With our extreme cold warning today, here’s how to protect your pets
Keep toxic chemicals like antifreeze or windshield washer fluid out of reach of a pet, as they can be deadly
While much of Ontario continues to experience extremely cold temperatures, it is essential to understand the risks that freezing temperatures can have on the health and safety of pets, how to recognize the signs of an animal in distress and who to call if you see a pet in danger.
“Extreme cold poses a danger to humans and pets. In some cases, the cold can be life-threatening,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said. “We urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to keep your pets safe and protected during the freezing temperatures – by limiting their time outdoors, using a coat when walking and wiping their paws to remove any salt or other chemicals.”
Although some dog breeds thrive in cold weather, most cats, dogs and other pets left out in the cold risk hypothermia, frostbite to the ears, paws and tail, serious illness or even death. . Where possible, pets should be kept indoors in extreme weather. If they are kept outdoors, make sure they have a draft-proof shelter that is well insulated and has enough bedding to keep them safe and comfortable. It’s important to check on your pet regularly in inclement weather to make sure they’re safe.
We are currently under an extreme cold warning, so it is important that pets as well as humans are protected.
See: Extreme cold warning
In addition to cold temperatures, it’s important to be aware of other environmental risks and hazards that can be dangerous for pets in the winter. Here are some tips for keeping pets happy and safe this winter:
- Keep toxic chemicals like antifreeze or windshield washer fluid out of reach of a pet, as they can be deadly
- Protect pets from road de-icing salt as it can irritate paws and be harmful if ingested. Wipe their feet and belly when you get home to make sure any salt or other chemicals are removed
- Never let them walk on frozen bodies of water, as falling through thin or cracked ice can pose life-threatening risks to humans and animals such as hypothermia or drowning
- When walking your dog, consider giving him a winter coat to help retain body heat, especially for small dogs, senior dogs, puppies and short-haired dogs as they are more vulnerable to temperatures cold.
- Don’t leave your cat or dog alone in a cold car, as this could lead to hypothermia and potentially death
- Feed your pet a little more during the winter months as they need extra energy to stay warm
If members of the public see an animal in critical distress and are concerned that the animal’s life is in immediate danger, they should call 911 immediately.
the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS) came into effect on January 1, 2020, making Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a comprehensive provincial animal welfare enforcement system to improve animal safety.
Ontario Animal Protection Services issued over 3,000 compliance orders, laid over 330 charges and executed over 120 warrants in 2021 to keep animals safe and healthy.
Ontario has the toughest penalties in the country for those who violate animal welfare laws, including causing distress to an animal.
Animal cruelty is not tolerated in Ontario. If you think an animal is in distress or being mistreated, call 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625).