Keep pets safe during cold snap, says BC SPCA

As you bundle yourself up during this stretch of frigid weather, make sure your furry friends stay warm too.

Eileen Driever with the BC SPCA says temperatures below freezing can be risky for your animals, saying they can even suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.

“Paws, ears, and tail are the most common tissues to be affected,” she told CityNews. “(If) a dog is wet or damp, these areas are more vulnerable to frostbite.”

Some signs of frostbite include discolouration, pain in the affected area, swelling or blisters.

“If you suspect they have frostbite, take them to a veterinarian but warm their pads or their ears with warm water,” she said. “Sounds strange, but don’t use a blow dryer to warm them up. And take them to a veterinarian immediately.”

If you and your pooch are out walking on salted sidewalks, Driever says you should wipe your dog’s paws as soon as you get home.

“Salt and sand can irritate the skin and can result in sores causing dermatitis if not wiped off,” she said. “So what I would suggest that once you get them home, clean their pads and especially in between their toes.”

Driever is also warning about the dangers of anti-freeze and how toxic it is to animals, saying that even a tablespoon of the substance can be deadly.

She adds that older dogs, puppies, and those with shorter coats are most susceptible to the cold.

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