Is it due to get too cold for your pet?

Dog walking on snowy bridge

10:16am 31st January 2018
(Updated 10:20am 31st January 2018)

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Vet Hospital

It's important to keep our pets safe, but do you know when the cold climate is TOO cold? We got the purrfect advice...

You're probably familiar with the phrase 'dogs die in hot cars' and during the Summer months it's vital that pet owners are aware of temperature limits, but what about during Winter?

If anyone is going to know the answer it's the people who care for our furry friends when they need it most. Dr Bob Patridge from The Vet Hospital in Harrogate has some simple things to consider. 


  • Whilst colder countries might get too cold for dogs to be outside, in the UK it would be incredibly rare for it to be too cold for our dogs. Grab your coats... time for walkies!
  • Beware of frozen ponds and lakes. Dogs can be tempted to go for a slippery stroll on the ice, but it's very dangerous due to the risk of the ice cracking. If your dog is ever submerged in the frozen water NEVER simply jump in after them putting yourself at risk. Take care making decisions and where possible call the relevant authorities to help with the rescue. Once the dog is rescued it's important to take them straight to the vet for any medical attention they need and get them warmed up as quickly as possible.
  • During icy times grit and salt that is used on roads and paths is likely to get on to your dogs paws. This can irritate them so always wash and dry their feet after a walk. 
  • Be careful with substances such as anti-freeze. It can actually taste quite sweet for animals if they get access to it and not only can it cause kidney problems it can be fatal. Keep it stored away and up high, in the original bottle and with the lid on. 

Dog face covered in snow


  • If your cat has access to the great outdoors via a cat flap it allows them to come inside when they're cold, but if you let your cat in or out yourself just be aware they may want to stay inside (probably by the fire or radiator) more than usual. 
  • It's not just dogs who like the taste of anti-freeze, cats can do too! So please make sure you keep it stored away and up high, in the original bottle and with the lid on. 

Cat in snow

Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

  • Making sure your rabbits and guinea pigs are warm enough if they're kept outside is vital in Winter time. This can be done by bringing the hutch inside or into a sheltered place such as they garage. Alternatively it is possible to insulate their hutch outside and leave them out over Winter time. Insulating from underneath the hutch is important as this is a key area of heat loss. 
  • Rabbit and guinea pigs also still need exercise so don't forget to let them out regularly. 

Rabbit in snow sat on toy truck

Hear what Dr Bob Partridge from The Vet Hospital had to say about pet problems in the cold Yorkshire weather on Stray FM's Family Show:

More family stories from Harrogate, Craven and Wharfedale.

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