USPCA Winter Health Tips for your Pets

Winter is truly here and USPCA urge pet owners to take good care of their animals in the cold weather conditions.

Cold weather poses special risks for pets, such as running out of water (frozen over or power outages) and increased pain from arthritis. Winter dangers aren’t just about the cold temperatures.

Never leave a pet in a car. Even a few minutes in a cold car can cause hypothermia

Shelter

Extra care must be taken to ensure your pet survives the low temperatures, wind chills, and moisture (rain, sleet, snow) of winter. It might be a good idea to keep your pet indoors when if it is very cold outside however If your pet will be housed outside, make sure that adequate shelter is provided — to shield from wind, moisture, and cold. Position the shelter so the opening is not in the face of the prevailing winds. A drape or door also helps. Take extra care to ensure that your pet is comfortable and can get into and out of their housing easily. USPCA Animal Hospital will stock what you require (kennel liners) please contact one of our advisors to help you get what you require and what is safe for your animal shelter.

Water

Pets need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Exercise

As always, exercise is important. If there is snow on the ground, check your pet’s paws for ice balls or injuries. Rinse feet off if your pet has walked where de-icers have been used. Some de-icers are toxic when ingested (when pet licks paws)

Always wear reflective clothing when out walking to make yourself visible and don’t forget your pets too – fit your dog with a reflective collar.

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

Feeding birds

Birds may have difficulty finding normal food in winter. Please read Feeding the Birds Section

Fireworks at New Years Eve

Domestic pets, farm animals and wildlife can all suffer as a result of the noise created by fireworks. Please read our Fireworks section for further advice

Should you wish to speak to the USPCA Vet for advice this winter please contact the USPCA on 02830251000 for an appointment