Puppies require special care during the winter months. Their young bodies aren’t equipped to deal with snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures for very long. While all dogs need special care and attention when the temperature drops, puppies are especially vulnerable to the extreme temperatures that winter can sometimes bring with it.
Limit Time Outdoors
Puppies cannot withstand low temperatures for more than a few minutes at a time, so limit their time spent outside during the winter. While their fur does offer them some protection from the cold, their ears, nose and tail are all susceptible to frostbite. Limiting your puppy’s outside time to potty and exercise breaks during cold weather should keep him safe and healthy.
Keep Him Dry
If your puppy gets wet when he’s outside, dry him off. Rub him with a towel or use a blow dryer turned on low heat to get him dry and help him warm up quickly.
Pay Special Attention to Foot Pads
Your puppy’s feet are important. They get him where he needs to go, and his foot pads are especially vulnerable to cracking and irritation when it’s cold outside. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can even lead to infection.
To avoid problems with your puppy’s feet, use a towel to dry between each foot pad after he’s been outside. You can also apply a little petroleum jelly to them if you notice they’re becoming dry and cracked.
Check for Antifreeze
If ingested, antifreeze, even in tiny amounts, can be lethal. Check for spills regularly, and clean them up if you find any. If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze, get him to a veterinarian at the Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic or a clinic near you immediately.
Dogs should never be left alone in a parked car during hot summer days, and they should never be left alone in the cold of winter either. When the temperatures drop, your car can become like a freezer to your puppy. This can cause immense discomfort and even death, so just leave your dog at home if you need to run errands.
While all dogs require attention to thrive, puppies need even more care. As they learn to navigate the world around them, they need lots of protection from their owners. Cold weather can make them even more vulnerable than they would normally be, so be sure to treat your tiny little fur ball with some extra TLC this winter.