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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 21 September, 2018
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Here's how to keep your pets warm and safe from The Beast this week

The ISPCA has issued advice on how to protect your pet during the freezing weather ahead.

pic 4 Source: ISPCA

WITH TEMPERATURES SET to plummet over the next few days, the ISPCA has provided some advice on how to keep your pets safe and warm during the freezing weather ahead.

Met Éireann has issued a snow-ice warning for parts of Leinster this evening, with up to 6cm of snow forecast by tomorrow morning.

With temperatures set to be between 5 and 10 degrees lower than they usually would be due to the “Beast from the East”, here’s what the ISPCA has said about protecting your pets during this cold spell:

Dogs

janis_ Source: Carmel Murray/ISPCA

The ISPCA’s Carmel Murray said: “Consider bringing your dog for more frequent shorter walks to avoid being outside in the cold for too long.

Especially some smaller, thinner and older dogs as they have a harder time keeping warm and may be a little reluctant to head out on very cold days. You might consider a dog jacket to keep them warm.
Also it is important to bring any outside dogs indoors in very cold and wet conditions.

It is important to dry your pet’s skin and paws thoroughly after going for a walk, including in between their toes.

Salt can cause sores to their feet, and de-icing chemicals are very dangerous if ingested so it’s important to remove all residue from their paws.

If there is a possibility that your pet has ingested any chemicals like this, you are urged to contact your vet.

Also, it is vital your dog is kept on a lead in snowy conditions, and is microchipped.

Cats

cat_cold_weather Source: Carmel Murray/ISPCA

Indoor cats aren’t likely to be affected much by the cold weather, but outdoor cats will feel this week’s chill.

Owners of outdoor cats are urged to keep them inside on the coldest days, and especially overnight.

While cats are usually good at finding warm places to sleep, these can often be dangerous such as under the hood of a car. People are urged to take a look before they start driving.

“You could also provide a clean, dry outdoor shelter with bedding for them to use during the day,” Murray said.

When you cat comes in from outside, you are advised to wipe them down to take off excess water, salt, or grit, and make sure they don’t have any anti-freeze on their paws.

Horses, ponies and donkeys

horses_cold_weather Source: Carmel Murray/ISPCA

Good shelter is recommended for horses, ponies and donkeys, with warm stables or a purpose-built field shelter cited as examples.

Most horses and donkeys should be rugged to protect them in cold and wet weather, and it is important to check the rugs every day to make sure they are correctly fitted and not damaged.

Owners are advised to check water feeders daily to make sure they have’t frozen.

Murray said: “Even heavier coated ponies can suffer from rain scald.  It is also very important that all equines have a dry hard surface to stand on.

The thin skin around their legs is also highly susceptible to mud rash if they spend too long standing in wet muddy ground without a dry area to escape to.

She added that people could help out other wildlife such as birds, by leaving out seeds and grains for them to feed on.

Read: Photos: Temperatures plunge as low as -20 as Europe gets battered by ‘the Beast from the East’

Read: So how will The Beast compare to the Big Snow of ’82?

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Sean Murray

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