Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
For Immediate Release
Fredericton, New Brunswick – Cats and dogs get cold when the temperature drops, and they may experience increased discomfort or become more susceptible to illness. With temperatures plummeting in the winter season and inclement weather, the New Brunswick SPCA seeks to raise awareness about keeping your pets warm and safe.
Despite natural fur coats which act as a layer of warmth and protection, all pets can suffer from cold. From hyperthermia to frostbite, your pet is at risk during the winter. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but should be indoors the rest of the time. Under no circumstances should cats be left outdoors.
“There is a common misconception that pets are “fine” when left outside in the cold. This is absolutely not true! All pets need suitable shelter from the elements and should not be left outside for long periods in freezing weather,” said Tony Porter, Chief Animal Protection Officer at the New Brunswick SPCA.
“If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet, is a good thumb rule to keep in mind. When you see a distressed dog or cat, bring them to a safe and warm place and call the New Brunswick SPCA hotline at 1−877−722−1522,” said Porter.
If your dog is outdoors during the winter months, they must have access to proper shelter to allow them to stay warm as well as access to water. Under the NBSPCA Code of Practice for the Care of Dogs in New Brunswick, which can be found on our website states, “All dogs kept outdoors in winter for any period longer than 30 minutes must be provided with access to a weather-proof shelter which conforms to the required standards described in Section 1.1” (of the Code). “Dogs shall be kept in temperatures as close as possible to the comfort zone of the breed, considering age and health status.”
Pets can develop frostbite and hypothermia on cold winter days. Signs of distress can be excessive shivering, lifting paws or licking and biting them, refusing to play outside. Pets can also show behavioral changes, such as acting disoriented, confused, or dazed due to distress.
To keep your pet warm when it’s cold outside, limit their outdoor time, and thoroughly dry feet, legs, and stomach when your pet comes in from snow. Keep an eye on sensitive paw pads, which can be injured from snow, ice, and salt spread on sidewalks. Provide a warm, insulated place to sleep, free from drafts. More importantly, if your animal is showing signs of distress take it immediately to a veterinarian for treatment.
If you suspect or witness animal cruelty or neglect, please call the New Brunswick SPCA 24⁄7 hotline at 1−877−722−1522. Thank you for doing your part to protect and give these defenceless animals a voice.
For more information on keeping your pet safe during the winter or to learn more about the New Brunswick SPCA and its initiatives, please visit nbspca.ca.
About New Brunswick SPCA
Founded in 1881, New Brunswick SPCA (NBSCPA) is the only province-wide organization mandated to enforce animal protection laws. A dedicated team of 15 Animal Protection Officers is vested with the authority under the SPCA Act of New Brunswick to investigate and, if necessary, lay charges, seize animals, or recommend court orders to persons suspected of abuse and cruelty to animals.
The NBSPCA is a registered charity that exists to provide province-wide leadership in the humane treatment of animals. We enforce relevant legislation, ensure shelter for neglected or abused domesticated animals and agricultural animals, and provide public education and advocacy to empower New Brunswickers to help animals live long and healthy lives.
To learn more visit www.nbspca.ca
Marketing and Communications Manager
New Brunswick SPCA
Available for Interview:
Chief Animal Protection Officer
New Brunswick SPCA