protect your pets this winter How to:

2016-05-25 06:00
 PHOTO: supplied  Before winter really begins to bite, take the time to check that your dog’s kennel is ‘in order’ and properly maintained with no leaks or protruding objects that could harm him like loose nails or wood splinter.

PHOTO: supplied Before winter really begins to bite, take the time to check that your dog’s kennel is ‘in order’ and properly maintained with no leaks or protruding objects that could harm him like loose nails or wood splinter.

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WITH the heatwave that hit South Africa in the summer, there have been a number of campaigns in the media highlighting the dangers of leaving pets out in the scorching sun or locked in a hot car.

Now that the weather is turning, pet owners should take just as much precaution to shield their furry family members against the bitter cold of winter.

When it comes to winter safety tips, however, homeowners with pets should pay attention to more than just the weather elements.

The National Council of SPCAs shares a few tips on how pet lovers can protect their furry companions.


Provide shelter

It’s not always possible for dog owners to keep their pets indoors. If they are outdoors, make sure that you provide appropriate shelter in the form of a kennel.

Before winter really begins to bite, take the time to check that your dog’s kennel is ‘in order’ and properly maintained with no leaks or protruding objects that could harm him like loose nails or a wood splinter.

It is recommended that homeowners with pets use bed boards to lift the kennel off the ground. This will reduce the amount of heat loss.

As well as providing safe shelter, pet owners should also provide a warm blanket.


Be cautious around vehicles

A warm vehicle engine is a tempting source of heat for outdoor cats, so homeowners need to be especially cautious when starting a vehicle, either from home or any parking place.

Cats also tend to curl up in warm places like the bonnet of the car or in the wheel space of a vehicle. Check before taking off — look underneath the car and honk the horn. This will encourage any animals to abandon their hiding place.


Keep dangerous substan
ces at bay

Besides the cold, winter brings with it other dangers. Some substances, like antifreeze, that homeowners use at this time of the year pose a threat to animals’ well-being.

It is therefore important to ensure that any noxious substances are carefully locked away.

To protect your pets, it is important to ensure that any noxious substances like antifreeze are carefully locked away.


Take care of yourself and
your belongings

While it is important to focus on the safety of animals, it’s important to remember that our own safety comes first. There is an example of a homeowner who left a heater and an electric blanket on for her pets and returned to ashes. Keep pets warm and cared for, but take all the necessary precautions.


Good to know

Animals requiring special care should be given the special attention they need. This will include elderly animals or those that need specific medication.

— Property24

“Besides the cold, winter brings with it other dangers. Some substances, like antifreeze, that homeowners use at this time of the year pose a threat to animals’
well-being.”

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