As the leaves start to turn brown and the mornings and evenings grow darker we know that winter is most definitely approaching. Over the upcoming months temperatures are set to drop and it has been predicted to be one of the coldest and snowiest winters in the UK on record due to the El Nino phenomenon disrupting climate patterns around the world.
Therefore it is important that pet business owners take safety precautions to ensure pets in their care are safe and well looked after. Here are our top tips to keep pets happy and healthy this winter!
Research and plan dog walks ahead of time checking local weather reports and council websites to ensure routes are clear, gritted and safe for both you and the dogs in your care to use. It is advisable to stay close to home and on routes you are familiar with however it is always a good idea to carry a mobile phone with you in case you do get into any trouble or the weather takes a turn for the worse.
As much as dogs love the snow it is not advisable to let them off the lead in heavy snowfall as they may become lost and it could become hard to locate them.
Ensure all pets in your care have ID tags and then any lost pets can hopefully be located.
There may be salt, grit, antifreeze or a number of other harmful substances hidden in the sleet, snow or ice in winter months so it is important to thoroughly wipe down dogs’ legs and stomachs when they come in from outside.
This is to stop any substances which are on their paws or paw pads being ingested when they lick them and also being spread around and potentially being passed to other pets.
This is the much the same principle as not leaving pet’s in the car in hot temperatures. The car can act as a refrigerator holding in the cold and temperatures can quickly drop to below freezing.
Ensure pets have somewhere to sleep which is off the floor and away from drafts, it is always a good idea to put down an extra blanket or pillow so they are extra warm at night when temperatures really do drop.
Some cats may sleep in hoods of cars and wheel arches so it always a good idea to give the bonnet a little tap before driving off to give them a chance to vacate.
Never shave a pet’s coat completely in winter as this is their protection from the cold. After bathing ensure they are completely dry before allowing outside keeping them as warm as possible. It might also be worth investing in coats for shorter haired breeds.
Some studies have shown that pets are at their happiest and healthiest when kept indoors so this may also be beneficial over the winter months although even a small amount of time outside every day is important. If pets are kept outdoors then ensure they have somewhere safe and sheltered to go and plenty of food and water.
It is important as a pet business owner to keep pets in your care as safe as possible and follow the pet winter safety tips above. However if a claim is brought against you for negligence it is of paramount importance to have a comprehensive pet business insurance policy to cover any legal costs. Follow this link to get a pet business insurance quote.