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What Dogs Need
Shelter and Weather Needs
Health Care
Time with You



Dog in snow.

In certain situations it is important for you to do special things for your dog. Dogs require very special care in cold weather.

If you have a double-coated dog and you plan on keeping your dog outside during the winter, start putting him outside in the fall. This will give him time to develop the thick undercoat he needs for warmth.

In cold, snowy weather make sure that if your dog is outside, he has shelter to protect him from cold wind. Giving him a bed inside the shelter will help him stay warmer because he will be off of the cold floor.

Fresh straw (not hay) can make a nice bed in the doghouse. It is comfortable and helps keep your dog warm. Many people who live in cold areas use this inside their dog houses.

  DoghouseCute dog

A young puppy should not be left outside when it is very cold. They cannot make themselves warm like an older dog can. Keep him safe and cozy inside a heated building.

 SnowmanAfter your dog has been out playing in the snow, check his feet! Snowballs may have formed and be stuck between his toes. That can be very cold and painful to your dog. If your dog gets very cold, you might want to buy booties and a sweater for him! Some pet stores sell clothing for dogs. Check it out!


Dog laying in snow.

Two Precautions

1. If your dog walks on salty sidewalks or streets, be sure to rinse the salt off the bottom of his feet.

2. Ask your parents to make sure that liquids like car anti-freeze are put away in cupboards or high up on shelves where young children and dogs can't accidentally drink them. They are very poisonous.



To keep themselves warm in the winter, dogs sometimes curl up with their tail covering their nose.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts


If you leave water outside for your dog, make sure that it does not become frozen. Your dog needs regular, cool water to drink, not ice.

If you are not able to change your dog's water, you might want to buy a special heated dog dish. You can check these out at your favorite pet store.

Puppy drinking.

 During the winter, pets and people need more calories to help keep them warm. Give your dog a little extra food during the cold winter months and they will stay warmer.


A Good Question
about Cold Weather Care

I am a new owner of a yellow Labrador puppy, and I have a question concerning his sleep. When we first got our dog, we let him sleep in one of our bathrooms, but my mom can't stand the smell so we went out and bought a doghouse today. However, we're not sure if it's too cold for him to sleep outside now, since he's only three months old and the temperature drops down close to zero degrees Celsius here. What we should do?

There are two issues here: the cold weather, and a messy puppy.
A twelve week old puppy is too young to spend that much time in the cold. Puppies need to be older and build up a thicker coat. You should check with your vet, but until you do, don't leave the pup outdoors. The dog should do well for short times during the day if the temperature is well above freezing. Here are some suggestions:

1. If you're not already, take charge of cleaning the mess from the pup, even if you have to set an alarm to wake up before everyone else. When they wake up, the bad mess is gone. Try to replace the smell with an air freshener that everyone likes. Be sure to clean the floor underneath the papers if that's what you're using. If you have a room where people don't go very often, that might be better than a bathroom where people visit often.

2. Bathe the pup whenever he gets into his own mess, or at least wipe him off really good with a wet cloth, until the smell is gone. Be very careful that you dry him and keep him indoors until he is totally dry. Newly bathed puppies smell really nice.

3. Start housebreaking your dog. Be persistent about setting the timer to go off every 15 minutes for potty breaks.

4. The more you leave the pup alone, the more he will be laying in his own mess or close to it. Spend as much time with your pup as you can. That way you can work on the 15 minute housebreaking plan and bond better with your pup.

Your job is to keep the dog smelling good and work on the housetraining (which will take a while). If your parents are getting frustrated already, you will have to work harder to make this a good experience for them. Sometimes kids have to help their parents enjoy the things kids enjoy. Remember, these hard times don't last forever (they just seem like it). Someday you will have a great-smelling lab that lays at your feet and asks to go out to relieve himself. You will look back at these puppy days and be glad you worked harder to get through them.

The above is a suggestion, not a substitute for professional advice. Consult your veterinarian for all concerns you may have.

What's the worse weather for mice?
When it's raining cats and dogs.
Thanks to Kenny W. from Tennessee for sending us this riddle!

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