Summer poops were easy poops.

The sun was shining and your dog and you spent loads of time outside, so you didn’t have to worry about accidents in the house. 

But now that the seasons have changed and your dog and you aren’t outside as much. It’s freezing out and you don’t blame your dog for not wanting to poop outside in the winter, but you’re sick and tired of cleaning the carpet. 

Why Your Dog Won’t Poop Outside In The Winter

If your dog is still a puppy, an adolescent, or experiencing their first cold winter, they may not yet understand that they absolutely must poop outside, even if they’d rather find relief on a soft, warm carpet. 

If your dog is a senior, the cold weather may exacerbate joint pain from arthritis, so it may be painful for them to squat out in the snow. If they’ll use a potty pad or other indoor toilet system, that might be a good way to eliminate accidents without subjecting them to the cold. If that’s not possible, try doggy leg warmers or a full-body coat to help keep their joints from freezing up when they go out. 

Creating The Perfect Winter Potty Spot

Dogs really do prefer a soft, dry spot to poop. Make sure you shovel a path in the grass so that they do not have to stand in the snow while they go. 

To make that potty spot even more comfortable, you can lay out an old shower curtain in the grass before the snowfall, then lift it after the snowstorm stops to reveal a dry spot. Or, you can lay out a substrate like straw or kitty litter on their potty spot.  

Training Your Dog To Poop Outside In The Winter

Sometimes even the comfiest coat and driest potty spot aren’t enough for the pickiest of poopers. 

You may have to revert back to puppyhood training techniques to remind your dog of their potty manners. 

Remember to have a set meal schedule so your dog generally poops at the same time each day. 

You can use crate training to prevent accidents, especially when you are unable to supervise them. If your dog is not already crate trained, it’s never too late to start. Even if you do not plan to use the crate in the long term, it’s good for your dog to know how to feel safe and relaxed if they’re ever confined at the vet or while recovering from illness or surgery. 

Taking your dog out to poop in the snow can be miserable, but you’ll need to be patient. If you have a backyard, you should still supervise your dog to make sure they’re actually doing their business when they go out, rather than just waiting to come back inside. 

Need Help Getting Your Dog To Poop Outside In The Winter?

You do not have to let indoor potty accidents become a habit that recurs year after year. 
Work with a Toronto positive dog trainer to teach your dog to poop outside no matter what. Get in touch today or give us a call at 416-450-4235 to get started!