Winter precautions for your pets’ safety

Davies Veterinary Specialists

Pet Owners

29th December 2021

There are a number of easy precautions you can take to keep your pet safe when outdoors this winter. Here are our top tips…


Before the season sets in check that your pet is micro-chipped and that your details on the chip are up to date (current address and phone number).

Avoiding the cold:

For dogs particularly, you should consider reducing walk times when it is very cold and keep them more active indoors. Avoid walking your dog on ice. A dog coat for winter walks will reduce sharp drops in body temperature. Always dry pets’ paws after walking in wet conditions.

Most importantly:

Contact your local vet immediately if you see signs of hypothermia.

Antifreeze is dangerous: 

Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is highly toxic. Even in small amounts, it causes severe damage to internal organs. Pets are tempted to drink it because it’s sweet but it is also potentially fatal if swallowed. Symptoms of antifreeze ingestion include twitching muscles/eyes, lethargy, vomiting, drinking more than usual, unsteadiness, seizures, fast breathing and collapse.

While it is easy enough to store out of reach of pets, there may be two situations of which you may be unaware:

  • Firstly, imported versions of snow globes can contain antifreeze.
  • Secondly, if you have added it to an outdoor water feature your pet may have access to it there.

Always make sure you buy antifreeze that contains a bittering agent; this discourages pets from drinking it.

What do I do if my cat or dog swallows something they shouldn’t?

It is a good idea to have emergency contact details for your vet to hand over Christmas when most practices will be closed.

We wish you and your pets a happy and safe Christmas.

For a quick reminder of the tips covered in this article see our Ten-point Guide for Healthy Pets this Winter.

Linnaeus Veterinary Limited trading as Davies Veterinary Specialists 01582 883950

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