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In your first year with a new puppy, you experience a lot of firsts. Right now, you might be planning for your first winter as a dog parent. If so, you’re probably wondering what you need to know about keeping your puppy warm, dealing with cold-weather walks, and getting them exercise indoors.
We’ve put together a few key tips for keeping your puppy safe and warm this winter. Read on to get ready ahead of that first big snowfall!
⏰ Adjust your puppy over time
Try to give your puppy time to adjust to their first experience of cold, snow, and ice. Consider buying your dog a jacket, especially when they’re young, to help them get used to colder weather. And if you can, split walks into shorter, more frequent ones on colder days.
Important: It’s not safe to leave your dog in the car in summer or winter. In cold weather, a car can act like a fridge and hold in the cold.
🦮 Always use a leash
When it snows, the landscape looks different. This is obvious to us, but it will come as a surprise to your puppy! Your dog's familiar landmarks for walks or in the yard look different, so it’s more important than ever to use a leash whenever you’re outside.
For the same reason, make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing a collar with an ID tag – more dogs get lost during winter during any other season, the ASPCA says.
🌝 Be ready for less daylight
In Canada and the U.S., there are fewer hours of daylight during winter. Pay attention to when the sun rises and sets at this time of year. Either plan your dog’s walks for when there is daylight, or take steps to walk safely in the dark.
Cross the road at crosswalks, put something reflective or light-up on you and your pup, and try to avoid going during daybreak and twilight when the light is lower.
❄️ Protect against ice and snow
Along with preventing dry winter skin, help your dog out by handling ice and snow on their fur and paws properly. Have a groomer trim the hair between your pup’s toes to avoid ice balls, and consider using dog booties outside. If they don’t use boots, rub a layer of paw protectant on their paw pads before walks.
When you come inside, wipe off your dog’s feet to remove irritating de-icer salt. And dry your dog off right away after coming inside to keep them warm.
Antifreeze is toxic for dogs. The dangerous ingredient – ethylene glycol – is found in liquid antifreeze. But it’s also in products like lock de-icers, snow globes, and home-winterizing liquids.
Be sure to keep any potential sources of ethylene glycol out of reach of your puppy, even in parts of your home they usually aren’t in!
Stay healthy, stay happy, stay curious #healthygang!
Lots of love,
- The healthybud team
DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is not meant to replace your vet’s advice or prescribed medications, but only to suggest additional options to explore, based on your dog’s condition.