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Winter Watch Outs

Despite their fur, cats, dogs and small furries can feel the cold just the same as humans do, and freezing temperatures can create problems if you’re not prepared for winter.

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Winter Watch Outs

Here are some ‘Winter watch outs’ and handy tips to help you make sure your pet is happy and healthy during the chilly winter months. For more information, or to speak to someone about caring for your pet during the winter months please book an appointment today at your local practice or speak to a member of the team.

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Dogs

• Surprisingly, antifreeze smells and tastes good to pets so if they find it they will drink it. However, it is highly poisonous so make sure it is stored well out of reach and any spillages are cleaned up straight away.

• Don’t walk your dog on ice as just like us they can slip and injure themselves. Even more important is to make sure they don’t run onto frozen lakes or canals, as they could fall into icy water if the ice is too thin.

• Grit and salt on your dog's paws can make them sore, so it is important to wash it off. It can also make them poorly if they lick it off, so always rinse your pup's paws after walks.

• Take care in snow, your dog might see it as a novelty but dangerous objects or chemicals may be hidden underneath – also eating snow can cause stomach upset and even hypothermia.

• Make sure your dog always has a fresh water supply, and don’t allow it to freeze.
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Cats

• Surprisingly, antifreeze smells and tastes good to pets so if they find it they will drink it. However, it is highly poisonous so make sure it is stored well out of reach and any spillages are cleaned up straight away.

• Make sure that there is somewhere warm and cosy for your cat to sleep. Cats will curl up next to anything hot to keep warm, which can include under the bonnet of a car, so check where they are before you start the engine.

• Make sure your cat’s water supply is never frozen and remember to check the water every day.
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Small furries

• Provide extra bedding for rabbits and other outdoor pets and be prepared to move them into a shed, un-used garage or utility room for shelter.

• If you move your rabbit indoors don't put them too close to a heater or radiator as they can very easily suffer from heat stress.

• If you are keeping your pet outside, beds or hutches should be raised off the ground to prevent the base becoming too cold, damp or rotten. Bedding should always be fresh and dry as it will freeze overnight even if it’s slightly damp.

• Don't house pets in greenhouses or conservatories due to the temperature changes. Also take care if they are living in garages that are regularly used by a car as there can be toxic fumes.