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Caring for your dog through the winter season

I love to play in this fluffy white stuff!!  Wish it didn't give me such a chill!
I love to play in this fluffy white stuff!! Wish it didn't give me such a chill!

The recent weather around the nation has really been torturous for most of you this winter season, and as you protect yourself from the elements, it is important to also do so for your pets. As a responsible pet owner, you want to do what is best for your animal even though many pets are harmed each winter due to the harsh temperatures. Just as you feel the chill, so does your pet, despite its furry coat. You can find protective gear for your pet at your local Rockford-area Petsmart or Petco as listed below or one closest to your home, such as coats, sweaters, boots, blankets, warm beds and pet-safe salt to get through the winter.

The best way to protect your pet is to keep it indoors throughout the winter, only allowing a dog outside for short periods to relieve itself. Even with a heavy, furry coat, your pet also has tender paws, ears and other body areas that are very sensititve and vulnerable to cold temperatures. Those areas are highly prone to frostbite and can happen in just a matter of moments when temps are frigid.

If you do have an animal that prefers the great outdoors, take further steps to provide some type of protection when it chooses to retreat. There should always be some type of shelter available with waterproof cushioning that can protect the animal from wind, rain and snow. A proper shelter will provide warmth in a dry environment away from drafts. Ensure the shelterd area is off the ground, has dry bedding and is insulated or heated. You may also provide blankets but may need to change them out frequently if they get damp. The best scenario is to bring the pet indoors, at least temporarily when windchills plumet below zero.

Animals do not have the common sense to come in when cold. You have to use your own judgement and remember to consider wind chill temperatures when allowing your pet outdoors. Pets that love to play in the snow should be monitored, depending on how frigid the temperatures are. If you cannot bear to be outside with your dog, the pet should not remain outside as well. When bringing your pet inside, be sure to remove all ice and snow from the paws immediately. Do the same whenever going for a walk. Not all people provide petsafe salt on their walks which can be harmful for your pet’s paws, so wipe them dry when returning home.

Many dogs fall into lakes and standing water because it appears solid; keep your animal on a leash and do not allow it to walk on a frozen lake, pond or river. Despite how frozen things may appear, there are always weak areas that could be fatal for your pet and yourself.

Whether you are a cat owner or not, be aware of the outdoor pets that like to hide under a car to find some type of warmth and shelter. When getting into your vehicle, make a lot of noise and honk the horn before starting the engine which could harm an unsuspecting stowaway. If you do have a cat that is both an indoor and outdoor pet, keep it inside during harsh weather. You may have to seclude it to a special room with litter box, food, water and toys; much better than the alternative in freezing weather.

You can be the judge when it comes to providing your dog protection in winter with coats, sweaters and boots. Most dogs have difficulty wearing boots, something to get them used to as a very young animal. Smaller dogs and those with a minimal coat can benefit greatly from a warm sweater or coat before going outside. Do what you think is right in protecting your pets during the winter season.

If you are looking for wholesome, natural and homemade treats for your favorite canine best friend, Led foot’s Pet Bakery near the Rockford area is happy to meet your needs. Check out the website at Ledfoot Bakery. Contact Susan Weitzel at 815 784-6358, Ledfoot Bakery Contact.

If you are seeking Veterinary assistance in the Rockford area, you can check out one of these at - Rockford Vet Clinics, Bellwood Vet, Rockford Veterinarians, Perryville Veterinarian , Cat Veterinarians Specialists

For all your pets needs and accessories in the Rockford area, go to your local PETCO - 6305 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 229-0184 - Petco or your local PETSMART - 6320 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 397-7880 - Petsmart -Petland, (815) 332-4200 - Petland

For many of your pet essentials, visit your local Rockford-area CVS pharmacies. There are four convenient locations - 3134 11th Street, Rockford, IL 61109, (815)398-0048 - 110 S Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61108 - 3718 Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103, (815)877-9620 - 2454 S. Alpine Rd., Rockford, IL 61108, (815)399-5421 - CVS Pharmacy

For the grooming needs of your Chihuahua in or near the Rockford area, you can contact Sue at for further information.

Sign up for my pet blog and let me know if you have questions or concerns regarding your pets. You can also find some of my recent petitions to help abused, neglected, mistreated and abandoned animals so please visit, sign the petitions and share with everyone you can as a way to help these defenseless creatures! Let me know what you think of my articles and if you have any queries. I have created a question and answer page for that reason. Let me know if I can be of help to you with your beloved pets – no question too large or small. Hope to see you at Animal Care Blog. Be the most educated pet parent!

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