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How to keep your pets safe in colder weather conditions

February 11, 2018

With more snow in the forecast for the Lower Mainland and temperatures well below freezing around the province, the BC SPCA is reminding the public to take care of their furry friends.

For instance, when walking your dog, guardians might want to watch for the salt or sand used to make driving and walking safer for humans.

“When your dog is walking, those materials could get between his paw pads or toes, and you don’t want him to lick or ingest any of that,” notes BC SPCA manager of animal welfare Kim Monteith.

“Don’t forget to both dry your pet’s paw pads after being outside, as well as clean between his toes and pads,” she adds.

It’s also important to walk slowly and carefully when conditions are icy or slippery, because – like humans – your canine companion can slip and injure themselves.

If temperatures are extremely cold, pet guardians may want to think about getting their dog a winter jacket or covering, or even dog shoes and/or booties to wear to help protect his paws, says Monteith. You can also consider classes or fun activities inside if it’s too cold to be out and about.

“They may have fur coats but some aren’t very thick – dogs get cold and can suffer from exposure to the cold just like us,” Monteith says.

Pet care tips for winter:

“When the temperature drops outside, we need to take extra care with our pets,” says Monteith. “Ideally, we should keep our pets indoors with us where they are warm and safe and where we can enjoy their companionship throughout the winter.”

Companion pets are not the only animals at risk in cold weather. People with farm animals must also make sure these animals have adequate cover from the elements and that all water containers are kept ice-free.