Pets on thin ice during freezing nights 

Source: Central Western Daily

Orange pet owners have been urged not to forget their best mates with severe frost and below zero temperatures predicted.

Overnight on Monday temperatures dropped to -3.9 degrees with extensive morning frost across the region.

The overnight temperature was 4.6 degrees below the long term average minimum temperature of 0.7 degrees for July.

Canobolas Vet Hospital veterinarian Karen Smith said it is not just people who suffer during the cold winter weather in Orange.

She said guinea pigs and rabbits are more susceptible to cold weather but dogs and cats can suffer too.

“If you can it’s always best to keep your pets inside when it’s going to be cold,” she said.

Outside pets should be provided with a bed off the cold ground, while smaller pets like guinea pigs or rabbits brought onto the verandah under shelter.

“It’s better than out on the grass,” she said.

Dr Smith said the trampoline-style beds are good to keep dogs off the cold ground.

Hot water bottles or heated wheat bags can also be used to give your pet extra warmth during the colder months.

“If you do want to use a hot water bottles, it’s really important to wrap them up in a cover or towel to make it safer,” she said.

“Don’t be tempted to use people electric blankets because there’s cords they can chew on.”

Coats and blankets can also be put on dogs and cats, while all outside animals should have a place where they can shelter from rain and wind.

Dr Smith said outside pet water bowls should also be checked each morning to ensure water has not frozen which could lead to dehydration in your animal.

Tonight’s temperature is predicted to drop to minus three degrees with a top of 10.

The coldest July day on record in Orange was -5.6 recorded on July 13, 2000.

Zaidyn, Tess the dog and Cruz Keevil-Holdsworth. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

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