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Is it OK to take my dog out

Lots of questions flying about on social media at the moment from pet owners who are understandably worried about how their pets will cope in the cold weather.

Unless your dog (or cat) is very old, very young or suffers from a chronic medical condition there should be no reason why they can't go out in the cold weather.

Use common sense. Pop a coat or jumper on to help keep dogs warm and dry, try to avoid walking in areas where rock salt or grit has been spread and clean paws when you return home. Keep dogs on leads near frozen ponds or rivers and be mindful of them playing in deep snow as there could be hidden dangers.

Make sure dogs and cats that spend time in the garden have shelter from the elements.

If you are taking your dog on long walks or hikes consider buying them some boots to protect their feet from ice or snow.

When you come home make sure you dry your dog properly and brush out any knots or tangles to avoid matting.

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