Vets4Pets Carlisle Winter Weather Pet Care
During cold weather we rely on salt, grit and de-icing products to prevent falls and car accidents.
All these can irritate your dog’s paws and the chemical nature of the grit can cause burns if left for long periods of time. To soothe the irritation your dog might lick at their paws and if grit is ingested it can cause stomach upset and dehydration. We advise against walking on gritted surfaces where possible. Wash your dog’s paws thoroughly after a walk and if your dog tolerates them, there are special booties and waterproof socks to protect their paws.
The cold weather can also cause the paw pads to become dry, chapped and cracked. You can use a barrier cream or special paw wax to help soothe and re-hydrate. Introducing oils into their diet can help minimise the problem and we recommend Yumega oils.
Antifreeze and de-icer products used in cars pose another threat to cats and dogs. They have a sweet smell and a taste that attract pets but are highly poisonous and fatal when ingested. Keep an eye out when walking and wash your pet’s paws to reduce any risk of ingestion.
If you have a cat that goes outside make sure they have access to a safe, warm place. Often cats will seek out shelter and warmth in car engines which can be incredibly dangerous. They might also get trapped in sheds without food or water. Ensure they’re microchipped and their registration details are up-to-date. It will give you greater chance of getting them home if they go missing.
Older pets, puppies and kittens won’t tolerate the cold weather as well, short-coated breeds like whippets and greyhounds can benefit from a jumper or coat outside. Restrict their time outside if it’s chilly, there’s lots of games you can play inside to keep them active and stimulated.
Don’t forget about rabbits and guinea pigs, they can suffer from the cold too. If their hutch is kept outside make sure it’s positioned to provide shelter from wind, rain and snow. If possible move it inside a garage or shed. Cover the hutch with a blanket and add extra bedding to keep them warm. Keep their hay topped up because keeping themselves warm burns extra calories. Keep an eye on water bottles regularly in case they freeze.
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