With more icy weather on the way, here are tips for ensuring your pets stay cosy in the cold.
Dogs and cats may have lovely fluffy coats but their fur isn’t enough to properly protect them when the temperature plummets to freezing.
Christopher Cederskog, European General Manager at Rover.com, gave Express.co.uk his top tips on how to look after your dog during the cold winter months.
1 - Heating the home
When economising on central heating this winter, be mindful of your pets as they can't just put a jumper on like humans can.
Your dog or cat could be susceptible to illness, arthritic pain and other cold-related problems if they can’t stay warm, so make sure you keep them cosy.
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UK cold weather: Pets need warming up as much as humans do (Image: GETTY)
2 - Know your dog
Whilst dogs certainly need walking and stimulating during the winter months, all pooches are different.
A springer spaniel might love a run around when there’s snow on the ground but it might be a Yorkshire terrier’s worst nightmare.
Listen to your dog’s needs and don’t force them to do something they’re not comfortable with.
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UK cold weather: Pay attention to your dog, some may love the snow and some may hate it (Image: GETTY)
3 - Wrap up warm
Sweaters and doggy jackets are ideal for safe and comfy walks in the winter weather but don't forget your dog’s feet.
Dog booties will not only keep them warm but will help protect their paws from salt and other chemicals used to melt snow too.
When choosing a pair, make sure they have a good grip.
UK cold weather: Slowly warm up your pet after they've been outside (Image: GETTY)
4 - After walking or being outside
Once your dog or cat’s coat is wet from being outside they might struggle to warm up again, so when you get home give them a nice warm bath.
If they are cold all the way through, they might need to be warmed slowly, otherwise, it could scald them.
5 - Diet
Something that can often be overlooked is your pet’s diet and how this should change throughout the year.
For example, as the temperature drops, you could consider feeding your dog additional calories to help him or her toasty.
Don’t overfeed them but adding slightly extra food to their bowl can certainly help.
Why do they do that? When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.