Oh the weather outside is frightful, and the fire inside delightful, but when Fido has to go, he’s gotta go, gotta go, gotta go…
Brr! We’re smack in the middle of winter, and with almost no end in sight, everyone’s just trying to stay warm – even your pup! To help you manage the cold, we’ve put together some dog indoor potty options for you to consider.
Even if you’ve never thought about this, I think it can be a big help if you are a pet owner who has to bundle up in a heavy jacket, wool hat, gloves and boots every time your fur kid has to relieve themselves.
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Be sure to keep your pup warm
Frigid weather is tough for dogs. Their bodies feel the drop in temperatures as much as we do. Even dogs with thick coats are susceptible to hypothermia. The cold slows their metabolism and heart rate, causes cracked and bleeding paws and can affect their respiratory system and joints.
In fact, the ASPCA recommends you keep a special eye on your pup during the cold winter season. They advise pet owners to keep your home humidified and to towel-dry your dog after they come in from outdoors. They also recommend that you bathe your pup as little as possible during the hardest of cold-fronts to prevent dry skin.
In addition, the group suggests that when your dog must go outside, be sure to massage a small amount of petroleum jelly (make sure they don’t eat it) or paw balm into their pads, or cover their paws with protective dog boots.
Cold weather makes for rough doggy-bathroom trips
The cold weather can cause a multitude of problems when it comes to potty time. This is especially true for dogs with hind end weakness who have a tough time walking to their favorite spot when it’s icy or snowy. And the challenge is even greater for dogs in wheelchairs and paralyzed dogs who need to be carried or walked via a harness. It’s hard for your dog and it’s hard for you as the caretaker. Your dog relies on you for assistance, but it’s cold outside, and no one wants to brave the weather just to take your pup to relieve them self.
Dogs are also good at finding ways to avoid going outside. Some ‘holding it’ longer than normal while others abandon their proudly-earned potty-training skills turning your carpet into a toilet.
I have friends who live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where even Lake Superior freezes over. Their tip for taking their two Shih tzu’s for a bathroom break was, “do it as fast as you can or everyone will freeze.”
That’s why I want to share a few dog indoor potty options to help you and your pup get through the winter months.
Interior grass for easy dog indoor potty transitions
If your pup is comfortable going potty on the lawn or an outdoor patch of grass, an indoor artificial grass pee pad might be the best option for your home. The comfortable look and feel of almost real grass can make the transition of ‘going’ outdoor-to-inside, much simpler. They’re available for dogs of all sizes from large to small, and sometimes with additional features like a drawer for easy cleanup.
Indoor Pee-Pad trays for smaller dogs
Small dogs might like an indoor plastic tray system as an outdoor alternative. These are great because they’re easy to clean, and the whole unit doesn’t take up much space in your home. They come in a variety of sizes and colors so you can be sure to find one your pet loves. Some even have a grass floor to help with the transition. And a few have options with added protection to keep your floors and walls dry too.
Washable mats for large dogs to love
If your dog is to big for a tray, or if you want something that might be a little easier to clean, a washable mat might be a great solution this winter season. These stylish reusable indoor puppy pads make it simple for your pup to go, and for you to handle cleanup afterwards. Most come in a two-pack, so you’ll always have an extra mat ready to use. And extra-large options are even available for giant breeds.
What the future has in store for dog indoor potty options
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas debuted a new device that might have every dog ‘going’ indoors in the near future. Inubox is a fully automated dog toilet. To use it, your pet steps on a platform where they relieve themselves into a canine sandbox. And when they’re done the waste is automatically bagged, sealed and contained inside the odorless device.
As a special reward, Inubox hands your dog a treat every time its used. The dog toilet will be available in October or November 2019.
Stay warm everyone. Spring is on the way!
Update: Pet mom Paula G shared the special way she created indoor “potty pools” in her basement for her pack of German Shepherds when they couldn’t go outside in the winter. I think you’ll find it interesting.
I couldn’t let anyone out the door because the snow was so high. So I got 3 plastic 5′ poly pools from the garage. I brought them to the basement and lined them with huge contractor bags, split and flattened. Then I filled the pools with sand and topped it with kitty litter. And I put a lined trash can near them for clean ups.
Now we have potty pools in the basement. I use a small rake to clean up messes and put them in the trash. And none of my dogs have to go outside in a storm or in the snow.
-Post by contributing writer Matthew Seltzer