Puppy Do’s & Dont’s on Preparing Them for Cold Weather Season
Depending on where you stay, the winter can be harsh on everyone, humans and animals alike. Fur babies cannot express how they feel and puppies need extra care than adult dogs, because depending on how little they are, they might or might not be able to regulate their body temperatures. Your puppy also needs some exercise, so while taking them out for walks, you need to be mindful about winter care. If you are a first-time pet parent with a puppy, here are some dos and don’ts to help you out.
Know the Dog Breed
When you brought your puppy home, you must have done some research about its breed. So you might have heard that long-haired dogs have a greater tolerance for cold weathers, like huskies or St. Bernard. However, as puppies, their full coat might not have grown out, and this is why you still need to warm them up with jackets when you take them for a walk.
An extra layer of the blanket is a must. For smaller dogs or breeds with short hair, you must permanently have a warm bed at the corner for your puppies. Lombard, IL can be very cold, and knowing the breed will help you take good care.
Consider Boots for Your Puppies
Yes, just like our feet are sensitive to cold and we need socks to warm them up, doggy paws are sensitive too. They might be sturdy and strong for all that walking on hard ground in Rockford, IL, but puppies are very likely to feel colder around their feet.
If you find them putting their paws under their bodies for warmth, you must get them boots for outside, and socks for indoor use. While making your purchase, measure your puppy’s toes as well as the nails, so that the boots fit snugly.
Be Vigilant About Your Puppy’s Health
When you have a puppy, you need to monitor them more compared to older ones. They are more likely to suffer from frostbite. If your puppy was outside and played in the snow, keep an eye out for ice melt poisoning. Restrict your puppy’s time outdoors during winter because even though they have a lovely time outside, you should keep a track of when they should come indoors and warm up.
Adjust Their Feeding Amounts
Your puppy’s diet needs to undergo some change during the winter months. Almost every animal burns more energy during winters to stay warm. Increasing their food intake by a quarter will help make up for the loss of the extra calories. The water should not be very cold and they should have enough of it to keep them hydrated.
You can also ask your vet in Aurora, IL about making smoothies for your pup with chicken broth. Puppies love them a lot and they relish the warmth. However, if your puppy stays indoors throughout the winter and does not get much exercise at all, then there is no need to increase their food intake.
Keep Them Away From the Breeze
Your puppy should sleep in a warm spot, away from cold drafts. Although they are indoors, at times puppy beds are set up by the doors or windows, which should be avoided during winters. They should not be sleeping on the floor either.
You should also not let them sleep in the car in Joliet, IL during the cold months because cars often trap cold inside. While your pet may sleep outside at other times of the year because it is easier for them to answer nature’s call, bring them inside during winters and make that extra effort of getting up to unlock the door for them when they need to go out.
Do Not Allow Snow Licking
Do not let your puppy lick the snow, ground, or even their front paws. While giving them treats, make sure they do not fall on the snow as they might consume snow along with it. Puppies can develop throat infections from ice, just like human babies.
Moreover, many communities use ethylene glycol, or antifreeze, around their neighborhood during winters to prevent snow from piling up. Be wary if your puppy approaches a blue-green puddle and take him away from it.
Do Not Air Dry
Do not simply let your puppy’s foot air dry after you are indoors. Give the paws a good wash, and rub some balm or lotion on it to prevent chafing from walking on the cold ground. Unlike older dogs, puppy paws are still soft and need extra care. It will also prevent them from accidentally licking any dirt or antifreeze residue. You can also rub coconut oil on their paws if your puppy is sensitive to balms or lotions.
Do Not Neglect Grooming
It is important to keep your puppy well-groomed during winter. Matted fur is more likely to trap dust and dirt, while soft and smooth fur is easier to clean. It also helps them keep warm because the fur is more evenly distributed across the body. However, reduce the number of showers they take during winters because too much of it can rob the skin of the natural oils.
They tend to develop dry, flaky skin under their fur, even if you cannot see it. It will make them itchy and uncomfortable. A moisturizing shampoo and crème are best suited for winter grooming in a place like Chicago, IL, where it frequently snows in winter.
Do Not Shave Your Puppy’s Coat
This goes without saying, that puppy coats should not be shaved during winters. But many pet parents make the mistake of shaving their puppy in the winter because they feel the extra fur will trap more dirt from all that wind blowing. They make up for it by adding extra woolens.
However, the fur will always be their first natural protection. If you must shave them, do so a couple of months before the winter sets in. The fur would have just grown back in enough time for the colder months.
With these tips, you will be winter-ready when it comes to grooming your beloved pups. Celebrate the season with all its festivities and your puppy will be right beside you, adding to your joys.