As the British temperature starts to drop, it’s important to think about how to keep our furry friends safe and warm this winter. Despite having furry coats, they still need a little extra help to keep cozy. Each animal is an individual so do what works for your pet however there is slightly differing advice depending on type of pet.
One tip for all pets is to ensure they have a cosy bed to snuggle up in, somewhere away from draughts.
- Protect your puppy’s paws by investing in a nice set of booties for walks (only if they are happy to wear them). Booties can stop snow, ice, melting salt, and other debris from building up between your dog’s paw pads.
- If you can, bathe your dogs paws after walks to make sure no grit, ice or salt has gotten stuck. Also make sure your dogs paws are nice and dry after this. If Scamps & Champs Derby walk your dog, we can also do this for you on the colder days.
- Be seen, be safe! As the dark nights are here, ensure your dog has something reflective to wear during the walk so they can be visible. That also goes for those walking too, wear something reflective.
- Consider investing in a fitted warm coat for your dog, especially if they are elderly or slim.
- Depending on your cats temperament, you could try a reflective collar for your cat if they still like to go outside when it’s dark. If possible, use a quick release collar in case of any possible incidents of getting stuck.
- Cat flap: If you have a cat flap, ensure your cat is always able to access indoors when they need to. If you don’t have a cat flap, consider leaving your cat indoors if you aren’t home to let them in when they want to come home.
- Antifreeze is poisonous to cats but they are attracted to it’s smell! Keep out of reach of cats and try not to spill any when using outdoors.
- Cats love cosy hiding places so be sure to check in sheds and garages before locking up for the night.
- Litter trays: even if your cat is a ‘go outdoors’ kind of feline, it is always worth providing a toilet facility for them inside for when the weather is very cold. This gives them the option of staying in and sheltered.
- If your cat or dog becomes less active in Winter, try playing with them to keep them active and to ensure they do not put on unnecessary weight.
Also be aware that the cold weather can affect older pets joints, especially if they suffer from arthritis. Ask you vet for advice on how to care for your pets joints.
- Hamsters, gerbils and mice should be kept out of draughts.
- Try a special cover to keep water bottles from freezing overnight.
- If you have an outdoor rabbit, try to put their hutch in a position which is sheltered from the wind (up against the house if possible). You could also use a cover for the hutch to add to the protection and if it’s going to be a particularly cold spell, bring them indoors if possible.
- If you have an outdoor pond, be sure to check it regularly. If it freezes over, it can trap harmful gases beneath the surface. Take care when trying to de-ice the surface, ensuring that the fish don’t accidentally get harmed.