Gudrun Ravetz, president of the British Veterinary Association said: “Each season brings its own set of hazards and winter is no different, so we ask owners to make sure their animals are kept safe and warm over the winter months.
“Simple things like leaving a dog sat on the cold ground outside a shop whilst you pop in or putting a cat out all night can cause it to get excessively cold which may have a negative impact on their health.
“Pets still need their usual exercise through the winter, but be mindful of the temperatures outside – it may be better to go outside more regularly for less time than be outside for a long time on one long walk.”
Ross Allen, spokesperson for the British Small Animal Veterinary Association said: “Give paws a thought – when it gets cold many of us use de-icer, which often leaks onto the ground– this can prove deadly to pets, so it is worth wiping down their legs and paws after being outside.
“Extreme cold, as well as salt and grit used on the road, can irritate your pet too so when owners wipe paws they should also check for cracks and bleeding.
“The cold can also worsen some established conditions, such as arthritis. If owners have not had an annual check-up with their vet, this is a good time of year to schedule a visit.”
Find out more at www.bva.co.uk