Keep pets warm and safe this winter: SPCA

Hazards include antifreeze, ice and salt.

The SPCA urges people to keep their pets healthy and happy this winter.

Animal neglect and cruelty is heartbreaking to witness at any time of year, but as temperatures drop and winter’s wrath draws near, it is particularly distressing for SPCA constables to find so many animals left outdoors in freezing temperatures, with little or no protection from the elements.

While the SPCA responds to countless cases where animals are in serious distress after being deliberately neglected outdoors, even well-loved family pets can become sick or injured in harsh weather. Here are some simple tips to keep your pet healthy and happy this winter:

Antifreeze can be a deadly winter hazard for pets, who find the taste appealing. Ethylene glycol antifreeze is extremely toxic to pets and wildlife — a mere tablespoon is enough to kill a cat or small dog. Ensure you are using pet-safe, propylene-based antifreeze, which you will find at automotive supply stores if you’re adding it yourself, or you can ask your mechanic for it if you’re having your vehicle professionally winterized.

Road salt is toxic if ingested and can also irritate dogs’ paws. When outside with your dog, pay special attention to where he’s walking and ensure you wipe his paws thoroughly after walks and play to remove any salt. (The SPCA recommends using pet-friendly, non-corrosive de-icing compounds).

Ice can also cut your dog’s paws — watch your dog closely for signs he may be injured during exercise, and check for cuts and sores after exercise.

Cats and wild animals have been known to seek warmth inside the motor compartment of vehicles during winter. Make it a habit to thump the hood of your car before starting it to chase away any animals who may be hiding inside.

The BC SPCA is strongly opposed to keeping pets outside, particularly in cold temperatures. If you must leave your animal outside for short periods, ensure that he or she has an appropriate shelter that is elevated off the ground and insulated. It should also be regularly cleaned and cleared of any environmental debris. The outdoor shelter should also be appropriate to the weight and coat of the animal; he or she must be able to sit, stand, lie down and turn around freely and easily. Your dog must also have access to potable water at all times so check regularly to ensure that the water in the dish is not frozen.

Visit spca.bc.ca for more information on winter safety tips.

Lorie Chortyk is the general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mounties seeking witnesses to Saturday shooting

Police say the victim isn’t providing investigators with information

B.C.’s virtual ‘SoundON’ concerts kick off with sounds of Surrey festival

‘FVDED Broadcast’ from nightclub on July 18, as charity event

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Surrey council approves $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This came before council’s meeting on Monday July 13

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

UPDATE: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Most Read