VET’S VIEW: A comfortable winter for your furry friends

WITH winter already here, pet lovers might worry about keeping their furry friends warm, so here are a few ways to make sure your pets don’t catch a chill.

Dogs love walks and need exercise, so might appreciate help staying warm outside, especially short-haired breeds, smaller dogs, older dogs and puppies, which can quickly lose body heat.

Practical warm and waterproof jackets are available from most pet shops, preferably with reflective strips.

Give dogs a good rub down with a warm towel when home, especially when there’s snow on the ground, remembering to remove any ice crystals/toxic road grit from feet.

Never leave dogs in cars in winter, as cars can quickly become extremely cold and dangerous.

Give your cat the luxury of one of those comfy beds that hooks over your radiator, with carefully wrapped hot water bottles under bedding another way to keep pets toasty. One of the best (and most fun!) ways to ensure your pet stays warm is lots of contact. Holidays mean more free time to spend with your pets – also any excuse for a belly rub is always going to be well received with your animal companions – whatever the season! On the flip side make sure your pet doesn’t get too warm. With your roaring fire, central heating, and house fully insulated, pets can run the risk of getting too warm. Look for signs of lethargy and excessive panting.

For rabbits, guinea pigs and rodents living outside, make sure bedding is topped up, providing well-insulated shelter boxes.

Better still, move hutches somewhere warmer, such as a shed, garage, or even inside your house. Check regularly, making sure they’re safe, snug, and have access to fresh, unfrozen water.