Cats and dogs

Winter care advice

DOGS                                                                    CATS

  • Coats and jumpers can keep dogs with         * Most cats prefer to spend more time
    short coats warm and snug in winter                indoors, but if yours is the outdoors
  • Try to make sure your dog gets a walk              type, ensure he has a warm place to
    no matter what the weather is like                     shelter. When it’s really cold, keep
  • If it is unsafe for you to go out, make                him inside – pet cats can develop
    sure you provide other enrichment for             hypothermia and frostbite
    your pet                                                                * Cats are often tempted by the warmth
  • If you are unable to walk on well-lit paths,     to crawl into a car engine, resulting in
    wear something high-viz, such as a bright       them being seriously injured or even
    arm-band, and put a light-up collar on            killed when the engine is started. They
    your dog                                                                   might also venture somewhere they
  • Trim the hair around your dog’s feet to            shouldn’t and get trapped without food
    help prevent painful ice-balls forming              or water. If in doubt, keep your cat inside.
    between the pads and toes of the feet               Buy a litter tray and some litter in
  • If you walk on treated pavements, wash           preparation
    your dog’s paws after a walk because salt
    and grit can irritate their footpads. This will also prevent them licking it off their feet.
  • Keep your dog on a lead near frozen water. If he does run on to it, don’t run after him. Most dogs are strong swimmers and are more likely to be able to get themselves out of trouble than you might think. Do not risk falling into freezing water
  • If your dog is less active during the winter months, don’t forget to cut back a bit on what you feed him
  • If your dog has arthritis and shows signs of discomfort in the cold, contact your vet


Fireworks season

  • Keep dogs and cats inside while fireworks are going off.
  • Never take your dog to a firework display. Even if he doesn’t bark or whimper, it doesn’t mean he’s happy.
  • Avoid leaving your pet by himself at home on firework night. If you do have to leave the house, don’t get angry if he has been destructive or toileted. Shouting at a frightened pet will only make him more stressed.
  • If your pet paces around, whines/miaows and hides in a corner, don’t try to coax them out.
  • Stay calm, act normally and praise your pet for calm behaviour. It’s OK to cuddle and stroke your pet if it helps them relax.
  • Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet where it can feel safe and comfortable – perhaps under a bed.
  • Ensure the dog wears a collar and tag even if he’s microchipped. If he does run away in a panic you have a better chance of being quickly reunited.
  • Walk your dog earlier in the day before the fireworks start.
  • Close windows and doors, and block off cat flaps to stop pets escaping. Keep noise to a minimum.
  • Draw curtains and switch on the TV or radio to block out some of the noise.