7 Tips for Dogs That Refuse to Potty in the Rain
Why Do Dogs Refuse to Potty in the Rain?
Is your dog refusing to go potty in the rain? You can't blame them—nobody really likes to get wet. If you have a dog that doesn't like to go out when it's raining, the situation may be quite frustrating to deal with, especially on those days when the wet weather stays steady and never seems to stop.
Why Does My Dog Dislike Wet Weather so Much?
There may be several reasons why your dog doesn't like to potty in wet weather. Here are a few possibilities:
- Lack of exposure: Many dogs weren't exposed to rain when they were puppies, so they grow up not being used to the sensation of getting wet.
- Negative associations: If your dog is tentative about going out when it's raining and you get upset and scold them, your dog may start associating twet weather with bad things.
- Our overreactions: Some people avoid the rain as much as possible when walking their dogs and avoid puddles like the plague. The fact that we make a big deal about getting wet can affect how our dogs experience weather as well.
- Our frustration: When we get frustrated when our dogs won't potty in wet weather, we can make matters even worse. Dogs easily pick up on our moods and reactions, so they may learn that rain is bad and should be avoided at all costs.
7 Tips to Help Your Dog Pee or Poop in the Rain
In Arizona, where I live, things can be particularly problematic because dogs aren't accustomed to seeing rain for a good part of the year. Then, during monsoon season, the wet weather comes non-stop for days at a time. Having dealt with this problem first-hand with my Rottweilers, I have come up with a nice list of tips to help your dog get comfortable when it comes to pottying in wet weather.
1. Get your dog used to water.
Domestication may very well have spoiled our dogs. Dogs in the wild must get wet if they want to eat, yet domesticated dogs rarely get wet nowadays. I recommend getting young dogs used to rain from a young age. For this reason, water is something I include in my socialization classes.
I suggest getting a garden hose or a kiddy pool for your dog to play in. Your dog will have lots of fun! Even if your dog first appears shy of the water, it may only take them a few minutes to warm up to it. Of course, never force them to engage in play if they are absolutely uncomfortable. Try slowing down and start with minor activities and work your way up to more exposure.
2. Feed them on wet grass.
Rain is often not the only problem with dogs that hate water. Many dogs also seem to hate walking on wet grass. Well, guess what? You can classically condition your dog to love wet grass.
If it has not rained recently, wet the grass with a garden hose and put your dog's food bowl down on it or toss some treats around. You can also play a fun game of fetch on the grass. Your dog will start to associate wet grass with food or other fun things.
3. Let them walk.
Walking stimulates elimination. Take your dog for a walk in the rain. Sooner or later, the urge for them to potty will come, so be patient. It may be tough at first, but your dog will get used to the rain and the time it takes for them to go potty will gradually shorten.
4. Invest in a large umbrella.
If you are looking for shortcuts, using an umbrella may work. Doggy boots may be helpful as well in addition to a dog raincoat. But be aware, your dog may get used to these items and could go back to refusing to potty if one of them isn't available at a given time. Don't have an umbrella? Get your dog a nice raincoat instead!
5. Use a covered area.
It's not a bad idea to take your dog to a covered area to potty. Look for a tree with thick foliage, a carport, or build an area that covers a suitable substrate that you can bring your dog to when it rains. Of course, if you're using a public place, don't forget to pick up after your dog!
6. Wait until your dog really needs to go.
This approach may work in some cases. If it is raining outside, delay your dog's potty time. Instead of going out at 9 p.m., take your dog out at 10:30 p.m. or wait until your dog goes to the door. At this point, the urge to potty may override their fear of rain.
7. Train your dog with a "go potty" cue.
This will help your dog adapt the behavior of going potty to different situations, places, and scenarios. This is a very helpful cue. Here are tips on how to train your dog how to potty on command.
DIY Dog Raincoat
Figure Out What Works for Your Dog
With a little attention and patience, your dog can learn to potty in wet weather. If you are diligent about your training and choose one of the methods above, you will likely be successful in your efforts. If the problem seems unmanageable, consider working with a professional behaviorist.
Does your dog hate to potty in the rain?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Why are my dogs going potty in the house, even when it's not raining?
Dogs refusing to potty in the rain develop a tendency to go potty in the house for the simple fact that rain to these dogs is perceived as highly aversive. These dogs do not like the feeling of rain or are scared of storms, and therefore, will keep it for as long as they can. At some point, they no longer can hold it and will go potty in the house.Helpful 17
Are there ways to get your dog to pee so they don't get wet in the rain?
There are several options to get a dog to pee so that they don't get wet. One is to take the dog under a covered area (carport, tent, gazebo, area tarps, although with this latter dogs may be frightened by its movement/noise) and another option is to use a large umbrella. Many small dog owners use indoor pee pads for dogs who are squeamish about peeing in wet or cold weather. Owners of male dogs may use belly bands. Some dog owners use raincoats.Helpful 23
It's been raining all day and now it's 8:00 pm and my dog hasn't gone potty for 24 hours because of the constant heavy rain all day. What can I do to walk the dog despite the rain?
You can try walking your dog using a large umbrella or taking him to a covered area (like under a carport, pavilion) where hopefully he can relax a bit, sniff around and do his business. Make sure to praise your dog lavishly and give him a treat when he goes. I have been there when my dogs were puppies they hated to potty in the rain and I didn't want them to go to bed on a full bladder, so I had to spend hours outside in hopes of them going. They always went eventually and when they went we threw a party so to leave a positive impact on them.Helpful 17
How do I get my dog to poop outside when it's raining? He peed out there just fine, but wouldn't poop!
Pooping can be a little more challenging, considering that dogs are often picky of where to poop and they may do better in holding their poop compared to their pee. It can help to walk your dog and let him sniff around. What helped me the most was training my dogs to pee and poop on command. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Train-a-Dog-to-...Helpful 15
My dog hates to go potty in the rain and we're getting ready to have a hurricane to come through and I really don't won't to be out there either. How do I get him to use the bathroom if it's inside?
This is not easy, as your dog sounds like he's been used to going potty outside. You can help him by re-creating the surface he is used to going. For example, if outside he is used to going on grass, get a porch potty made with artificial turf, if he goes on gravel, try a litter filled with gravel. You can try to keep him in an indoor area by the door. Put a baby gate by the hallway by the door or an exercise pen, and place some pee pads closest to the door and food bowl/water bowl, dog bed the opposite side. Your dog may whine, bark in hopes of being let out to potty, but once the urge is too strong, he may just eliminate nearby the door. If you catch him going potty, praise and reward him as likely he'll feel uncomfortable about that. A well potty trained dog may struggle with this tough, and may hold it for long and often feels deeply confused about it.Helpful 10
© 2008 Adrienne Farricelli