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Animal Welfare

Own a pet? Here are some tips for keeping them safe in bad weather

It’s time to winter-proof your pet’s home.

*Warning: This post contains a photo that some people may find distressing. 

WITH MORE BAD weather on the cards, we’ve spoken to an animal expert about how you can look after your you pet this winter.

Gillian Bird from the DSPCA recently gave some practical tips for pet owners.

“People are often told to winter-proof their car, but this is also the perfect time of year to winter-proof your home, or your pet’s home,” she said.

“If your dog sleeps in a kennel make sure it’s not leaking or facing into the prevailing wind. If you buy a very cheap shower curtain you can fold it over and nail it to the kennel.

“This acts like a cat flap so the dog can go in and out but it stops the rain from coming in. If you get a see-through curtain, the lights still gets in.”

ISPCA Calendar 2015 Puppy ISPCA ISPCA

Bird encouraged people to change their pet’s bed. She said people should check that rabbit hutches are not leaking and, if they are, place a sheet of polystyrene on the roof.

ISPCA 2015 Calendar bunny ISPCA ISPCA

ISPCA Calendar 2015 Kitten ISPCA ISPCA

She also urged people to check that the drain covers outside their house are secure as they often come off, leading to small animals like hedgehogs falling in.

ISPCA Calendar 2015 Hedgehog ISPCA ISPCA

For people who own horses, Bird recommended checking that there are no gaps in fences through which the animals can wander on to roads.

Kids have a terrible tendency for pulling out pallets and parts of fences at Halloween. It might only be noticeable now as leaves die and holes appear.

Bird also reminded people that under the Animal Health and Welfare Bill, animals must be checked at least once every 24 hours.  

Football nets

Bird told us about a safety hazard for animals such as foxes that many people might not be aware of: football goal nets.

The DSPCA recently got word of a fox that got tangled in one of a net in Rathfarnham. Sadly, he didn’t make it.

Bird called on people to not discard the nets outdoors and keep an eye on them if they have one in their garden.


More information on animal welfare is available on the DSPCA’s website and the ISPCA’s website.

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