more inclined to go outside, please take the time to do this.
3. Shovel a Path
It can be daunting for us to look at the snow piling up outside, but can you imagine if you were only a couple inches off the ground? Making a path will not only help keep your dog’s paws dry and less cold but will encourage them to go outside.
4. Avoid Punishment
Do not punish your dog for accidents in the house. This will only teach them that you can be scary and unpredictable. Most dog’s that are punished for accidents in the house will still do it, but they will do it where you are less likely to find it. Punishment also does not teach your dogs what they are supposed to do.
5. Clean Up Accidents
Ensure you clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner. This will help discourage your dog from urinating or defecating in the same spot again.
Consistency and positive reinforcement of the desired behaviour really can go a long way when it comes to housetraining habits. Bundle up and enjoy the winter season with your furry friend!