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What is Wet Belly Syndrome?

What is Wet Belly Syndrome?
Dachshunds are known for despising cold, wet weather. After all, their bellies are so low to the ground that on a damp, dreary day, they’re getting wet on all sides. You’ve probably noticed that, as a result, your doxie glares at you or refuses to budge when you attempt to take them outside for a walk or a bathroom break in the rain or snow.

This extreme avoidance of the outdoors on days with excess precipitation has a name — Wet Belly Syndrome. Though it sounds serious, Wet Belly Syndrome is a behavior, not a medical condition, so there’s no need to be terribly concerned. Regardless, we’re breaking down common “symptoms” and “remedies” of this so-called condition below, so that you’re not stuck indoors with your pup anytime precipitation hits.

What causes WBS and what are the symptoms?

You’re most likely to see Wet Belly Syndrome symptoms appear on rainy days, or on days when the ground is still wet from recent precipitation. If the temperatures are on the chillier side your pup is even likelier to experience Wet Belly Syndrome. To put it simply, any weather that makes it difficult for dachshunds to avoid getting water splashed up on their bellies is to blame.

You may notice a theme in the symptoms of Wet Belly Syndrome — stubbornness. If your doxie refuses to go to the bathroom outside on a wet day, drags their feet when you attempt to go for a walk or demands to be carried, or plants themself by the radiator when you finally let them go inside, they’re probably “suffering” from Wet Belly Syndrome. If your pup’s belly is visibly wet when they’re exhibiting any of these behaviors, then there’s practically no question what they’re experiencing!

What can I do about Wet Belly Syndrome?

Some dachshund parents will say that Wet Belly Syndrome is debilitating (especially in the cases where a doxie won’t do their business or continue their walk), so it can be helpful to have some tricks up your sleeve to “cure” Wet Belly Syndrome, or prevent it entirely.

First and foremost, if you haven’t invested in a weather-resistant coat for your pup, you’ll want to start there. Protecting them from water ever touching their bellies will do big things in terms of warding off Wet Belly Syndrome. After any damp walk, you’ll want to immediately dry off your doxie, and maybe even cozy them up in a warm sweater, too. If they know that the dampness is only temporary, they’ll be less likely to refuse going pee, for example. Lots of treats and praise can also come in handy to coax your dachshund outside and around the block. Being a food-motivated breed has its perks!

Jokes aside, do I ever need to worry about Wet Belly Syndrome?

While there’s no need to worry about weather-related stubbornness, you do want to avoid leaving their bellies and paws wet for long periods of time. Spending too much time cold and wet can ultimately lead to hypothermia, so it’s worth ensuring that you’re keeping your dachshund warm and dry when damp weather comes into play. And, if your dachshund refuses to go outside more often than just on cold, wet days, or seems hesitant to play, it’s never a bad idea to check in with your vet to make sure there isn’t something else behind their avoidance.

When it comes down to it, we will never be able to “cure” dachshunds’ stubbornness — no matter how hard we try! — but identifying times when that stubbornness is likely to spike and having some tricks up your sleeve to work around it is always a good idea.

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