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Protecting Your Pup: Cold Weather Safety Tips for Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles in Louisiana

Updated: 2 hours ago

As a dedicated Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle breeder since 2004, we prioritize our puppies' health, temperament, and intelligence. This blog provides essential tips on keeping your Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle puppies safe and comfortable during cold Louisiana winters. Winter wellness for your furry friends is crucial, and we're here to guide you through it.

1. Veterinary Checkup for Your Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle Puppy

Before winter sets in, ensure your Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle puppy has had their preventive care exam (wellness exam). Cold weather can exacerbate medical conditions like arthritis, so having your puppy examined by a veterinarian at least once a year is vital. This will help ensure they are ready and in the best possible health to face the chilly season.

2. Understand Your Puppy's Cold Tolerance

Just like people, puppies' cold tolerance varies based on factors like coat type, body fat, activity level, and overall health. Be mindful of your puppy's ability to handle cold weather and adjust their outdoor activities accordingly. Arthritic or elderly puppies may find walking on snow and ice more challenging, while long-haired breeds tend to be more cold-tolerant. Short-haired puppies need extra protection, and it's essential to consider the needs of very young or old puppies and those with specific health conditions. Consult your vet if you're unsure about your puppy's temperature limits.

3. Provide Cozy Sleeping Options

Puppies, like humans, prefer comfortable sleeping places. Offer your Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle puppy multiple safe and warm sleeping options to accommodate their changing needs.

4. Keep Your Puppy Indoors

Contrary to the belief that furry pets can withstand the cold, both Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia. It's advisable to keep your puppy indoors during the cold Louisiana winters. While certain long-haired breeds may tolerate cold better, no puppy should be left outside for extended periods in below-freezing weather.

5. Prevent Outdoor Cat Mishaps

Outdoor and feral cats may seek warmth near your vehicle engine during the winter. Before starting your car, check underneath, bang on the hood, and honk the horn to ensure no cats are hiding there.

6. Regular Paw Checks

Frequently inspect your puppy's paws for signs of cold-weather injury or damage. This includes cracked or bleeding paw pads and ice accumulation between their toes. Trimming the hair between their toes can help reduce iceball buildup.

7. Dress-Up Your Puppy

If your Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle puppy has a short coat or appears bothered by the cold, consider wearing a sweater or dog coat when outside. Ensure you have dry options, as wet sweaters can make your puppy colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their puppy's feet.

8. Clean Their Feet and Belly

After outdoor walks, check your puppy's feet, legs, and belly for de-icing product residues, antifreeze, or other potentially toxic substances. Wipe them down or wash them to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk of ingestion.

9. ID and Microchipping

Ensure your puppy has a well-fitting collar with updated identification and contact information. Microchipping provides a permanent means of identification. Keep your contact information up-to-date in the microchip registry database.

10. Avoid Leaving Your Puppy in Cold Cars

Just as hot cars pose dangers, cold cars can be harmful to your puppy's health, especially if they are young, old, ill, or thin. Limit car travel to what's necessary, and never leave your puppy unattended in a cold vehicle.

11. Prevent Poisoning

Clean up antifreeze spills promptly and keep containers away from pets. Avoid areas treated with de-icers, as they can be harmful if ingested.

12. Pet-Proof Your Home

With your puppy spending more time indoors, ensure your home is pet-proofed. Use space heaters cautiously to prevent burns or accidents. Check your furnace for efficiency, and install carbon monoxide detectors for safety.

13. Stay Away from Frozen Water

During walks, avoid frozen ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. You can't be sure if the ice will support your puppy's weight, and breaking through the ice could be dangerous for both of you.

14. Provide Adequate Shelter

While we recommend keeping pets indoors during winter, if your circumstances require outdoor stays, provide your Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle puppy with a warm, windproof shelter. Ensure access to non-frozen water and proper bedding.

15. Recognize Hypothermia and Frostbite Signs

Be vigilant for signs of hypothermia or frostbite in your puppy, such as shivering, weakness, or seeking warm spots. If you suspect these conditions, consult your vet immediately.

16. Prepare for Emergencies

Winter can bring severe weather and power outages. Prepare an emergency kit for your puppy, including food, water, and medications for at least five days.

17. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Monitor your puppy's weight throughout winter. Extra weight does not provide better protection from the cold; it can lead to health issues. Consult your vet for nutritional guidance.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Golden Retriever or Goldendoodle puppy stays safe, healthy, and comfortable during the cold Louisiana winters. Your puppy's well-being is our top priority, and we hope this information helps you provide the best care possible. For more information on our puppies, contact Golden Puppies at or (985) 247-1987.

two red golden retrievers looking outside their window watching the winter snow

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