As the temperature falls, the Ottawa Humane Society is warning pet owners about the dangers cold weather can pose to pets — especially cats allowed to roam outdoors.
“Every year, cats left out in the cold suffer from frostbite and other injuries, and are brought to the OHS,” said Bruce Roney, OHS President & CEO. “A cat’s situation can change quickly in extreme weather — what was once an enjoyable stroll can become a matter of life and death with little warning.”
The OHS always recommends keeping cats indoors for the animals’ safety. During the winter, the OHS further stresses the importance of keeping cats indoors.
The OHS is encouraging members of the public who find stray cats in the cold to contact 613-725-3166 ext. 221 to ensure the cat can return home safely or to arrange for the cat to be brought to the OHS.
As well, the OHS urges pet owners to take additional precautions to protect their pets and other animals from freezing temperatures:
- Limit the time dogs spend outside.
- Take dogs for shorter, more frequent walks, and consider a sweater or coat for dogs.
- After a walk, wipe dogs’ paws to remove salt, sand and other harmful substances.
- Monitor outdoor water bowls to ensure the water hasn’t frozen.
- Avoid leaving pets in a cold car.
- Animals may hide in cars to keep warm. Before starting a vehicle, bang on the hood to scare away cats and wildlife.
- Dogs that live outside are required by law to have an insulated doghouse built from weather-proof material, facing away from prevailing winds. The shelter must be elevated from the ground with a door flap and bedding.
About the Ottawa Humane Society
The Ottawa Humane Society is a registered charity founded in 1888. The society works in and with the community to provide leadership in the humane treatment of all animals, to address the causes of animal suffering, to encourage people to take responsibility for their animal companions, and to provide care for animals who are neglected, abused, exploited, stray, or homeless. Visit the Ottawa Humane Society website for more information.