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Pets suffer in the cold too, N.B. SPCA says

By Tara Clow Feb 7, 2024 | 8:30 AM

An important note for pet owners during the winter months.

Chief Animal Protection Officer for the New Brunswick SPCA Tony Porter says cats and dogs get cold too, even with an extra layer of fur.

Last year, they had 135 complaints of inadequate shelter for dogs and 157 tethering complaints, which is dogs left outside for long periods.

“Cats and dogs get cold when the temperature does drop, same as humans. Some do have heavier layers of fur than others, depending on the breed. We want people to understand that although you think your dog is fine being outside in the cold weather, it may not be.”

He adds certain requirements need to be met to properly allow your dog to be outside or have them tethered outside.

“It’s everything from the length of the tether, and how it is built. Your pet must also have a shelter, but there are guidelines to show the proper size of your dog house. You want something that’s not too large but will be big enough for your dog to stand up straight with his head up. The dog house should also be insulated with a covering on the door.”

When it comes to leaving pets outdoors, many think of dogs, but Porter says this applies to cats as well. He says some will let their cats roam free, but they don’t recommend it.

Dogs and cats can also suffer from hypothermia and frostbite, just as humans do.

“You can watch for the symptoms. Excessive shivering, lifting their paws, licking and biting at them That’s indicative of having frost built up on their pads because the pads of the feet run fairly warm. Another is, that they may refuse to go outside, or they refuse to play while they’re outside. Or in extreme cases, they may act disoriented, confused, and dazed,” Porter says.

If you come across an animal that you believe may be at risk, Porter adds, you can contact the New Brunswick SPCA dispatch number at 1-877-722-1522.