25 January 2018
Love it or hate it the Winter months are upon us and while its easy for us owners to wrap up warm with our scarves and gloves it’s not so convenient for our furry friends. Dogs need to be kept warm, particularly when out walking. The ice and snow on the ground can be painful on paws while grit and salt play havoc with their pads and in between their toes. Cats, on the other hand, are independent and excellent at knowing their own limitations – if its too cold they won’t stay out long!
Here are some handy tips for looking after your pets in the cold weather. Don’t forget you can also call our team of Registered Veterinary Nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on the Pet Health Helpline , on 03333 32 19 47 – they don’t mind the cold!
Coats – dogs have their own built in insulation but some breeds, such as Pugs and French Bulldogs, feel the cold much more than others. If you are buying a coat for your dog it’s a good idea to take them with you, most retailers will be happy to let you try coats for size. A good coat should protect a dog from the neck to the base of the tail and the tummy area.
Paws – some people buy special bootees for their dogs’, but this isn’t always necessary unless there is a problem with the paws. Inspect your pets’ feet regularly, look out for grazes, red marks or anything that looks different and if you are concerned call the Pet Health Helpline for advice. Prevention is better than cure as they say so try using a petroleum jelly such as Vaseline as a barrier on the pads of the feet. Put this on before you leave the house ensuring the dog doesn’t lick it and wash it off with lukewarm water when you get home. Shorter walks in the winter are safer and get into the habit of washing your dogs’ paws when they get home to get rid of any grit or salt that may accumulate and cause discomfort and pain.
For both dogs and cats please remember that radiator coolant and anti-freeze are highly toxic. Keep these sealed and out of reach at all times; and if you spill any, then make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned before letting your pet near it.
Pet Health Helpline 03333 321 947 should be used as a first port of call if you are worried and they will recommend if you need to go to the vets or not, the service is not intended to be used in place of going to your vet and if you are very concerned about your pet do not hesitate in going to your vet.