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How to treat a pet for frostbite

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The repercussions of the winter season can affect both humans and pets alike. Although we know how to protect ourselves as humans, we are of the misconception that since an animal has fur, they can tolerate extreme cold temperatures without distress. Yet the cold, snow and icy temperatures can present many discomforts in pets, including frostbite. Your local Rockford-area veterinarian as listed below or one closest to your home can advise you on how to care for your pet during the cold changing seasons.

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In colder climates, larger dogs can be outside for longer periods than the small dogs and certain breeds have been bred to withstand frigid temperatures. They even prefer to remain outside at all times. Those breeds still need some sort of protection from the elements in order to survive. However, most pets should not be kept outside for extended periods.

Small to medium size dogs should be left out only long enough to relieve themselves before being returned to the comforts of home. Cats that are allowed outside need to also be monitored. This can be difficult for the feline owner but if you have left your cat outside and know the temperatures are to drop, try to coax kitty back home to find warmth and security. If that is not always possible with your cat that feels free, try to be sure that you provide some type of outdoor protection it can use when it decides to come home without your knowledge. Show kitty this area often when you can so he or she will be aware of the safe area when needed.

Frostbite is a major concern when it comes to humans and pets. It would be nice to get all pets to wear boots to protect the paws but since it is so foreign to them, it is quite a task. Without protection, you can imagine how it would feel to walk on ice and snow barefoot, and this is the effect when your pet goes outdoors. The pads for the larger pet can provide a bit of protection but the small dog has little to none. It doesn’t take long for the cold and snow to affect your dog, so it is your responsibility as the pet parent to be their common sense and minimize their exposure to the elements only long enough as needed, depending on the size and breed of your dog.

Most often, the areas of the body affected by frostbite are the ears, tail, and especially the feet. Because you do not allow your small dog outside for any length of time, the pads of the feet would be more susceptible to frostbite. If you have a larger dog that loves to be outside, you should be aware of hypothermia and frostbite on other parts of the body. If your dog is suffering, you will notice such signs as redness, swelling, ulcerations, discoloration and blisters on the affected areas. Be sure to check your dog thoroughly after being outside, especially the susceptible areas of the body.

If your dog comes in shivering and is just cold from outside, possibly covered with snow on certain areas of the body, wipe your dog down with a warm rag. If the feet are especially affected, the warm rag or possibly a small bowl of warm water can help with the cold. Then dry them thoroughly and your pet should be fine. If your dog appears to be more seriously affected, especially with discoloration or open wounds, you may need to contact your veterinarian for special medical treatment. Before seeing your vet, you can clean the area, although you do not want to massage an area with frostbite. Just provide a warm blanket while transporting your dog. Many times an open wound would just require some antibiotics and pain therapy as prescribed by your doctor; however, in more serious cases, amputation may be necessary.

As a responsible pet parent you can monitor the situation to be sure your pet never suffers to that degree. Your dog does not know how dangerous the cold and snow can be just as a child does not know, and relies on you to provide its safety. Limit your dog’s exposure to the elements for its own protection.

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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