Orchard Vet's Blog

Winter weather advice


The so-called 'Beast from the East' has arrived: an arctic storm carrying feeezing winds across Europe. As the Met Office issues severe weather warnings, the RSPCA is urging people to ensure their animals are safe and warm.

You may not feel like going for a walk in winter, but the exercise will keep your pet happy and healthy. You and your dog should wear reflective clothing to ensure you're both visible.

Keep your dogs away from ponds and lakes that are iced over. Thin ice may break under a dog's weight. Also watch out for your dogs' paws becoming impacted with snow, which can cause discomfort.

Cats should have constant access to the house or a warm inside area, such as an outbuilding or shed with appropriate heating. Their bedding or sleeping areas must be warm, dry and away from any draughts.

Care should be taken with antifreeze and rock salt as they are both poisonous to pets.

Keep an eye on outdoor pets. Provide extra bedding and be prepared to move them into a shed or unused garage for shelter. If left outside, protect hutches from the weather with covers that provide winter insulation, although ensuring there is adequate ventilation. Hutches should be raised off the ground by at least four inches and placed in a sheltered position, facing away from wind and rain.

You can read the RSPCA's rabbit winter care advice here. §