ISPCA issue advice to pet owners ahead of 'Beast from the East' blast
Pet owners are being advised to bring their cats and dogs in overnight as Ireland is hit with its coldest February in almost a decade.
Heavy snowfall is expected as temperatures are set to plummet to -10 over the coming days.
The cold weather is sweeping in from the Siberia, and has been dubbed 'The Beast from the East'.
The ISPCA are advising dog owners to consider bringing their dogs for more frequent, shorter walks; to consider a dog jacket to keep them warm; and to bring any outside dogs indoors in the cold and wet conditions.
They are also advising dog owners to dry their skin and paws thoroughly after a walk, as de-icing chemicals can be dangerous if ingested.
They are also advising cat owners to consider bringing their felines indoors for the week, and for the wider public to be aware that cats may be on the search for a warm spot to sleep, including under the car-hoods.
"Horses, ponies and donkeys need good shelter for example a warm stable or purpose built field shelter," ISPCA Public Relations Manager Carmel Murray continued.
"Most horses and donkeys need to be rugged to protect them in cold and wet weather and it is important to check their rugs every day to ensure they are correctly fitting and not damaged.
"It is also important to check water feeders daily ensuring their drinking water has not frozen. Even heavier coated ponies can suffer from rain scald.
"It is also very important that all equines have a dry hard surface to stand on. The thin skin around their legs is also highly susceptible to mud rash if they spend too long standing in wet muddy ground without a dry area to escape to," she continued.
Keep safe and warm, but if you are out in Storm Emma we'd love to see your photos and videos. Send by email to email@example.com or Whatsapp to 0871847169
"It is also important to look after our wildlife too so please leave out some fresh drinking water and suitable food for them. Helping garden birds can be as rewarding for you as it is for them.
"By using bird tables and handing feeders with seeds and grains such as nyjer, millet, oats and sunflower seeds, you can bring wild birds right up to your window!"
Meanwhile, animal rescue group Cara Rescue Dogs wrote to their followers today, saying they have been contacted about reports of a dog who passed away while sleeping outdoors in freezing temperatures overnight.
"Despite the fact they had a small wooden dog box which they felt was sufficient to keep the poor dog warm outside," they wrote to their 40,000 followers on Facebook.
"Unfortunately these small dog boxes are only good to shelter from rain or wind.
"The unfortunate owner is not a bad person they simply thought it was okay. They had planned on bringing the dog in when the snow arrived."
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has urged people to pay close attention to weather warnings warning: “the ‘Beast from the East’ is coming our way”.
He said: “We’re expecting very severe cold weather to affect Ireland in the coming days,” adding: “The ‘Beast from the East’ is coming our way.”
Mr Varadkar continued: “As things stand the weather warning has not yet issued but I’d ask people to pay close attention to any weather warnings and advice that is issued in the coming days.
“Where advice is issued in relation to workplaces and travel, that will be clear.
Read more: How the Siberian freeze will unfold - and when to expect 'dynamic snow' and blizzard-like conditions
“We’ll either be asking people to stay at home and not make unnecessary journeys or if they’re in work already to stay in work and not make unnecessary journeys.”
Mr Varadkar made the remarks when asked if the government will be advising private companies to tell their staff not to come to work during the severe weather.
He said that any advice will be issued by the government’s emergency planning taskforce based on Met Éireann’s forecasts.
Mr Varadkar added: “The Met office bases its forecasts on scientific data and they give them to us as early as they can.”