In these very cold days of the New Year it is important to think about our pets’ needs.
Many of us are staying at home due to COVID 19 restrictions, with a daily walk as our only outing. Our dogs will be glad of that walk too! However, elderly, very young or short coated breeds may not cope well with very low, even sub-zero, temperatures.
Warm, water-proof coats are good to keep your pet dry and maintain body temperature.
Keep dogs safe on their leads in snowy weather and near frozen lakes or ponds. Falling snow can cover scents so they can’t find their way back to you.
Make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing an identity tag in case they do get lost.
Visibility jackets and reflective collars are useful on dark evenings.
Reduce length of walks in severe weather. Two smaller walks would be better than staying out for a long time.
Avoid leaving your pet in your car for any length of time as it cools down quickly and can act like a fridge.
On returning home check paws for compacted ice or sore pads. Use a cloth soaked in warm water to wipe between pads and along belly to remove ice particles and also any salt that was spread on pavements to prevent freezing. Dry well and let your pet rest in a warm comfortable bed indoors.
Pets should ideally stay indoors in winter weather.
If they spend time outdoors ensure they have a kennel or shelter placed inside a shed or garage with lots of dry, soft bedding to burrow into.
Check regularly to make sure water dishes are not frozen over.
Bring cats indoors overnight when temperatures are at their lowest.
Have cat litter trays ready for overnight use.
Cats left outside will seek out warm places and are often found under the bonnets of cars. Always check before you start your car.
Anti-Freeze (Ethylene Glycol) is very toxic for pets so be very careful to clean up any spills and to store it away safely.
Elderly pets with arthritis need constant warmth so place their beds near a radiator or other source of heat.
If there is a severe weather warning make sure you are stocked up in advance with pet food, cat litter and any medication your pet needs.
Following these tips will help keep your pet safe, warm and happy in this winter weather!