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Beware the big chill

Wednesday, 9th June, 2010

RSPCA attendant Cheryl Backhouse with Buddy who is in need of a nice warm house and a loving family. RSPCA attendant Cheryl Backhouse with Buddy who is in need of a nice warm house and a loving family.

The RSPCA is asking locals to remember their pets as the big chill of winter hits home.
Dr Doug Dixon-Hughes, a vet at the RSPCA, said the key to keeping pets warm is to ask “would I feel comfortable in this
temperature?”.
“Get down on their level and make sure it isn’t too cold,” said Dr Dixon-Hughes.
“Have an appropriate amount of bedding...make sure the bed is thick and off the ground.”
He said cat owners should make sure their pets are inside at night or at the very least provided with an enclosed shelter.
He also encouraged dog owners to use kennels as it gave dogs a “warmish place to go”.
Older pets need more care because they struggle to warm themselves in winter and Dr Dixon- Hughes said electric
mattresses were available for older ones.
According to Dr Graham Swinney, President of the Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association, there were a number of
things people could do to help their pets cope with
the cold.
These include making sure they had somewhere warm to sleep, free of draughts and protected from the elements, and keeping pets inside when the temperature drops.
Dr Swinney also stressed the importance of making sure pets with arthritis were well looked after.
During the colder months some are likely to need more food as they burn more energy to stay warm, particularly dogs with short coats.
It’s also important to keep exercising pets throughout winter to keep them moving.
On another note, Dr Dixon-Hughes said the response to the BDT article on June 1 about the RSPCA needing blankets for their animals had been “enormous” and that he wished to thank
everyone who helped with donations.
“People are bringing in lots of good things and it’s nice to see they care,” he said.

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