Protect your pets from the frosty winter chills
The UK’s leading vet charity PDSA is warning owners to take extra care of their four-legged friends with cold temperatures for the rest of March as the mercury drops and even some snow expected.
Despite their fur coats, pets need a little extra TLC when it’s cold to ensure they’re safe and warm as the winter frost begins to bite.
As the evenings are darker and the weather gets colder, it can be difficult to adapt for both us and our pets, whether you have a dog, cat or a smaller pet.
Here are PDSA’s top tips for taking care of furry family members, so owners are prepared whatever the weather.
Keeping safe outside
The winter season isn’t always the most pleasant for our pets – take extra care when outdoors and watch out for these common winter hazards:
Salt and grit - used on roads in winter can irritate pet’s paws.
Snowy paws – snow can build up on dogs’ paws and cause them discomfort, so prepare paws by keeping hair between pads trimmed, so there’s less hair for snow to gather on.
Antifreeze and de-icer – used to stop cars icing up in winter but it’s incredibly toxic for animals and can be fatal if ingested.
Provide shelter – ideally on very wintry nights we’d advise that you keep your dogs and cats indoors, but if your cat is determined to explore the great outdoors no matter the weather, ensure they can get back inside your home or have a warm shelter they can go to at any time.
Check your cars – cats often shelter under cars in cold and wet weather, or can climb inside the bonnet to take advantage of a warm engine.
Storms and floods – can cause havoc, so it’s best to be prepared for bad weather over winter.
Poisonous plants – For peace of mind, keep them out of your pet’s reach.
Winter Walkies – Many dogs still love the chance to go out on adventures during the colder months, here are a couple of tips when exploring the great outdoors in winter: Take extra precautions during walks when the sun goes down - LED collars, hi-vis leads and coats, as well as a torch are great for lighting the way and being visible.
Puppies and older dogs may need extra help staying warm and would benefit from wearing a coat in colder weather.
Staying active is really important, so you don’t let your pet become a winter couch potato!
Always be extra careful and watch your step on walks, as icy surfaces can be just as slippery for our pets.
Frozen ponds may be enticing, but are as dangerous to our pets as they are us. To keep your dog safe around bodies of water, keep them on a lead. Keep them warm, cosy and active indoors. (photos: Adobe)