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SPCA says if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets

With colder temperatures on the way, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society says pet owners should take extra precautions when the thermometer dips.

They say once the temperature falls below freezing, pets should not be left outside for long periods of time. Pets like cats, short-coated dogs and puppies are vulnerable in cold temperatures, with the SPCA saying they could get frostbite or hypothermia. Some short-haired dogs may benefit from a dog sweater or coat for an extra layer of warmth.

The SPCA says that just like with heat in the summer, animals should not be left alone in a vehicle during the cold weather. They say that cars cool down quickly and don’t hold their heat for long, which could mean animals freeze to death.

In addition to animals in the car, they also warn about animals outside the car.  The SPCA says that outdoor cats can be burned or injured if they are under the hood of your car when it starts. They say to bang on the hood or honk the horn to scare away cats looking for warmth.

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The SPCA strongly recommends you bring your dog indoors. However, if dogs spend time outside, they say they should live in a draft-free, weatherproof doghouse. The doghouse should be elevated and insulated, with good bedding a door facing away from prevailing winds. They say shelters must be designed for the size of the dog, and a shelter too small will stop a dog from stretching out comfortably. Meanwhile, doghouses too large will not allow the dog to use its body heat to keep warm.

The SPCA says they have instructions on how to build the perfect dog house on their website.

On top of where they sleep, SPCA says to check your pet’s water frequently to make sure it is not frozen. They say you can buy heated or insulated bowls, or use tip-resistant plastic or ceramic.

Above all else, the SPCA reminds pet owners that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets.

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