ISPCA urges owners to protect their pets from oncoming cold blast

Pet owners are being advised to bring their cats and dogs in overnight ahead of the extreme weather forecast to hit Ireland.

Heavy snowfall is expected with temperatures to drop below -10 as the week continues.

The ISPCA has advised dog owners to consider bringing your dog for more frequent shorter; consider a dog jacket to keep smaller, thinner and older dogs warm; and to bring any outside dogs indoors in very cold and wet conditions.

While indoor-only cats will be affected very little by the cold weather, the ISPCA has suggested owners to bring their outdoor cats inside for their safety, and advised the public to be wary of outdoor cats finding warm spots to sleep such as under the hood of a car.

When your cat or dog comes in from outside, wipe them down to take off excess water, salt, or grit, and make sure they don’t have any anti-freeze on their paws as it can be toxic when ingested, they warned.

BirdWatch Ireland are asking people to remember the birds, please leave out some fresh drinking water and suitable food for them.

The snow in 2010 decimated the bird population not only in Wicklow but throughout the entire country.

Tips for feeding birds can be found on the Birdwatch Ireland website.

“Horses, ponies and donkeys need good shelter for example a warm stable or purpose built field shelter”, said SPCA PR Manager Carmel Murray.

“Most horses and donkeys need to be rugged to protect them in cold and wet weather and it is important to check their rugs every day to ensure they are correctly fitting and not damaged,”she continued.

“It is also important to check water feeders daily ensuring their drinking water has not frozen over. Even heavier coated ponies can suffer from rain scald.

“It is also very important that all equines have a dry hard surface to stand on. The thin skin around their legs is also highly susceptible to mud rash if they spend too long standing in wet muddy ground without a dry area to escape to.”

Cara Rescue Dogs have announced that a dog was found dead yesterday due to the cold weather.

Despite the dog having a small wooden dog box which the owners thought was sufficient, the dog box was enough to keep the pet warm.

The owners had planned on bringing the dog in when the snow arrived, but sadly the freezing temperature last night claimed the poor dog’s life.

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