10 ways to protect your pets from a cold winter

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 07:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 14:36 pm

The days might be getting gradually longer,but that doesn’t mean we are feeling anywarmer during the icy cold month of January.

And it’s not just humans who feel the winter chill – pets are also not immune to the effects of frost and cold.

Despite their warm, furry coats, the cold winter weather can have serious negative consequences for our four-legged friends.

In fact according to the PDSA old, very young or thin-coated pets are particularly at risk of hypothermia. Any pet can suffer frostbite if they lie on cold ground for too long, so it is vital your pet is prepared when there is a dip in temperature.

“Understanding the risks, and taking precautions, is the best way for owners to ensure their pets are kept safe and healthy during the cold winter months,” says PDSA vet nurse, Katy Orton.

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To help you keep your best friend warm and cosy this January, Katy has shared her top tips on keeping pets warm this January:

Make sure that all pets always have access to a warm, dry areaduring cold weather.Try to take your dog on regular short walks rather than one long walk. If you can, walk them in the daytime and if they get wet while out walking, towel dry them when you get home.Keep your dog warm in a suitable, waterproof coat when on walks if they are very young, old or have thin fur.Try to keep your cat indoors on dark, winter nights, giving them toys to play with to keep them occupied. If they insist on being outside, make sure they have access to a sheltered area for when the temperature plummets.Never leave a pet in a car, caravan or an unheated conservatory as the temperature can rapidly plummet.Never leave pets unattended outside in very cold weather. If you see your pet shivering, this is the first sign that your pet is very cold and you should bring them into the warmth straight away.Ice and snow can be painful if it gets stuck between the pads of your pet’s paws, so try to keep their hair and claws trimmed to prevent this. Check your pet’s paws when they come inside.Relocate rabbits and guinea pigs to a warm and sheltered spot such as a shed or car-free garage. They should still have access to natural light and a run for exercise and stimulationProvide small pets with additional bedding hay during cold spells, and cover hutches and runs with a duvet or thick blanket to help keep the cold out. You’ll need to make sure it’s out of reach from your pet so it can’t be nibbled and check there’s still a good air-flow.Regularly check that water bottles and water bowls haven’t frozen in the cold weather.