With the recent cold weather here is some advice to keep your pets happy and healthy.
The cold weather means the roads and pavements will be salted, therefore your dog will need to have his/her feet washed after a walk using warm water to prevent irritation. To keep your dog active throughout the winter, ensure you continue to walk them but be aware that short haired dogs such as greyhounds will need to wear a dog coat. Also, try to wear reflective/fluorescent clothing and use reflective/fluorescent items on your dog to keep you both safe. If you are unable to walk your dog as much, you may need to cut back on their food to prevent weight gain.
Dogs and Cats:
Anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) is very poisonous for both cats and dogs. It can be innocently used by people in water features, car maintenance etc. but being quite palatable to cats and dogs, even a small amount can be devastating. Take care when discarding of empty containers.
Even if your cat normally chooses to go to the toilet outside, it might be worth having a litter tray inside during the winter months as cats do feel the cold therefore will go outside less and with the ground being hard on frosty days, will be unable to dig. If your cat is not already micro-chipped it would be worth considering as cats can go missing when they try to find shelter/warmth. A microchip will help reunite you with your cat sooner.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs:
If your rabbit or guinea pig lives outdoors, ensure the hutch is sheltered from the wind, rain, snow etc. Consider moving the hutch into an unused shed or garage. Guinea pigs should ideally be housed indoors during the winter months. Extra bedding and feeding additional hay will help to keep them warm. If needed, we can order a microwaveable disc called a ‘snuggle safe’ that your rabbit or guinea pig can sit on or ‘snuggle’ up to when it’s really cold. Check water bottles at least twice a day to make sure the water is still coming out of the dropper. It may be worth using a bowl of water inside of the hutch as well. Regularly check the hutch and run for damage as foxes and badgers will be braver during the winter as they struggle to find food.