It may seem obvious, but the best advice is to keep your pets indoors as much as possible during extreme cold weather. They may be covered in fur, but they are generally not built for sub-zero temperatures – except a Husky, they can’t get enough of it!!
Here’s a few tips to keep your cat or dog safe during a cold snap…
Plan for the Cold
As a practice we noticed in March 2018, during the last heavy snow, that cats were going to the toilet much less frequently because they didn’t fancy venturing out in knee deep snow. Our client’s cats were holding onto their urine for excessive periods of time and because of this we saw increased levels of urinary tract inflammations and infections.
We recommend planning ahead a making sure you can provide, at a minimum, one litter tray per cat to make sure they have someone comfortable to go to the bathroom indoors.
Keep an eye on the Weather Forecast
During the “Beast from the East” Met Eireann was very good at issuing alerts in terms of the likely times a blizzard would hit each area. Mer Eireann have a handy app that we would recommend downloading so that you can keep an eye on the latest alerts.
Make sure your cat or dog has been out for a trip to the bathroom and is brought back inside in plenty of time before a blizzard is due to arrive.
Watch out for Ice
Dogs have better balance than us humans, but they too are prone to slipping on ice and injuring themselves. We notice at times when footpaths and roads are slippery with ice that there’s an increase in incidence of orthopaedic injuries.
Try to avoid any ice and if your dog has a slip contact our emergency department.
Pads and Paws
Most dogs love to be out and about playing in the snow for long periods of time but this can lead to blisters on their pads and paws – due to the low temperatures. Keep an eye on the clock and check their feet to make sure no damage has been done to the skin.
Also remember than salt and substances used to de-ice footpaths and roads can irritate your dog’s paws. If you think they may have come into contact with an irritant, make sure to wash their paws off immediately with lukewarm water.
The cold weather can be hard on local wildlife too so always try and do your bit and be wildlife aware. Plenty of shops stock bird feeders and fat balls which can make all the difference to wildlife during an extreme cold spell.
Here’s two more seasonal posts you might be interested in:
- Arkvet Christmas Opening Hours
- Christmas Temptations – Help Keep Your Cat and Dog Safe this Christmas