Help! My Dog Won't Go Outside When It's Raining

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When it's raining out, the last thing you want to do is leave your warm, dry home — and your pup is most likely feeling the same. But unless you've trained your dog to relieve themself in a specific area of the house, going outside in poor weather is necessary to avoid accidents and prevent your pet from holding it in. Here's what to do if your dog won't relieve themselves in the rain.

Why Your Dog Won't Go Out in Rain

One of the most common reasons why your dog won't pee in rain is simply because they don't like being rained on or having wet paws. Walking around on the squishy, wet earth and getting mud squeezed into your paws must be an awful feeling.

If your dog is young, they simply might not have had enough exposure to the elements, and because of this, they're more likely to push back when you try to get them to use the bathroom.

Similarly, if you haven't potty trained your dog, they haven't learned the skills to go on command. Adding wetness to the mix makes them even more likely to avoid the experience.

A woman in a yellow rain coat with her dog sitting under a large umbrella in the rain.

Helping Your Dog in the Rain

Here are three tips for helping your dog relieve themself in the rain:

  1. Get them accustomed to wet paws. If your dog seems bothered by wet feet, there are a few ways you can train them to be more comfortable with wet paws. The easiest option is to feed your dog treats or even their meals on wet grass (still in their bowl of course). The more positive experiences they have with wet paws, the less it will bother them — especially if you're putting in effort to clean and dry them afterward.
  2. Purchase gear to make your dog more comfortable. Accessories can also be helpful if you're worried about why your dog won't go out in rain. For example, rain boots, a rain jacket and a large umbrella could resolve some of your dog's issues. The accessories may take a little getting used to, but your pet may prefer them over getting wet.
  3. Take your pup for a walk. It may be inconvenient, but you might find that walking your dog in the rain is the easiest and fastest way to get your furry friend to go in inclement weather.

What About Other Types of Weather?

If your dog won't pee or poop in rain, chances are they'll also feel uncomfortable going outside when it's snowing or thundering. In fact, you may have to take extra care during these elements.

When it's snowing, shovel a path for your dog before allowing them outside. This may involve shoveling some of the grass as well so your dog will recognize the texture and know that's the spot they're meant to relieve themselves in.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states, "Winter walks can turn dangerous quickly if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off legs and paws." They recommend wiping down your dog's paws and belly as soon as you return home. In hail, your pet needs extra protection. Here's where a large, strong umbrella comes in handy. Outdoors shelters such as a carport or covered porch may be where they need to do their business.

Thunderstorms can be worrisome for dogs. Reader's Digest suggests that some dogs have noise phobias and they can sense the static electricity, or change in ions and barometric pressure, as well as a few other factors. If you know a storm is coming, try to get your pet to relieve themselves first. If that doesn't work, wait for a break in the storm before heading outside.

And remember, there are other options for getting your dog to relieve themself in bad weather. For example, litter boxes don't have to be just for cats. Some dogs can be trained to use them as well. There are also potty pads to use indoors with various textural options, like real grass.

Whatever the reason your dog is that your dog doesn't like to go out in the rain, with a little bit of planning, a lot of patience, some training and some extra love they will start to understand what they need to do and will quickly go out to do their business and come right back in.

Contributor Bio

Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila is a pet enthusiast who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Instagram @ErinOllila or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.

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