Keep Max and Smokey safe this winter, Mississauga pet owners told

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Published December 20, 2022 at 10:02 am

Mississauga officials say a good rule of thumb in keeping house pets safe from sub-zero temperatures–and other dangers–this winter is a simple one: if it’s too cold for you, it’s also too cold for your pets.

In addition to thinking about road safety and preparing homes and cars for the winter season, City of Mississauga Animal Services officers remind residents to add their dogs and cats to the checklist.

After all, Max, Smokey, Charlie and Tigger are members of the family, too.

Animal Services offers a few suggestions:

  • coat check: dogs like Chihuahuas, Italian Greyhounds and other breeds have very short fur. These dogs require a coat or sweater if they’re outside in cold weather, whereas dogs such as Malamutes and St. Bernards have thick double coats that protect them from frigid temperatures
  • don’t be salty: put boots on your dogs and clean their paws after their walks. Repeatedly stepping on salt crystals can be uncomfortable and it can crack or cut into your dog’s paws, causing them to burn the paw pads. Also, be cautious of areas that aren’t salted–you or your pet could slip and fall
  • check your car engines: sometimes cats and smaller wildlife crawl under the hood of vehicles to find a safe and warm spot in the winter months. You should bang the hood of your car to scare them away before starting the vehicle. Keep antifreeze locked away as it is poisonous. Make sure bottles are closed tightly and if you spill any, clean it up immediately
  • protecting pets: keep pets indoors when possible and shorten bathroom breaks and walks during really cold days. If you must keep your pet outdoors, ensure they have winterized shelters

Officials also remind people that there are bylaws in place for the general provisions of owning an animal. Every owner of an animal shall humanely treat the animal by providing:

  • a waterproof shelter for the animal
  • shelter for the animal that is large enough for its size and breed
  • enough food and water for the animal
  • access to shade during warm weather, which does not include shade provided by an animal enclosure
  • sanitary conditions for the animal
  • adequate veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably prudent person to relieve the animal from distress caused by injury, neglect or disease

If you have concerns about pets being left outdoors in cold weather, contact Mississauga Animal Services at 905-896-5858 to report it.

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