Depending on your thoughts on winter, it’s either a magical time of year, or it’s a three-month-long nuisance. For your pets, it can be a potentially perilous time of year if their human carers aren’t prepared. From the icy conditions to the household dangers, it’s best to be prepared for everything this winter so you don’t have to manage any unnecessary trips to the vet.
Give your dog a coat
Would you go out in just one layer when the weather is biting cold and there’s snow on the ground? Of course, you wouldn’t! Do your dog a favour and get him a warm and cosy coat to keep the elements at bay.
Check your car for cats
Cats love to hide under cars in the winter months and will even climb up into wheel wells to take advantage of residual engine heat. Before moving your car, it’s always best to check for any sneaky cats that might be hiding on or under your car.
Look out for frostbite
When walking your dog in snowy conditions, you might want to consider getting him booties to protect his delicate paws from the cold and the pavement salt. If you’ve been outside for a long time, keep an eye out for frostbite on his paws, the tip of his tail and his ears. Frostbite will make the skin hard and waxy and it may have blisters.
Watch the antifreeze
Antifreeze is deadly to pets, even in the smallest of quantities. Look out for spillages from your car and make sure bottles are kept locked away. Better still, don’t let your pets anywhere near the garage. If you notice your pet looking disoriented, like he’s drunk, or if he begins convulsing, take him to an emergency vet right away.
Review your pet’s diet
We all get a little sedentary during the winter months, and cats, in particular, are notorious for putting on a few ounces of winter weight. If your pet is less active, reduce the amount you feed your pet accordingly and make sure you measure the food rather than guessing.
Inside or out?
If your pet usually spends their time outdoors, make sure they have a warm and dry place to sleep and are wearing a coat. If you’re expecting a snowstorm, it might be best to keep your pets indoors for the worst of it. The same goes for small animals like rabbits which will need extra bedding to allow them to burrow and keep warm.