Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr
Want to know the best puppy care tips for pet owners? Well, the first thing to be mindful of is that it’s easy to forget that your dog may have been inside for hours, and the abrupt change of temperature from a warm house to the ice-cold outdoors can be hazardous to your pooch.
Some breeds such as the husky will enjoy the snow and has the coat and protection needed to withstand chilly temperatures. However, most breeds of dog do not have these qualities, and a sudden change from warm and cozy to sub-zero may cause one of many problems.
The ASPCA have a number of helpful hints to bear in mind in the chilly season that I’m including below for your convenience and reference.
Best Puppy Winter Care Tips for Pet Owners
- Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
- Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
- Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
- Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
- Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape.
- Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.
- Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect. (Original here)
The best puppy care tips for pet owners may save your pet from undue physical trauma and health problems, and are very well worth taking into consideration. It’s also a good idea to make sure your puppy does not stay out in the cold weather for too long, and this is especially important for a younger puppy or a dog that has a short coat.