Winter checklist

As the cooler months set in, it is time to make sure your pets are kept safe, warm and healthy this winter. Here are a few tips to help you care for your pet this winter.

  • Offer a kitty tray for your cat if they become more reluctant to head outside and get their paws wet.

  • If you have a fire, use a fire guard. Be sure to avoid leaving open flames in an area where your pet can get to it.

  • Don’t leave the oven warming drawer open in the kitchen - cats have a good tendency to seek out the warmth.

  • Make sure your pet’s bed is in a warm spot away from any drafts.

  • Check paws regularly and dry off after outside time.

  • Don’t leave your dog in the car. Just as heat in summer can kill, cold cars in winter can pose a threat too.

  • Check wheel arches and under the hood of your car because animals will seek out a warm place to snooze.

  • If you use antifreeze, be sure to put it away and clean up any spills. Ingestion of antifreeze can cause kidney failure.

  • Make sure kennels and runs are free from drafts and not facing into the prevailing wind.

  • Ensure your pets have bedding, whether that is dry blankets or hay.

  • Offer coats and jackets on the really bitter days or make sure shelter is available.

  • Provide extra feed to your pets to help them maintain their healthy weight into spring.

  • In the cooler areas of New Zealand, be sure to check water bowls and troughs for ice. Break ice so your pets can drink.

  • Keep an eye on hooves and watch for rain scald or mud fever in horses and ponies.