Here is how you can keep your pets safe during the cold snap. 

At the moment temperatures are supposed to drop to -31 on Friday (Jan 12) and -33 on Saturday (Jan 13). 

Here are signs that your companion animal may be cold or uncomfortable during the winter:

  • Shaking or shivering.   
  • Hunched posture with a tucked tail. 
  • Whining or barking. 
  • Behavior change, showing anxiety. 
  • Reluctance to keep walking or tries to turn around.  
  • Seeks places to shelter. 
  • Lifts paw off the ground. 

"You would only want to keep them out as long as necessary to relieve themselves and then get them back in. The biggest risk is wind, so if you don't have great shelter for your dog outside then I mean it differs. Puppies and short-haired breeds are the most susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and this cold weather," explained veterinarian at Animal Care Centre of Strathmore, Dr. Jodi Viste. 

Signs of hypothermia and frostbite in dogs and cats are:

  • Frostbite (can take several days to develop)
    – Often presents on the extremities (ears, legs, paws, tail)
    – Pale, cold skin that can be painful to touch
    – May develop redness, swelling, and blisters of exposed skin
    – Skin may turn black  
  • Hypothermia (can range from mild to severe)
    – Prolonged shivering
    – Weakness
    – Muscle stiffness
    – Difficulty walking
    – Pale gums
    – Confusion
    – Slow, shallow breathing
    – Loss of consciousness  

"Another thing to be aware of is when it is really cold outside, dogs tend to not completely void themselves when they go to the bathroom. We see a lot of urinary tract infections following cold snaps like this. So just to watch for that maybe put your animals out more frequently in this cold weather, but for shorter periods." 

For more information on what frostbite looks like in animals and what to do during a cold snap, visit the VCA website. 

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to