Wintry Woes of Potty Training

Potty training in the winter can present extra challenges. Continue to follow the potty training gold standards of crating, direct supervision, setting timers (pottying within 20 minutes of eating, drinking, playing, waking up), starting the walk/fun after pottying, and feeding high value treats as soon as your dog finishes pottying outside. Our tips below are designed to help you survive potty training in snowy, rainy, wintry mix weather.  

  1. If you have to put on layers, it may take you longer than normal to get outside. Rather than play “Beat The Clock”, set a timer and bundle up well before the potty dance ensues.

  2. Some dogs are sensitive to cold wet surfaces. Shovel out a path to the designated potty spot. Consider “rolling out the red carpet” to the grassy potty spot with old towels or carpet runners.

  3. Consider putting a patch of sod in a carport, garage, or covered patio. If you have an outdoor heater, you could use that as well to create a more hospitable potty area.

  4. If your dog doesn't enjoy playing dress up, forgo the sweaters, jackets, and booties. Instead of booties, consider using a pet safe wax on her paws for protection against salted sidewalks.

  5. Encourage a positive association with cold weather. Play with your dog outside when it's cold but not too cold to safely spend time outdoors.

We hope these tips help you reach your potty training goals. We understand the extra challenges cold, snowy, and rainy weather adds to potty training. Stick with it, don't give up! If you would like more help, reach out to us at

Aero on the red carpet with a potty patch of grass behind her.

Aero on the red carpet with a potty patch of grass behind her.