With the very cold winter, here are some tips for your pets:
• It is important that you wrap up warm and take precautions when travelling around in the weather we’ve been having, but we shouldn’t forget our pets during the cold weather.
• Small dogs or dogs with little to no hair may benefit from cosy coats for protection against the cold.
• When walking your dog near ice or frozen puddles/ponds/canals/lakes, keep your dog close to you and on the lead. Icy ground can cut dog’s pads and salt and grit can irritate their feet.
Washing their feet after a walk can remove the grit and salt, especially in dogs with hairy feet like spaniels. Very active dogs are at risk of injury if they slip whilst haring around on hard and slippy ground.
• Antifreeze is highly toxic! It is used to melt the ice on the windscreens of our cars and in car engines. The sweet-tasting liquid is poisonous as it contains ethylene glycol, and consuming even a small amount can be fatal. Signs of antifreeze poisoning can occur straight away or sometimes even after 12 hours of its ingestion and include lack of co-ordination, vomiting, lethargy, depression, increased thirst and urination.
• Ensure that there are litter trays in the house for cats if the ground is frozen or if there is thick snow that prevents cats from digging outside. Always make sure that any water outside for any small pets our outdoor pets, does not become frozen.
• Always ensure your pet has adequate shelter where it will be warm and dry. Their bed shouldn’t be in a draughty area and bedding should be kept dry. Provide extra blankets when temperatures dip below freezing.
• Never leave your dog alone in a vehicle. Dogs can become very cold in a stationary vehicle.
• As it is darker for longer, cats are at risk from road traffic accidents. Encourage your cat to come indoors in the evening, perhaps by feeding them at this time.
• Dampness and draughts are dangerous to small pets, especially in the winter. Consider moving rabbit and guinea pig hutches indoors or into a garage or shed over the winter months and ensure they have extra bedding to keep them cosy.
Don’t move them into the garage if you regularly keep the car there as carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes can kill.
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