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Winter Safety

Our pets more than likely dislike winter as much as us humans do. The long, dark winter nights and the extreme weather can be dangerous for them as well as being an inconvenience. We need to ensure that, wherever possible that they are visible when out and about and make sure that they’re protected from the elements with extra layers to compliment their fur, or bootees to protect from frostbite. 

Ruffwear Overcoat _ Boots

Cold Weather

There are many problems arising from the severe cold when it comes to your pet and it’s worth remembering that if it’s too cold for you, then it’s more than likely too cold for your pet. Cats tend to have a little more freedom of choice than dogs and will more than likely choose the warmth and comfort of the indoors rather than roaming around in sub-zero temperatures, whereas dogs tend to be forced out in all weathers and wrapping them up warm will show your dog how much you care. It’s a common misconception that your pet’s fur is adequate to protect against the elements.


In Winter, our pets can suffer from the weather extremes for the same reasons that mountain climbers can get hypothermia no matter what type of protective clothing they’re wearing. Mammalian systems for heat retention and regulation can be overwhelmed by excessive cold.

If you’re dog is kept outside during the winter then why not think about some insulation for their kennel to take the chill off.


 
Arthritis

Cold, damp weather aggravates arthritis in dogs and cats. A breakage or fracture can make your animal more susceptible to arthritis. Overweight pets are even more at risk. Your pet may show distress and difficulty getting up and down and/or may start to snap or cry when you lift them.

If your dog is one of the many that suffers from arthritis then there are many products designed to make life easier and less painful for your pet. Getting in and out of the car can be traumatic but Scot-Petshop stock a wide variety of folding ramps to assist your dog in getting in and out of the car with as little distress as possible. There are also socks and bootees which are especially beneficial to dogs with arthritis and joint pain. 

From a peronal experience with our 11 year old German Shepard Kara who is now showing signs of muscle wastage in her back legs we have been using the Trixie dog socks help prevent her from sliding on the laminate flooring around the house.  



Dog Coats

Dog coats should not just be viewed as a fashion accessory. They will help insulate your dog from the cold, keep them dry and provide windproofing. If your dog’s coat gets too wet it’s unable to insulate and they may become susceptible to hypothermia and frost-bite sooner than you think. We have a wide selection of waterproof, windproof and climate control winter coats to help keep your dog cosy and warm this winter. 

Ruffwear Cloud ChaserRuffwear CoatRuffwear Climate Change Fleece JacketRuffwear Quinzee
Avallon Waterproof Dog Coat RedOrleans Winter Dog Coat BluePalmero Winter Dog Coat Red

When returning from a walk in the winter, especially if you have been out in the rain make sure you give your dog a quick dry with a towel, we recommend using a quick dry towel.  This will help warm your dog up and also keep it's bed dry and odour free from that lovely wet dog smell!!

Another way of keeping your pet warm just in from the cold is to use a Thermo blanket instead of a dog bed, we now stock heat emitting thermal blankets which absorb your dogs body heat then emits it back.  We thoroughly recommend these blankets for eldery or sick animals as well as pregnant female dogs and puppies.



Symptoms of Hypothermia in Dogs _ Cats

Violent shivering followed by listlessness
weak pulse
lethargy
muscle stiffness
problems breathing
lack of appetite
rectal temp below 98 degrees fahrenheit
coma
cardiac arrest

Treatment

Wrap them in a warm blanket or robe
bring pet into a warm room
give them a solution of 4 teaspoons of honey or sugar dissolved in warm water to induce an energy boost
wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and apply to the abdomen and then wrap your pet in a blanket or if you have micowave a sugglesafe heatpad.
call the vet




Symptoms of Frostbite in Dogs _ Cats

Pale grey or blue tinge to the skin
red, puffy skin layers
pain in ears, tail or paws when touched
skin that stays cold despite attempts to warm it
shrivelled skin

Treatment

Apply warm water for at least 20 minutes to frostbitten area
handle very carefully to avoid permanent damage to the skin
call the vet

Dog Boots

Boots will not only protect your dog’s paws from frostbite but they also help keep your house clean as well. They will also protect your dogs paws from the salt used to clear paths and driveways which can be especially harsh on your dog’s paws. This type of salt, calcium or sodium chloride can even corrode concrete therefore you can imagine what it does to your dog’s paws.

