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How to help your dog ease through the winter season

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We are experiencing one of the worst winters in many years; the first such event for many of you. Temperatures have been at their all-time low in areas that should never feel that cold, much less see any of that fluffy white stuff! As humans, you know how to beat the elements and keep yourself warm and cozy, but what do you do when you have a dog that does not understand the changing seasons? You must provide extra warmth and protection for your pet and everything you need to do the trick can be found at your local Rockford-area Petsmart or Petco as listed below or one closest to your home.

As the winter keeps you in its icy grip, ensure that you are taking precautions with your pets. Despite the known temps outside, wind chills can factor in to make the cold feel even worse for your dog. Some pets prefer to stay outdoors but with our recent cold snap and harsh winter nationwide, please keep your dogs and cats indoors for their own safety. It can be easier said than done for some pets but as an owner, you must make the right choices for your animal’s well-being.

Always provide adequate shelter for your dog during these frigid temperatures. Give your dog a cozy warm bed away from drafts and direct heat or fire, such as that of the fireplace. Encourage your dog to lay in its bed rather than on cold carpets or tile. Be cautious with portable heaters. These should be kept out of reach of all pets, while fireplaces should have a protective screen over it.

Give your dog a few extra calories in the winter, especially dogs that spend more time outdoors. It takes extra energy for a pet to keep the body regulated; thus the need for more calories. However, don’t use this as an excuse to overfeed your pet, especially those that rarely go out and prefers a cozy spot on the rug in front of the fireplace. This type of lazy pup actually would need less food because of less activity. You be the judge as a responsible owner.

Dogs need exercise regularly, and that includes the winter season. If you must go for walks, limit the length of time, only long enough for the pet to relieve itself. Also ensure you stay clear of frozen bodies of water that could entice a dog to walk on and fall in. Smaller dogs should be kept indoor with potty paper or litter boxes if at all possible. When you bring your pet back indoors, be sure to check the paws and wipe them clean from snow, ice and rock salt. When checking the paws, be sure to wipe in between the toes. If salt is left on the paws, your pet may lick it off, causing bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.

When letting your dog outdoors to do its business, you may find it better to shovel a path for your pet. Most dogs do not feel comfortable eliminating in deep snow. Smaller dogs most definitely cannot do their business without a shoveled area. You may also need to invest in a nice cozy coat or sweater and booties to protect the small bodies and tiny paws. Although all pets need to be protected from the cold, the smaller dogs are more vulnerable to chilly weather.

Dogs are much smaller than their owners, making them more susceptible to the frigid weather. They can easily get frostbite on their feet, nose and ears. If you dog does get frostbite, you will notice red to gray-colored skin that may begin to peel off. The best treatment is applying a warm, moist towel to the area to thaw it out and then contact your veterinarian.

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 pupelv7@comcast.net 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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