Protect your pets from the cold

Macedon Ranges residents rugging up for winter are being reminded not to forget their pets. With wind chills often below zero, Gisborne Veterinary Clinic’s Dr Dez Schepers says dogs and cats should be given a windproof, dry shelter. She warns that older dogs feel the cold more and can suffer greatly if they have arthritis. ‘‘There are many strategies that can make them more comfortable. Allowing them to sleep in a warm place on soft bedding is a great place to start.’’ Dr Schepers says symptoms of arthritis include having difficulty rising after sitting, especially in the morning. Younger dogs aren’t immune to cold either, and horses and ponies can be at risk, with older animals often deteriorating from a combination of poor quality grass, worms, poor nutrition or hormonal diseases.