We are now well into the Winter Season. And while the days may be just about getting that little bit longer, we have still plenty of time to go to use our woolly jumpers, scarves, hats, gloves and thermal coats. But what about our pets who don’t have these luxuries when outside?! Here are a few of our Winter-Weather-Wise tips.
1. Avoid over grooming
Don’t worry you can keep your pooch in pristine condition but avoid very tight cuts that will expose their skin to the elements. This is especially true for thinner and smaller breeds. Buy them a warm winter coat in your local pet shop to keep them cosy when out for walkies. For hairy mutts why not get a mini trim done around the essential areas such as paws, face, bum and ears to keep the skin in this area healthy.
2. Salt Grit equals Sore Paws
This grit is the perfect solution to our walking and motoring needs but not for our dog or cat friends. It can cause sores to develop on their paw pads. After every walkies wipe your dogs paws with a dry towel and don’t forget to do between the toes too. If your dog is prone to sensitive paws then why not go to your local pet shop and purchase a pair of walking booties. For your feline friend wipe their paws every time they come back inside. If you have a purr-ticularly feisty feline who won’t allow this then place an absorbent mat or towel in the area where they re-enter the house to help rub off the salt.
3. Anti-Freeze, Your Pets Worst Winter Enemy
This highly toxic substance smells and tastes deliciously sweet to pets but just a few licks could cause irreversible kidney damage. Always store the bottle out of reach. When using it make sure there are no leaks in the bottle and wipe the excess from the rim after use. If it spills then immediately and thoroughly clean it up. Check to ensure a car leakage hasn’t occurred causing an anti-freeze puddle to form on the ground. When out for walkies do not allow your dog to drink from water puddles. The only way to be certain your cat will not ingest it is to keep her indoors. Otherwise be aware what the toxic signs look like. The major signs your pet will show are: wobbly and uncoordinated movements, weakness, vomiting, rapid heart rate and fainting. Get your pet to the nearest vet if you suspect they ingested anti-freeze.
4. Freezin’ Felines
Cats are always on the lookout for that perfect cosy sleeping spot. They love to climb under the car bonnet to get to the warm engine. To avoid serious injury or fatality from the fan belt when you start the car, bang loudly on the bonnet and this will give her the heads up to jump out and escape. Even if you don’t own any pets or cats you should do this for the sake of your feline neighbours as cats are not fussy about whose car engine they nest in, as long as it is warm.
5. Outdoor Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
If your little furry lives in an outside hutch then don’t forget to move it to a more sheltered area or to the inside of a shed or garage. Give them lots of warm bedding and give extra again in times of extreme cold. During the winter rabbits and guinea pigs will naturally eat more so remember to give them lots of fresh food and water. Always check that their water bottle hasn’t frozen. In times of severe low temperature bring them inside to the spare toilet or utility room to save them from the sharp fall in temperature.
Have a Wonderful, Warm and Wise Wintertime from all of us at Petcare Vets
By- Maria Reidy RVN Maria is A Registered Veterinary Nurse working at Petcare Vets Charlesland. For more great advice and services 1 on 1 Nurse Clinics are available with Maria by calling 012870321 or using our Book an Appointment Online Button. For more information see http://www.petcarevets.ie/nurse-clinics/