As cold weather continues to chill the UK, experts at Petplan pet insurance are reminding pet owners that their four legged friends need protecting from the elements too.
There has been a multitude of slips and falls on the ice, not to mention the number of road accidents caused by the weather this winter, but Britain's pets are also at risk, the pet insurance provider warns.
There are additional dangers facing pets in freezing weather, more so than in warmer months, according to Petplan's vet of the year Ben Jones, so extra care needs to be taken to protect them.
Offering pet owners some tips to help their furry friends through the winter months, Mr Jones suggests keeping pets occupied and active with toys in the home if they are housebound by the weather, and providing extra blankets to keep elderly or arthritic pets warm.
If the pavements are gritted, dog owners should check their pet's paws to make sure they are not starting to hurt, as irritation from grit can cause them to split. Dogs will also lick road salt off his paws, so owners should clean their paws after going outside to prevent stomach problems.
And pets should be kept off areas that are icy, because, like people, they are prone to slip and injure themselves.
One dog owner learned the hard way when her pet poodle George was running around in the garden, slipped on ice, and went crashing into some French doors. George needed emergency treatment for internal bleeding and a snapped spinal cord.
Petplan pet insurance paid out more than £5,600 for the treatment and care that George needed, but he might not have been so lucky if his owner, Helen, did not have pet insurance.
Helen said, "George spent three weeks in hospital and has regular visits from a physiotherapist to help him learn to walk again. I couldn't believe how badly he had been hurt just from a slip in the garden. Thank goodness George was insured otherwise I'm not sure George's recovery would have been possible, and he may not have survived. It was very scary."
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