Pets in cold weather

With the weather turning cold and the nights drawing in, it’s important you and your pet keep warm and safe this winter.

Walking our dogs in winter;

  • Wearing reflective clothing and having a reflective collar for your dog will help keep you both safe whilst out walking in poor light.
  • If you have an elderly dog, it is extremely important to keep them warm and a waterproof dog jacket is advisable while out and about.
  • Keep your dogs away from ponds and lakes that are iced over. Thin ice may break under a dog’s weight. If it’s snowing outside, watch out for your dogs paws becoming impacted with snow, which can cause discomfort.
  • Be aware that antifreeze and rock salt can be poisonous to pets. After walking your dog in areas that may have been gritted with rock salt ensure you wash their paws thoroughly.

Keeping cats warm and safe;

  • It is important that your cat has access to a warm shelter, either your home or an indoor area with appropriate heating.
  • Placing your cats bedding away from cold draughts will help them stay warm.
  • Antifreeze is found in car radiators and some screen washes and is extremely toxic to cats. Unfortunately antifreeze has a sweet taste, so cats are attracted to it. If you are using antifreeze or any product containing ethylene glycol please be very careful where you store it. If you spill any, clear it up straight away. If you have an ornamental garden pond, please don’t add antifreeze in the winter time. It may keep your fountains running in a cold snap, but it could put your cat’s life at risk. If you do suspect your cat has drunk antifreeze then seek veterinary advice immediately.

Rabbits and Guinea Pigs;

  • Outdoor pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs need extra bedding, such as dust-free hay enabling them to make a warm nest.
  • Insulate their hutch using blankets and waterproof covers but take extra care they have adequate ventilation.
  • If the temperature drops to below 15 you may want to consider moving their enclosure into an outhouse shed or unused garage. If you decide to bring your rabbits or guinea pigs indoors they’ll need plenty of room to exercise in a safe and secure environment.

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