Many parts of the UK saw some snow this week and the temperatures are expected to drop in the week ahead. When the cold weather kicks in it’s important to recognise the dangers it presents to animals and make some changes to the usual routines to ensure our animals remain healthy and happy. There are winter hazards to be aware of:
- When the roads and pavements are gritted our pets’ feet can become irritated. If the rock salt is ingested it can lead to trips to the vets due to fight off the toxins. To prevent problems remember to wash your pets feed off when they come inside and to visit your vet if you have any health concerns.
- Antifreeze smells sweet to pets and if consumed it leads to poisoning and is often fatal. If you spill antifreeze always take the time to clean it up and wash your pets’ paws if they get any on their feet. Take your pet to the vets if you think your pet may have drunk antifreeze.
- If you feel the cold your pets will too. Limit the length of walks and encourage cats to come inside. Remember to give any outdoor pets extra food and bedding and put their hutches under shelter or bring them into the home if necessary. Lethargy and shivering can be a sign of hypothermia.
- Small dogs will succumb to the cold quicker than bigger dogs. Consider investing in a decent dog coat, especially if you notice your dog gets very cold in a short period of time on your walks.
- Arthritis in pets is aggravated in cold weather. Help your pet by allowing them to have rests when you notice signs of limping or stiffness. Reduce the length of the walks and provide your pet with a soft bed that is suited to their size. It might be worth asking your vet about using heat pads in their bedding too.
- Keep exercising your pets. Animals will put on weight if they eat lots and don’t exercise. Make sure you dedicate time each day to exercise, even if it’s in the home.
Visit your local Just For Pets store if you have any questions about pet care during cold spells.