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Pets need special care for winter

Tuesday November 30th 2010

Pet owners are being urged to keep their animals happy and healthy this winter, especially in the harsher weather.

Animal welfare charity RSPCA said people need to remember to take extra care of their pets because severe conditions can affect animals just as much as humans, and having to claim on pet insurance would be an unnecessary hassle at this time of year.

Tony Woodley, an inspector with the charity, said: "Winter weather can spell trouble for some animals as they struggle to cope with the conditions as much as we do. We can all take simple steps to help animals at this time, however our inspectors are on-call around the clock so they can help if the worst should happen."

Dogs with thin coats should be given a fabric coat to wear when exercising outdoors, although avoiding longer walks would be advisable. Dog walkers must also remember to keep their animals away from frozen bodies of water, such as ponds and lakes, the charity said.

Those who own cats should never shut the animal out of the house during winter, and people should provide extra bedding for pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Constant access to shelter and fresh water as well as extra food and blankets would be good for horses and ponies, the RSPCA added.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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