Wet grass is the scourge of dogs’ butts everywhere.
It’s cold. It’s moist. It’s, honestly, really unpleasant. It’s understandable your dog doesn’t want to do her business in the rain…would you want to? But with rainy season well entrenched in most parts of the country, it’s time to get serious about rainy bathroom breaks. Your dog can’t hold it until spring, so here’s how to make the whole process less of a struggle.
Practice “On-Demand” Potty Breaks
Did you know that all service dogs are trained to go to the bathroom on-command? Your dog can be, too. It takes a little practice and you’ll definitely want to get started during pleasant weather, but the sooner the better. It’s simple: when you take your dog outside and she starts to poo or pee, repeat your “on-demand command” until she finishes. Something as short as “Be quick!” works great, but be sure to follow up with a treat or playtime immediately after she’s done to reinforce the good behavior.
The idea is to teach your dog to associate your on-demand command with potty time + treats. It’s also smart to withhold treats and affection until after your dog has done her business no matter the weather. This will encourage her not to dawdle.
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Get Geared Up
Okay, so your dog knows her on-demand command but she is not having the misty weather. Her fur! Her paws! (What a diva, right?) If your pooch practically turns into the rolling eye emoji when you open the door in the rain, you need weather gear.
There are hundreds of adorable, affordable rain jackets available online in every size imaginable. You could also consider doggy rain boots if you think your pup will tolerate them, but keep in mind that for some dogs, especially males, they make peeing and pooping cleanly more difficult. You’ll also want to invest in a large golf umbrella big enough to cover yourself and your pooch while standing in the rain.
Create a Dry Spot
If all else fails, it may be time for a little DIY project. First, figure out what it is that your dog dislikes. Is the grass wet on her bum when she squats? Is the pavement too cold on her paws? Does she simply dislike getting the fur on her back wet? Once you know, you can create a little doggy obstacle course that helps your pooch avoid these common weather-related pitfalls.
Remember that your dog will probably want to pee relatively close to your home and poo as far away as possible. Do what you can to create dry zones for her to patronize. Adding an awning, opening a patio umbrella, or even directing her near your roofline might help. You might want to even consider spreading a tarp over part of your yard when it rains to keep one area clean and dry for when it’s time to go. If your dog usually does her business during walks, always bring your umbrella and do a little recognizance to find some sheltered outdoor spots near your house. They’re out there!
Bathroom battles got you down? If your dog is really, truly fighting her bathroom routine she might be due for a visit to the vet. There’s a chance she could have a UTI or other undiagnosed issue (especially if she’s been “holding it!”) so it’s better to be safe than sorry.