Scot-petshop stocks a large range of dog boots to suit all types of dogs, and for all purposes.


Anti-freeze Poisoning

There is also the issue of anti-freeze poisoning as anti-freeze can drip from car radiators or can be spilled on people’s driveways. Dogs and cats are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of anti-freeze and will happily lick this highly toxic substance from their paws and fur. The mortality rate is extremely high and your pet will display symptoms approximately 1 hr post ingestion. Your pet may appear drunk and start vomiting and you should consult a vet as early as possible to avoid kidney failure

 

Dog Boots can protect your pet from accidentally ingesting anti-freeze by licking their paws. As a pet owner you may think about switching from normal anti-freeze to using anti-freeze made with propylene glycol which is a safer and less toxic alternative. 


Always rinse off your pet’s paws when they’ve been out and about to reduce the chances of them ingesting highly toxic anti-freeze.



Excercise During Winter

Exercise for your pet is just as important during the winter months as it is during the summer months but your pet may find it difficult walking in snow and ice and this may discourage them from going out. Try to encourage them to go out just for a brief period as any exercise is better than no exercise at all. Wrapping them up warm might just be enough to encourage them to brave the cold. Indoor animals conserve energy by sleeping more in winter, therefore make sure you adjust their diet accordingly in order to avoid weight gain.


Never let your dog off the lead during a snow-storm as dogs can lose their scent easily and can get lost.

Safety In The Dark

When we are out and about during the long, dark winter months it can be very difficult to see your dog. The ideal solution to this is reflective accessories or light emitting devices.

Reflective Accessories

These make both you and your pet visible when light from car headlights shines on it. Scot-Petshop stock a huge range of reflective accessories from reflective collars for cats and dogs to high visibility dog jackets for both you and your dog. 


Reflective _ Safer Life Flashing Collars _ Light Bands

These come in all shapes and sizes for both cats and dogs and are fundamental accessories for ensuring both your own and your pet’s safety. We stock a variety of reflective and flashing collars and harnesses for both cats and dogs.  



Reflective Dog Leads

These are ideal for alerting motorists of the dog’s position in relation to the walker. These can be used in conjunction with other reflective accessories to make your dog as visible as possible to motorists and also to ensure that you can see where your dog is at all times during your walk. 



High Visibility Jackets, Vest and Harnesses

These are the most effective safety accessory around high volumes of traffic allowing both you and your dog to be clearly seen at a distance.  Many of our jackets and harnesses come with refective piping but to be cleary seen we also have jackets in neon colours like the Trixie Safety Coat or the Ruffwear Track Jacket.  We also have a great range of flashing 
.

Safety Blinkers 

These safety blinkers are tiny battery operated torches which attach to your cat or dog’s collar and produces a flashing light which is visible even in complete darkness. These are especially suited to walking with dogs in rural areas where there is no light pollution.

Ruffwear Beacon

Be seen too!

Winter morning and evenings can be very dark and cold, it is not only your pet that needs to be seen it is also very important that you are visable to your dog or traffic if walking or running on or close to a road.  We offer a range of reflective strips, bands, jogging belts and high visability jackets for you too.  The Hi-Vis flashing bands or LED flashing lights are also great to clip onto childrens school bags making them more visable if having to cross roads during the dark winter mornings on their way to school.

Flash Safety Band

Safety Tips For Your Cat This Winter

Cats are especially likely to get a raw deal during the winter months so here are a few tips for keeping them safe and warm. 

Reflective cat collars ot led safety blinkers - a must during the winter months and dark nights, it is important that your cat is visable whilst crossing the road.



Cats tend to be drawn to the warmth and comfort of the underneath of a car during the cold winter weather therefore always ensure that you tap your car bonnet before starting it up to scare them off and avoid injury or worse.

When it’s cold or wet don’t force your cat to go outside if they’re older or are under the weather. This also applies to younger cats who don’t have the same stamina to deal with the weather extremes.

If your cat uses a cat flap, make sure the door does not freeze shut in severe weather conditions and the surfaces directy below and around the cat flap is kept ice and snow free to avoid your cat sliding as it runs out the cat flap.

Spare a thought for any stray cats in your area and leave out fresh food and water throughout the day as their normal food sources may not be readily available.

Make sure your cat has a purrfectly safe winter.

 

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