Caring for Pets in Cold Weather
With snow on the way, some tips for looking after our fur babies this winter
Dogs cold weather advice
- Put a dog coat or jumper on them when you go out for a walk, especially if you have a fine coated dog, such as a Greyhound or a Staffie
- Check their paws and defrost snow – and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside as long haired dogs are prone to snow compacting between their toes
- Clean their paws at the end of your walk as salt and grit from roads and pavements can get between your dog’s paws
- Dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks
- Provide them with lots of toys for them to play with indoors and do not force your dog out in the cold weather
- Make sure your dog has good recall if you’re letting them off the lead when out dog walking so they do not get lost when visibility is reduced in foggy or snowy weather conditions
- Attach a small light to your dog’s collar so other pedestrians can see them when out on walks in weather which reduces visibility
- Keep contact details on your pet’s collar and microchip up to date in case they should stray.
Cats cold weather advice
- Avoid using antifreeze and products containing products. Cats are attracted to the taste of the chemical which is severely dangerous causing many cats to die every year. If this does occur, seek veterinary advice immediately
- Provide a litter tray for your cat so they do not have to go outside if they choose not to
- Provide lots of interesting toys for your cat to play with if they are spending more time indoors
- Dry off your cat if they get wet outside
- Check their paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside as long haired cats are prone to snow compacting between their toes
- Leave somewhere warm and snuggly for them to curl up in if your cat is home alone during the day, especially for older cats
- Keep your cat indoors in the colder evenings so they are safe from the traffic in conditions with reduced visibility
- Keep contact details on your cat’s collar and microchip up to date in case they should stray
- Tap the hood of your car before starting the engine to disturb any sleeping stowaways – cats have a habit of crawling under car bonnets to soak up the warmth from the engine
Outdoor pets cold weather advice
- Check your pets water in cold weather the water can freeze leaving your pet with no water to drink
- Top up bedding extra bedding will help keep your outdoor pet warm
- Popping a cover over the front of cages through the night, will help to keep some heat in the cage as the temperature drops.
- Outdoors pets may need more calories in the cold weather to generate energy and keep warm.
- Consider moving inside in extremely cold weather you may want to move your pets indoors. Perhaps in shed or garage. Or for field kept pets like horses or donkeys, providing a shelter or stable.