Protect your pets from disaster: RSPCA warn owners to take extra care as heavy snow sets in across Greater Manchester

By Dean Wilkins

While the country slowly yields to heavy snow, icy and all things wintery, RSPCA are urging pet owners across Greater Manchester to not forget about their furry friends.

Flood and snow warnings have been issued by the Met Office – many areas of North West England have been given amber cautions – and the severe weather can have a fatal impact on animals.

Horses and ponies need extra attention, owners are encouraged to visit stables as early as possible, and it is advised to bring guinea pigs and rabbits inside, if usually kept out in the cold.

Sophie Hacking, RSPCA companion animal scientist, said: “Taking action early really can make the difference to your pet. We are mostly a nation of animal lovers, and many people will happily go that extra mile for their animals.”

After riding, the animal charity are encouraging owners to fully dry their horses as sweat can lead to chills.

It is also recommended to grow grass from seed trays to give rabbits and guinea pigs opportunities to graze if they are brought indoors or undercover, or if the grazing outdoors is poor.

If keeping rabbits’ outside, their home should be placed in a sheltered position, facing away from the prevailing wind and rain.

Enough litter trays for cats should be kept indoors at all times of year. During the winter the ground outside may freeze, and feline friends who prefer toilet outdoors may be put off from doing so, so it is very important they have suitable toilet facilities indoors.

Dog owners should dress them and their dogs in reflective coats when out on night-time walkies, to help you both stay safe and seen.

Picture courtesy of welshmackem, with thanks

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