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Be Prepared for What Winter Brings

Tips for House-Training a Puppy When It’s Cold Outside:

Potty training a puppy is already complicated as it is and when winter is around it can become even more tedious. Your little puppy will not want to go outside at all. Yes, this might be true, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips to make the process a little easier:

  1. Take your dog out, don’t just put him out: For dogs that are more sensitive to the cold, you will need to be more involved with the process. You would think that they would know what to do once they are outside, but they tend to get preoccupied with the cold weather. Try and take your pup to the same spot and give a verbal command as well.
  2. Be prepared: Knowing when your puppy is ready to go, is also crucial. Try and make the process a little quicker by having everything you need in one basket at the door. Keep your collar, leash, and waste bags together, so that you can grab and go.
  3. Stay calm: It’s important to not make a big deal out of the process of taking your dog outside to go, even if he seems not to enjoy it. Be mindful too, that once the temperature dips below about 20 degrees, it can start to affect the dogs’ pads on their feet. Keep your dog’s paws protected in the cold weather.
  4. Consider an Alternative: If it’s a struggle to get your dog to go out in winter, weigh your options to decide if it’s worth the fight. What about using a litter box or training pads for a short time as an alternative for those dogs that hate the cold.

There are many things you can do to ensure your four-legged family members are safe, warm, comfy and healthy all winter long. Accept keeping their coats long and free of mats; you can also provide a sweater for a short-haired, older or frail pet. Below is also a list of other things you can do:

  1. Take your pets for a wellness exam: Take your pet for an examination, especially if you have a senior pet. A visit to the vet is an excellent way to ensure your dog is healthy before the cold winter arrives.
  2. Let your pet’s coat grow: Do not shave your pet’s hair short during the autumn and winter. A longer coat will keep your dog warmer. Keep your pet groomed and make sure that the hair does not get matted. Groom your pet often.
  3. Keep your dog indoor: Give your dog the option of being able to go in and out of the house. If it is not possible, try and keep them inside on freezing days or offer them a kennel with blankets outside.
  4. Keep your pet well exercised: It’s essential to maintain your pet’s physical condition year-round. If you allow your dog to become a couch potato all winter, you increase his risk of injury when he starts exercising again in the spring. If you live in a location that gets cold and wet during the winter months, it can especially be challenging to ensure your dog stays physically active.
  5. Provide a sweater for short-haired, senior or frail dogs: Some pets won’t wear clothing, no matter how chilly it might be. But if your pet tolerates it well, a sweater can help keep your dog warm, especially when you take her outdoors.
  6. Be extra careful with your senior, arthritic or frail pet: Cold weather can be especially tricky for senior pets and those with a joint disease like arthritis. Get them a supplement to relieve their pain.

Keep your pet safe from potentially dangerous heat sources: If you use a fireplace or space heater, expect your pet to lie near it for warmth. Keep a close watch to ensure no part of her body comes in contact with flames, heating oils or other hot surfaces. She can easily burn herself or knock a heating unit over and put everyone in the house in danger.

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