There are two types of dogs: those who love winter, like samoyed and those who’d rather curl up at the foot of your bed and sleep until spring comes. If you have a puppy, you probably don’t know what the reaction will be. As such, you have a responsible job to do! You must teach him or her how to behave outside, but that’s not all. You also need to learn how to take care of it and keep your pup happy and healthy, even in the coldest weather.
If you’re a new dog owner and it’s the first winter with your puppy, you may feel a little lost. Don’t worry, though - you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll find six useful tips on how to keep your pup healthy during the coldest times of the year. If you want to learn what to do to provide your puppy with some extra care in winter, keep on reading!
Make Necessary Nutrition Changes
According to experts, dogs’ dietary needs differ depending on their amount of physical activity. A good rule of thumb is to increase your pet’s calorie intake after a session of vigorous activities and limit the food it eats if it’s in a more lazy mood. This way, you’ll help your dog maintain proper weight and remain well-nourished and healthy.
Make sure your puppy eats well-balanced, nutritious meals. You can give treats sometimes, but don’t forget about vitamins and high-quality ingredients. A good diet will ensure your puppy grows happy and healthy. That’s what matters the most!
Keep It Hydrated
You’re probably aware that hot summer temperatures cause dehydration very fast. However, did you know that winter temperatures are no different? You need to ensure that your puppy has constant access to fresh water. Also, you should provide water that is room temperature. It’s especially important after your puppy comes from the outside, excited after all of the activities in the cold snow.
Take Care of Its Paws
Even though dogs have a coat and fur, they don’t tolerate cold much better than humans. During and after every walk, you need to pay close attention to your puppy’s paws, tail, and ears. These are their most vulnerable body parts, and they’re susceptible to a dangerous condition - frostbite. The worst cases end with tissue death, which leads to amputation.
While you can’t do much about your puppy’s ears and tail, you should take care of its paws. You can try to train it to wear dog boots, but not every dog owner succeeds at that. However, you should wipe your puppy’s paws after every outing to get rid of dirt and salt. That’s definitely more doable, and it should become your habit after every walk in the cold weather.
Block Off Heat Sources
After a walk in the winter wonderland, your puppy will gladly come indoors. Instinct suggests that he or she should get warm as soon as possible. That’s why your dog may be drawn to various heat sources in your home - and it’s your responsibility to prevent that.
You may be wondering why it’s so important to keep your puppy away from room heaters, radiators, or fireplaces. That’s because your pet may get burned, and the skin will dry out and flake. Go outside again, and his or her skin will be vulnerable to cold. As such, you should come up with a system that doesn’t include heat sources but allows your puppy to get warm fast. A snuggly blanket and warm bedding are great for a start.
Groom and Moisturize
Dry, flaky skin and matted coat are definitely not signs of a healthy puppy. Low temperatures, cold winds, and dry weather won’t help you in this regard - if anything, they’ll exacerbate your problems and cause your puppy a great deal of discomfort. Since you’re going outdoors, make sure your pet’s coat is clean and well-groomed - this will keep it safe from the cold.
Additionally, you can add a skin and coat supplement to your puppy’s food to keep it moisturized. You can also counteract the cracking and flaking of your pup’s paws, ears, and tail by applying a small amount of a natural moisturizer like coconut oil.
Provide It With Cozy Bedding
Since room heaters and sleeping on a cold floor are a big no-no for your puppy, you should choose the right bedding that will keep it warm and cozy. Raised dog beds can keep your puppy off cold flooring, and the material is soft and pleasant to touch. You can also throw in a blanket or two for that extra snuggly environment.
Find the right place for the bedding - it’s essential, too! Stay away from heat sources, cold tiles, and uncarpeted floors. You can also put the bed near a place where you and your family like to sit and relax. Add your puppy’s favorite toy and let him or her adjust to the new spot.
The Bottom Line
Winter is a difficult time to both humans and animals. Depending on where you live, you may be dealing with snow, low temperatures, and overall harsh weather conditions. As a dog guardian, you can’t keep your pup indoors at all times - you have to find ways to take care of it.
Hopefully, our tips will help you come up with a strategy to get through the coldest times of the year. Be mindful to your puppy’s needs and pay attention to his or her behavior at all times. With a responsible approach on your side, your puppy will love being outside, and cold winter temperatures won’t scare either of you.