Winter Safety

Keep your pet safe and happy this winter

Luckily for us when the temperature starts to fall, we can wrap up and keep warm but our pets don’t find it so easy.

Winter can be particularly tough on cats and dogs. Cold and ice weather can not only be hazardous, it can make conditions such as arthritis worse. Joints can become extremely stiff and tender in the cold so be gentle with them during the winter. A bad slip in the icy weather can be very painful and could cause serious injury.

Try these simple steps to make sure your pet is happy and comfortable this winter!

Keep your pet inside as much as you can in winter. If they need to go outside, stay with them. Watch for signs that they are becoming too cold - they may whine, shiver, seem anxious, slow down or stop moving altogether. Some breeds can remain out in the cold for longer. Also cats and small dogs who have to walk deeper in the snow will become cold sooner than larger animals. Pets that are unwell, very old or very young should not be exposed to the cold.

Avoid letting your pet loose near open water in icy weather. Frozen water is particularly dangerous; animals can fall through the ice and find it very difficult to get out of the water again. This may then endanger you as well.

Salt or grit can cause problems to pets’ paws. Make sure you wipe your pet’s feet when they come inside. This also prevents stomach problems if they lick themselves clean.

Cats like to keep themselves warm and car engines may provide an excellent source of warmth. Please check your engine before you start your car. Check underneath your car or make a loud noise on the bonnet. Heat sources can be as attractive to pets as they can to you but make sure that they don’t burn themselves

Antifreeze is extremely dangerous to animals. If any of it gets onto an animal’s coat or paws it should be removed immediately using non-solvent based detergents or copious amounts of water, depending on the contaminant. Never rub the animal’s coat or let the pet groom themselves. Always seek veterinary assistance.