Winter can be a tough time for pets in Canada, with freezing temperatures and harsh weather conditions. It’s important to take extra care of your furry friends during the colder months to ensure their health and well-being. One simple way to do this is by keeping your pets indoors on cold winter days.
“Extreme cold can be dangerous for pets, especially those with thin fur, thin body condition or those who are elderly or sick,” says Samantha Westphal, Guelph Humane Society (GHS) Animal Care Manager. “Low temperatures can cause hypothermia, frostbite, and other serious health problems in pets.”
Westphal underscores that even if your pet seems healthy and able to tolerate the cold, it’s still best to keep them inside to prevent any potential problems.
It is especially important for cat owners to keep their cats indoors during cold temperatures. Cats are very vulnerable to extreme cold and should never be permitted to roam outdoors during these conditions.
Risk of slips and falls on icy surfaces is another factor to consider when letting pets outdoors on inclement weather days. Dogs and cats can easily slip-on icy sidewalks, driveways, and streets, which may result in injury.
Dog owners can protect their dog from frostbite and hypothermia by taking them outside for short periods of time during cold weather.
“When walking your dog, be mindful of their paws, ears and nose,” says Westphal “If your dog starts to limp or lift its paw(s) up while walking, they could be experiencing discomfort from cold and should be taken home or to a warm place immediately.”
For EMERGENCIES regarding an animal in distress call the Guelph Humane Society at 519-824-3091 immediately. For animals you suspect of being NEGLECTED/ABUSED call the Provincial Animals Welfare Services at 1-833-9-ANIMAL.