5 Dog Potty Tips For Rainy Days

by Sydney Hess

Person walking dogs in the rain

5 tips to help make rainy days less frustrating and encourage successful potty trips outside when the weather is less than desirable.

Rainy weather can trigger indoor potty accidents whether you have an 8-week-old puppy or a 5-year-old adult dog. Some dogs just don’t like getting their paws wet, plain and simple! However, there are ways to make rainy days less frustrating and to encourage successful potty trips outside rather than on your rug. You may just have to be willing to get a little wet too.

1. Make rainy days enjoyable. 

This step is essential to ensure that your pup is not afraid of rainstorms. Getting over their dislike of wet paws is one thing, but it will make the situation even more challenging if they are also fearful of the sight or sound of rain. Try to keep your pup on their regular routine, regardless of the weather. If they normally go for a walk in the morning, brave the drizzle and take them! Of course, make sure to check the forecast so that you don’t end up in severe weather, but a light rain shower should be perfectly safe for all involved. 

If your dog is already conditioned to be fearful of the rain, take baby steps and don’t force anything on them. Play light rain sounds on the TV while they enjoy a lick mat or snuffle toy. Get them a special chew that they only get on rainy days. Start building positive associations with rainy weather, so that hopefully one day it won’t be such a scary thing anymore. 

2. Go out with them for encouragement. 

If we won’t go out in the rain with our dogs, how can we expect them to want to? Apartment dog parents may not have a choice but to brave the rain with their pups, but for those that are privileged enough to have a backyard, it becomes routine to open a backdoor and let the dogs out on their own. For the dogs that refuse to go out on their own during rainy weather, it will be necessary to go out with them for encouragement! Have high-value rewards like Sundays at the ready to “pay” them for a job well done. 

3. Practice their ‘go potty’ cue.

Go potty, do your business, get busy, or whatever you want to call it, be sure that you are actively teaching and reminding your dog of their potty cue! Most pet parents say some sort of cue when their dogs go out to potty, but very few dogs actually know what they mean. This is often because pet parents skip the reward after the job is finished! Dogs that truly have their potty cue down pat will potty on command regardless if they need to go urgently or not. There is never any shame in going back to the basics of training, so try to remember to reward your pup for doing their business on good weather days, so that you’ll both be ready on the bad weather days. 

4. Try a raincoat or booties. 

Many dogs genuinely dislike the feeling of getting wet, so rain boots or a raincoat can make a big difference during the rainy season! With that said, be mindful that it is not natural for dogs to be comfortable wearing clothing. Desensitization to whatever article of clothing you choose will be necessary before expecting them to have success wearing them! Don’t be surprised if your pup suddenly forgets how to use their feet when you first put on a pair of boots. Desensitize one foot and one boot at a time! The WagWellies by Wagwear are a personal favorite for comfort and style. 

5. Have patience. 

Try to not get upset or discouraged if accidents happen on rainy days. Remember that we want to keep rainy days fun and positive, so making our pups feel guilty over something they cannot control will end up causing more accidents in the long run. Put yourself in their paws, nobody really wants to potty in the rain! 

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