Winter weather advice
We are in the grip of a real cold snap at the moment and our pets and other animals will be feeling the chill too. Most vulnerable are those who live outside and that’s we urge people to bring animals that are housed outdoors (eg rabbits, ferrets or guinea pigs) into a shed or garage/outhouse. Below are some tips on how to help keep our furry and feathered friends happy during winter!
- Keep an eye on the temperature – As mentioned, outdoor animals are best brought inside when the weather is freezing. Provide a lot of extra bedding and make sure housing is draught free and dry. The other side to this is if an animal is brought indoors, make sure they are not in a position where over heating is a possibility! Aviary birds require protection from the elements and will need extra food and bedding.
- Walking the dog – It’s a good idea to get your dog a reflective functional winter coat. You can buy ‘light’ collars too which flash or are static allowing you to see your pet rom a distance. Drying your dog thoroughly when returning from a walk will ensure they keep warm.
- Dangers outdoors – Impacted snow can cause a problem for long eared dogs and can also be very uncomfortable on their paws. Salt/grit/antifreeze are all poisonous so please keep any you have stored safely. If you think your pet has ingested a potentially lethal substance contact your vet immediately.
- Wild animals – Birds not only appreciate extra food in cold weather but they need access to fresh water to bathe in and drink. If you are tidying the garden, be mindful of hibernating or over wintering animals. If at all possible, leave wood and leaf piles in situ until the warmer weather. Garden ponds need attention as harmful gases can build up under ice. Place a warm saucepan onto the surface to gently melt the ice.
- Equines – Horses need somewhere warm and dry to shelter and will also need a lot of extra food too. A rug can help them stay dry.
- Frozen water and ice – Please be very careful if you are walking near any body of frozen water as these can pose a real danger. Also, running in ice and snow can leads to slips and breaks, so care should be taken if your dogs loves ‘zoomies’.