Pet owners warned of winter hazards

Pet owners have been advised to take extra care to keep their animals safe in the winter chill.

The British Veterinary Association and British Small Animal Veterinary Association have warned that dogs and cats can suffer from the cold and become ill.

Dog owners are advised to walk their pets for less time, but more often when temperatures drop, provide a dog coat for older animals or those with thin fur, avoid letting them off the lead in icy and snowy conditions, and keep away from areas where ponds or lakes may have frozen over.

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If a dog does fall through the ice, do not attempt to go in after them.

For cats, keep older animals inside in cold weather and make sure that even healthy cats have access to shelter and warmth.

Do not bathe animals often during winter, and if you do ensure the water is warm and they are dried thoroughly.

Keep their beds in draft-free, warm areas, and wipe down paws, legs and bellies after they have been out to avoid accidental ingestion of antifreeze or de-icer.

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