The winter months can be a tough time for your pets. The weather is much colder and there are several winter hazards to look out for. Thankfully, these problems can be avoided by taking extra precautions.
It’s important to be aware of anything that could be harmful for your four-legged friends. We wanted to highlight some of the hazards that your pets could face and offer some top tips for how to avoid them. We hope these tips can give you peace of mind and help your precious pets to stay safe, happy and healthy.
Here is some information on the hazards you should look out for this winter:
The cold weather can be tough for your beloved pets.
As most dogs spend a lot of time inside, they're not used to the colder temperatures. Short-haired dogs can really struggle, so you may want to get them a nice winter coat to keep them warm.
When your dog comes in from a walk, make sure you wipe their feet as there may be grit on the ground. We'd also suggest trimming the hair around your dog’s feet to prevent ice balls forming as these can be very uncomfortable!
With low temperatures and icy roads, you might notice more salt/grit on the ground. If you walk your dog on salted pavements, it’s a good idea to wipe their feet or wash them in warm water when you get back home.
Salt and grit can cause discomfort for your beloved pet and can irritate their feet. Wiping their feet is also important so that when they lick their paws, they don’t ingest lots of salt.
When it's cold outside, cats often take shelter underneath cars.
They may crawl up to a car engine to keep warm but this can be really dangerous when the engine is started up. If you are concerned about your cat venturing too far, we'd recommend keeping them inside.
Cats can also hide under car bonnets or wheel arches in an attempt to keep warm. Before you start your car engine, gently tap your car bonnet and check around the wheels just in case.
The winter months can be tough for your pets.
If you have a rabbit or guinea pig, be mindful of the position of their hutch. Ideally, it should be positioned so that the wind, rain and snow can't blow in.
If possible, it's a good idea to move the hutch into a garage or shed for extra protection.
It's better to keep guinea pigs inside during the colder months if you can, so this is something to consider too. Perhaps move them into a garage or conservatory.
It’s a good idea to trim the hair around your dog’s feet to prevent ice balls. These can form between the pads and toes of the feet and can be really uncomfortable! Hair that builds up in the pads can become matted and will easily pick up rock salt and ice. The hair will also retain moisture from any rain or snow. Keeping your dog's hair trimmed and wiping their feet after walks will help to avoid this happening.
It's important to stay away from frozen lakes and ponds, or to keep your dog on a lead as it could be dangerous if they run onto the ice. While frozen lakes might seem solid, there could be holes and the ice could crack. Be careful around ice on the ground too as it's slippery and any sharp ice could cut your dog's paws.
We hope you and your gorgeous pets stay safe and healthy! 😊