The cold weather is beautiful and makes a welcome change from the rain – however do watch out for your pets and wildlife as the temperature plummets.
The cold, dark nights unfortunately make roads an even more dangerous place for cats and we always see more road traffic accidents at this time of year. Keeping your cat in at night can significantly reduce the risk but if they are determined to be out then a reflective collar may give them an extra chance of being spotted. Please ensure they are microchipped as well and your details are updated so should your cat be injured we can identify them and contact you immediately.
Everybody starts to feel a bit stiff and creaky when the temperature drops and this can also apply to our pets, especially those in double figures. Stiff joints, back pain and arthritis can often go unnoticed in stoical dogs and secretive cats so look out for subtle signs of reluctance to have feet cleaned or picked up as well as being slow to get out of bed or squat to toilet. Treatments for these conditions have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years so please contact us if you are concerned.
Wild birds are down to slimmer pickings now so they always appreciate a bit extra. Please place feed well out of reach of cat hunting zones and take care with fat balls as they are a favourite with dogs and can cause severe diarrhoea and occasionally pancreatitis. With freezing temperatures a bowl of fresh water for bathing and drinking often goes down well with the sparrows but change it regularly as the dirty water can harbour some bird to bird infections.
Equally take care with rabbits and guinea pigs in hutches. Their water can freeze quickly and should be checked regularly throughout the day. Extra bedding for them to nest and a nice thick blanket to give extra protection overnight are great ideas if the temperature is likely to plummet.