Wildlife will be grateful of a supply of fresh unfrozen water too. Sadly with the earlier warmer weather there have been reports of hedgehogs coming out of hibernation early. Wet dog or cat food is the best food to provide for them, not milk and bread. Our wild bird population will be grateful of any extra calories at this time of year.Despite the arctic conditions we are still open at the Barn to look after your pets but here are some top tips that you can use to help them in this very cold weather. If it’s too cold for you it’s likely too cold for your pet. Keep dog walks shorter and remember to wash their feet on return home. Salt on the pavements can be very irritating to pads and toes. Provide litter trays for cats that usually toilet outside – often they struggle with the frozen ground. Beware anti-freeze, it is sweet and very poisonous to our pets, often causing life threatening kidney damage. Keep bottles secure and ensure that if you car leaks anti-freeze that it is rinsed away well to discourage lapping. When starting your car, bang on the bonnet first to ensure there are no stow aways huddling next to the engine for warmth – cats are very prone to doing this! Feeling creaky? Remember our pets suffer from arthritis too as they age. Take care on slippery surfaces and consider arthirtis medications if your pet is struggling. Please contact us at the Barn if your pet is struggling to get around in the cold weather, there is so much that can be done to help, not only dogs but cats and rabbits too! Outdoor pets – check their water supplies regularly as they can freeze repeatedly during the day in very cold weather. Provide extra bedding and ensure hutches and chicken coops are well insulated and are not drafty.