Winter is officially upon us! Temperatures have dropped, snow is falling and Christmas festivities are in full swing! This is the season for celebration and family but we must not forget to take care of our furry friends this time of year too.
While our pets often enjoy this time of year as much as us, it is important we take special measures to keep them safe. Hollie Castledine shares her top tips to help you keep your furry friends safe this winter.
Beware Of The Poisons
This time of year the food and drink are flowing and gifts are everywhere! It is important to be aware of those things that may not be so safe for your pets.
Grapes, sultanas, raisins, nuts, blue cheese, chocolate, alcohol and bones are all extremely toxic to your pets! Keep the food safely out of reach and stick to giving them animal safe treats!
Plants, tinsel, wrapping paper, ribbons and baubles all seem fun to play with for our pets but ingestion of these can have severe consequences! Observe any playtime carefully and keep everything out of reach when you’re not around.
Embrace The Ice
Ice and snow can be inconvenient but ice tackling products can be very dangerous for our pets!
Antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs and cats but unfortunately tastes sweet and attractive to them. Ensure you keep bottles safely away from animals, wash away any spillages and use minimum amounts to clear your windscreens or avoid using it at all if possible.
Salt spreading can help reduce slipping but can cause additional problems for our pets. The salt can burn their pads while walking and when they lick their feet to clean them they can ingest a lot of salt. Try sticking to field walking in the winter with your dogs and rinse their feet when you get home or get them some booties to wear when they are out and about.
Avoid using salt in your gardens to reduce the risk of your cats having to walk over it and wipe their feet when they come back in if you can. Ensure fresh water is always available to help wash down any salty mouths and prevent dehydration.
Keep Them Warm
Yes pets have lovely thick fur but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the cold too.
Refrain from over clipping during winter and allow them to gain a thicker undercoat to help keep them warm when they are out. Dogs with thin fur may need a little extra help and a dog coat when they are out walking can help keep them warm. Monitor your dog closely and touch them regularly when out on walks to ensure they are not getting too cold and do not allow them into any water.
Ensure your cats always have a way to get back into somewhere warm. If you don’t have a cat-flap create them an enclosed den outside with warm blankets and fresh water so they have somewhere warmer to hide until you can let them back in.
Ensure your cats have a litter tray at home so going outside is a choice rather than a necessity.
Keep Them Seen
Walking in the dark is inevitable this time of year but you can keep your dogs safer by keeping them visible. Use light up collars or collar tags and light up balls so you always know where they are.
Ensure you always keep them on leads when there is deep snow and when near the road. Make sure you are visible to cars too with fluorescent clothing.
Ensure your pets are microchipped and the details are up to date! Your cat or dog can get scared and run away in a moment of panic so make sure they can get home again! Microchips and tags on the collar with your details give them the best chance of getting back to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about how to keep your pets safe this winter or if you would like any further information please get in touch with your vets. A free nurse appointment can be made at all Scarsdale Vets practices to discuss any winter safety tips.
Most importantly if you are concerned your pet is unwell this winter do not hesitate to get in touch – we are here for you 24/7.