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Santa just brought you exactly what you wanted for Christmas, a sweet, comical bull terrier puppy and Sherpa slippers, but what about winter gear for your puppy? Winter time comes with extra precautions when raising a puppy, which is why we’ve assembled the ultimate cold weather puppy care guide.

A Warm Coat

A puppy’s coat isn’t the same kind he’ll have once he reaches adulthood; puppy coats are less dense than adult coats, meaning they aren’t as insulating against cold weather. To keep your cute companion warm and protected from the cold, make sure to equip them with dog sweater or coat that is resistant to water and allows them to move freely.

Booties

Puppy paws are soft and delicate, making them much more sensitive to abrasive and irritating surfaces, such as the ice, snow, and salt that come with winter. Until they have formed calluses on their feet, owners need to care for their puppy’s paws meticulously. Booties can provide protection and warmth your puppy needs during the winter months.

Paw Balm

During the cold season, puppy pads can suffer from the dry, heated air of the indoors, as well as the icy outdoors. Applying a moisturizing paw balm to the pads of your puppy’s feet will protect and condition against all the elements, and keep your pup happy and healthy as they grow. Weatherproof balm is a great alternative for dogs and puppies that can’t stand wearing booties.

Wintertime Diet

A healthy diet will provide your puppy with the healthiest coat, meaning the best natural protection against winter weather. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can be given in supplement form to increase the health of your puppy’s skin and coat. When considering food and supplements, it’s wise to remember that dogs spend more time sleeping and less time exercising when it’s cold out, which may necessitate a change in the amount of food they need to consume. However, if your pet’s outdoor time remains the same, make sure to monitor their body condition and alter food portions as needed.

Groom With Care

Pet owners can treat the dry skin of winter by brushing their puppy’s fur regularly—this works to stimulate blood circulation while also removing dead fur. If your pet’s fur becomes charged with static after brushing due to the dry, heated air, don’t use a dryer sheet on your puppy. This is a common treatment used by many owners, but it can transfer irritating chemicals from the fragrance to your puppy’s skin. Instead, use the broad side of a wire hanger across their coat before you brush in order to reduce static.

Acclimating to the Cold

New puppies spend hardly any time outside while newly born and exploring the world, but once they come of age for new homes, time outside will become a regular occurrence for house training. It’s important for pet owners to slowly increase the amount of time their pet spends outside in cold weather, beginning with a couple minutes. Be mindful of how long your bull terrier puppy has been outdoors and bring him in to warm up frequently. When the temperature falls below freezing, don’t let him stay out for more than 20-30 minutes at the most.