Cold Weather Checklist for Pets

by Jared Smith
Published: Last Updated on
by Anna Tilley RVN SQP, Ryedale Vets
Winter is well upon us now and, at Ryedale Vets, we often see pets with illnesses that are preventable if the right precautions are taken. Follow these tips to keep our furry friends safe through the cold winter months:

✔ Ice covering drinking water for pets in sheds, kennels, fields etc. must be broken regularly to allow access to fresh water.

✔ Extra bedding should be provided – along with a felt or warm cover – for small pets in hutches outside or in a shed.

✔ Antifreeze is a potentially fatal risk to all pets because they are attracted to its sweet taste. Please clean up all spills and do not allow access to open bottles or to areas where it is stored.

✔ Check your vehicle engines and wheel trims for cats who may have sought out the warmth on a cold day. Setting off without moving them could result in serious injuries. Tapping the bonnet prior to your journey is also a good idea.

✔ Provide thin-skinned, short coated, elderly or vulnerable dogs with a snuggly coat for their walks, and always dry them thoroughly when you get home.

✔ Check paws following walks and remove any road salt that may have gathered. Road salt can cause sores on pet’s feet and can be toxic if ingested when they lick themselves.

✔ Bear in mind potential injuries to both yourselves and your dogs if out in icy conditions, and don’t worry if they miss an occasional walk if conditions underfoot are dangerous. Allowing toileting in the garden for a day or two should be fine.

✔ Conditions such as arthritis may flare up during colder weather so please ensure your pets get their medication as prescribed, if you have any questions about your pet’s achy joints just give us a call.

✔ With the dark mornings and nights, walking your dog in the dark may become unavoidable so reflective collars, coats or attachable flashing lights are essential to stay safe. Also, avoid letting your dog off the lead near poorly lit roads.

✔ Remember to keep your pets up to date with their regular parasite treatments to keep them healthy and protect young children and the vulnerable in our community. Ryedale Vets can help remind you and spread the cost of these treatments with our Pet Health Plans. Get in touch with us to find out more.

✔ Please be mindful of wildlife who will appreciate some fresh water and feeders in your garden during the winter months.
Now snuggle in and enjoy the remaining Winter nights by the fire with your pets!

Happy New Year to everyone and their pets from Ryedale Vets. We wish you a happy and healthy 2021.

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