This week’s podcast starts by discussing the recent cold, windy, wet weather: how should pet owners care for their animals in this sort of climate?
Cats tend to be independent creatures who choose where they wish to go. However it makes sense for owners to choose to keep them in if the weather forecast is bad (eg if a storm is on the way): lockable cat flaps are helpful to allow you to control their movements effectively. And I’m a big fan of heated beds for dogs, to make sure that they want to stay at home, in the cosiest possible sleeping place. This is especially important for kittens and for weaker, elderly cats.
Most owners of pet dogs keep them indoors: they are part of the family, so why would you let them be anywhere else?
So the main issue is those dogs who spend much of their lives outdoors: farm collies are a good example. The bare minimum is that they require shelter from the elements. This can be as simple as an outhouse or watertight, wind-proof dog kennel, with soft bedding (even though the dogs may choose to ignore this). Even then, in the worst weather, all dogs should be brought indoors, in my opinion.
Smaller pets in hutches
Rabbits and guinea pigs should ideally be brought into an outhouse or garage for the winter months, to keep them safe and comfortable.
Questions from listeners about pets
The following questions were asked by listeners:
- How can I get our one year old Golden Cocker Spaniel to use his kennel? I’ve tried putting toys and treats in it, but no joy!
- My dog is sixteen years old and she passes urine anywhere in the house. What can we do? Bridget
- My dog is paralysed with fear when we go out walking. Every time he sees a bus be sits on the ground and refuses to move. How can we get him over this anxiety? Deirdre, Meath
- I just put up my Christmas tree and my cat keeps climbing up it, even knocking off some baubles. Could he hurt himself? Amy
- Our seven year old cat has been coughing once or twice a day, going on for two minutes or so. Should we take her to the vet? Mark
- Our Jack Russell goes crazy with excitement, even ripping his bed up, whenever there are visitors. What can we do?
To find out the answers, listen to the podcast below
To watch Pete answering some more questions on the Newstalk Facebook Page Video, see here.