Storm Dennis: How to keep your pets safe when there's bad weather

Last updated at 07:32
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Storm Dennis is about to arrive in the UK.

The bad weather can be a bit of a scary time for humans, and also for pets!

Here are some top tips from the RSPCA about how to keep yours safe.

Dogs
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The RSPCA says owners should plan their walks to avoid any extreme weather. Two or three shorter walks are a better option to avoid being out in the wet weather for a long period of time.

If you've got an older or slightly poorly dog, you can buy a special coat or jumper to keep them warm in wet, windy and cold weather.

When walking in the dark or if there's a risk of heavy downpour, wear reflective clothing and think about getting a reflective collar or light for your dog.

If your dog is getting a bit restless, because you can't take them outside, consider teaching them some new tricks or playing with their favourite toy.

Cats
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Cats should have constant access to the house, in case a change in weather means they suddenly need to get back inside.

If the winds become really extreme, it might be a good idea to keep cats inside. If that happens, try to provide a quiet, safe and warm space for them to access freely.

You should make sure that the cat's bedding or sleeping area is warm, dry and away from any draught or cold air

Small furries and chickens
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If your pet lives outdoors, make sure it has lots of extra bedding to snuggle in, and make sure it's all kept fresh and clean.

Check that any water bottles haven't frozen in the cold weather.

If your rabbit or guinea pig lives in a hutch, it's a good idea if they have a sloped roof so that any water can drain away.

Their homes should be raised off the ground by at least four inches and places in a sheltered position.

If your rabbit or guinea pig gets wet, rub them dry gently with a towel and make sure they've got plenty of warm bedding.

And if temperatures start to reach freezing, you might want to think about moving your rabbit home inside or into an outhouse, shed or unused garage.

It's a good idea to house guinea pigs indoors when temperatures are below 15 degrees centigrade.

Wildlife
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Leave food and fresh water out for birds - you can buy bird seed to hang from branches and fences.

If you look after birds in the garden, check the bird baths are free of ice and leave out clean bowls of water.

Should you find a sick or injured wild animal you can get in touch with the RSPCA who'll give you some advice.

Horses
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If you're looking after a horse or a pony, make sure they've got enough shelter to get away from bad weather.

If they need it - provide extra feed and good quality hay.

Check their water troughs and buckets are clear of ice - they might need ice breaking several times a day.

Do extra checks on your horses' hooves and legs in muddy conditions, to make sure they don't get loose shoes or mud fever.

If you're riding your horse in the bad weather, wear reflective clothing and take care on wet or icy surfaces.

If you've got any good tips on how you've been looking after your pets in bad weather - let us know in the comments!

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