My Lab/chi-chi-mix dog, Marty, is 2 years old. He will not go outside to pee if it is raining, so he goes on the carpet of the laundry room. He doesn't poop, just tinkles. What do you suggest we do to get him to not be afraid of the rainy weather?
D.M., Virginia Beach, Va Jun 05, 2012
Your rain-phobic dog may respond well to desensitization. Chose a nice day, but go out with a large umbrella over both of you so that he gets used to it. Repeat for a few days until he is accustomed to the umbrella -- and your neighbors think you are certifiably insane! During the next light rain, take him out on the leash for a walk with both of you under the umbrella. Give him treats and praise. After a few walks in the rain, move the umbrella away as you give him a treat so he gets some rain on him. Then get him used to a rubdown with a towel. Many dogs do not enjoy getting soaked, but will put their ears and tails down and get on with their business, the rewards of a good toweling and a treat being enough incentive. In the interim, purchase disposable pads from the pet store to protect your laundry room floor. Your dog may need treatment with an anti-anxiety medication like Xanax, especially if he has a fear of thunder and lightning, which he might associate with rain.
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