My car was frozen over this morning, and I can see my breath when I’m outside. It must mean one thing: winter is finally here!!
We’ve tried to bring you a blog each season with some tips to keep you and your pet happy and safe. In the summer we talked about what to do when the weather is lovely and hot (did that actually happen this summer?). No we’ve got a blog all about that cold weather!
We’re starting with snow safety here, even though in the south of the UK we rarely see much snow! As we don’t see much snow (at least down in our head office in Cambridge) it’s actually easier for us to get complacent. We may not think about it too much, but dangers are still present.
We suggest keeping most dogs on the lead during heavy snow downpours. Dogs can lose their way in the snow quite easily, due to a lack of scent, and can get lost. Smaller dogs, and dogs with short haired coats, can get cold very quickly so don’t forget the extra layer for warmth!
De-icer, Antifreeze & Coolant
There have been a number of worrying cases recently of antifreeze poisoning. It’s very rare for animals (especially cats) to survive antifreeze poisoning. If they are taken to a vet as soon as possible there is a very small chance that a good vet can save them, but sadly this doesn’t often happen.
Be very careful when refilling your car of coolant and antifreeze. If you spill any, please make sure it’s cleaned up thoroughly. Poisons can run and get into puddles, which unsuspecting pets may end up licking up. The same goes for the de-icer we use in the mornings. Try some natural alternatives instead to keep neighbourhood pets safer!
Cold weather can affect pets just as much as it can affect humans! If you’re cold, imagine how your pets are feeling!!
If your pet needs grooming, be sure not to groom too close to the skin. A layer of thick fur will help to keep them warm in the winter months. If you have a short haired pet, or a cat that doesn’t have much fur, you may need to consider getting a pet jumper for them!
Warm place to sleep
Just as important as it is to keep your pets warm during the day, keeping them warm at night is also vital. If your pet usually sleeps on the floor, make sure he has a nice blanket or a warm pillow to keep the cold from coming up. This tip is especially important for older pets, who may have mild arthritis. The cold will make any arthritis or mobility issues worse.
While these two words are probably your pet’s favourite, there is actually a good reason to feed them a bit more! If your pet is very active (a working dog for example), then giving them a bit extra food in the evenings is a good idea.
Talk to your vet about finding the right balance for your pet. Make sure it’s packed full of protein to keep them going!
What happens in winter? Christmas! We will be releasing a very special Christmas blog in the next few weeks. There will be tips on how to make Christmas great for your pets too. We thought we’d just pop this tip in here early; do be careful about treats in the winter.
There are always lots of holiday treats going around, but the additive Xylitol is sadly quite common. This is used as a sweetener for many human treats, but is deadly to pets. Tiny amounts will probably not be too bad, but bigger amounts can be a killer.
As with our summer blog, one of the most important safety tips we can say is: don’t leave your pets in the car. In the summer, the temperature can rise so quickly and kill your dog in under 30 minutes. In the winter the reverse can happen, and the temperature can drop at an alarming rate, leading to hypothermia.
One more tip under the heading of car safety, is to check your car before you start the engine in the morning! Cats and other small animals may find that a nice warm engine from the evening before was a perfect place to have a nap. If they are still there in the morning, this will not be a pleasant wake up call for either you or the pet in question!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our winter tips! If you have any extras, we’d love to see some in the comments section below!