| 17.5°C Dublin

... and pets need special attention too

Dogs love going for walks, and if you just stop all walks during snowy weather, you'll soon have a stir-crazy hound on your hands, chewing door frames and barking the house down.

You should plan shorter walks, more often, so that neither you nor the animal has time to get too cold.

If you've a big, bouncy dog, remember that footpaths can be dangerously slippy; a ten-minute run around in your back garden may be safer than a walk around the block.

If you are out on the streets on dark evenings, make sure that you're easily seen; wear high-visibility clothing. You can even buy light-up collars so that your dog is spotted from a distance by passing drivers.

It's safest to keep cats in during the dark winter evenings. The incidence of injuries from car accidents and fighting is significantly reduced if cats are not allowed out after dark.