07.02.14

We’re warning pet owners to take precautions ahead of the storms and high winds forecast for the weekend.

Heavy rain and high winds could pose a threat to all animals and we’re urging pet owners in areas predicted to be hit by storms to keep a close eye on their animals.

 

Take extra care in extreme weather

Cat indoors © RSPCA photolibraryThere have been recent media reports of cats being lifted into the air by the strong gusts in some parts of the country, and others of dogs who have got swept away in flood water during walks.

RSPCA companion animal scientist Alice Potter said:

“Extreme weather like we’ve been seeing can spell trouble for animals as well as humans. We urge pet owners to keep an eye on the weather forecast in their area and plan ahead to make sure their animals are safe.

“It might be necessary to keep cats inside if the winds become very extreme. People should remember to make sure they have everything they need, especially places to hide (and a litter tray if they don’t usually have one).

“Dog owners should plan walks so that the extreme weather can be avoided, and dogs should be accompanied at all times. Two or three shorter walks may be a better option to avoid being out in the wet weather for a long period of time.

“Most of it is common sense – but it is very easy to forget the obvious, especially since this weather has been going on so long we have become almost too used to it.

“We can all take simple steps to help animals at this time however our inspectors are on-call around the clock so they can help if the worst should happen.”

 

Top tips on helping pets in bad weather

  • —  Dogs with thin or sparse coats may benefit from a coat when being exercised outdoors.
  • —  Move outdoor pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs indoors to a garage or shed.
  • —  Rabbit owners should make sure their hutches are waterproof, draught-proof and placed in a sheltered position. They may also appreciate some extra hay to burrow into to make them feel more secure.
  • —  Put horses, ponies and donkeys into stables.

Read more of our seasonal advice .

How you can help

Our inspectors are on call around the clock to help, this is only possible because of public donations.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can donate online or give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).