By: Katelyn Norris

February is Responsible Pet Owner Month and during the cold, wet winter months the importance of being a loving and caring pet owner is a top priority.

Albie, or Albert Einstein, is the dog of Chelsea McKendree, Bellarmine’s Testing Center Director, and she said Albie is a very spoiled dog. McKendree said during wintertime she pays extra attention to all of his needs and gives him special care for this time of the year.

Albie enjoying his time outside in the fall. Photo Credit: Chelsea McKendree

“I make sure he stays warm and dry and also in the winter he gets dry skin. I am very aware of what I feed him and try to feed him food with oils that are good for his skin,” McKendree said.

Emily Pacey, a sophomore, is another dutiful pet owner who takes care of her cat, Sunny. Pacey said that Sunny is her emotional support animal, and just like any other animal, he has both physical and emotional needs.

“He [Sunny] really likes being outdoors and listening to all the sounds, but he has separation anxiety so he can’t be too far away from me,” Pacey said.

 Pacey said because Sunny is an indoor cat there really isn’t anything special that she does to provide for him in the winter. Although, she said, Sunny loves to lie in her bed with a stuffed toy on especially cold days.

Sunny enjoys lounging out on a table. Photo Credit: Emily Pacey

This mirrors what Hannah Robinson, a first-year, does with all three of her dogs. Robinson said her dog, Beau, loves to be warm and cuddle during winter months. Robinson said all of her dogs -two Labradors and an English Bulldog- are both indoor and outdoor.

Luke and Beau posing for a picture. Photo Credit: Hannah Robinson

“My dogs are pretty built for the outdoors,” Robinson said, “but during the winter we [my family] don’t let them stay outside as long so they don’t get cold.”

  All three pet owners said doing the basics for a pet goes a long way, from giving them food and water to taking time to go outside and giving affection.

“Part of having a pet is making sure that pet owners make sure their pet are taken emotionally as well as physically,” McKendree said.

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