It’s nearly Christmas! Here are 10 timely top tips to help keep your pets safe over the festive season and throughout the winter, courtesy of Thornside pet insurance:
1. Don’t get complacent about taking your dog for a walk. The shorter days and worsening weather might not be appealing to us, but your dog still needs exercise.
2. Stay safe when out on the roads – wear reflective clothing and invest in a reflective collar and/or jacket for your dog.
3. Buy a reflective collar for your cat, too, if he likes to go out and about when it gets dark.
4. Don’t clip your dog’s coat over the winter; he will need it for warmth. If you have to bath him, dry him thoroughly afterwards.
5. Take care when walking your dog near frozen lakes. If he ventures onto the ice he could put himself and you in danger.
6. We all know that animals should never be left in cars in the summertime, in case of overheating, but the same is true in winter when cars can turn into refrigerators and cause hypothermia.
7. Be aware that some cats will crawl under car bonnets to gain access to a warm engine. Keep an eye on your cat and others in the neighbourhood.
8. If you have pets that live outdoors, provide them with extra bedding or insulation. In extreme weather, move them into the house, shed or garage for extra warmth.
9. Humans have a tendency to overindulge at Christmas – ensure you don’t overfeed your pets during this time.
10. Be very careful about what festive foods you leave lying around. Some of our favourite treats ­– including chocolate, Macademia nuts, dried fruit and foods containing it, such as Christmas cake and Christmas pud ­– are highly poisonous to dogs.


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