Humane society reminds pet owners of winter safety as Alberta remains bitterly cold

A golden poodle stands with snow in its nose on January 27, 2015 in Old Bethpage, New York. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Most of Alberta remained under an Environment Canada extreme cold warning Sunday morning and the Edmonton Humane Society is urging people to keep animals’ safety in mind.

In addition to the obvious – don’t leave your pet unattended in a vehicle – the EHS is providing information and advice to ensure pets are happy, safe and warm even when temperatures dip into the minus 30s.

READ MORE: Extreme cold weather snap contributes to 3 electricity records in Alberta 

For instance, fur loses its insulating ability when it’s wet and antifreeze is lethal to dogs and cats, even in small doses.

The agency recommends limiting outdoor time for puppies, senior dogs, small and short-haired dog breeds when it’s cold or wet. It also asks owners to keep an eye on paw pads, which can be injured by snow, ice and salt.

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If your dog is shivering excessively, lifting its paws, licking or biting its paws or refusing to play, that is a sign of distress and they should be brought inside, EHS said.

Cats, on the other hand, should be kept inside since they’re not meant to withstand low temperatures.

Much of the country was experiencing winter weather Sunday, with Prince George, B.C. forecast to see temperatures of -15 and Thunder Bay to see -12. The hot spot in Canada Sunday was Saturna Island, BC (6.3C) and the cold spot was Watson Lake Airport, YT (-40.6C).

READ MORE: Dogs left in car during Toronto’s extreme cold alert 

“It is a violation of the Animal Protection Act to cause or permit an animal to be in distress, to not provide an animal with protection from injurious heat or cold, and to not provide the animal with adequate shelter, ventilation and space,” the EHS stressed in a Facebook post.

If you see an animal in distress, call 780-491-3517 or email

Concerns for animals outside Edmonton should be directed to Alberta SPCA.

If you find a stray animal in Edmonton that has been injured by the cold, the EHS asks you take the animal to Capital City Animal Hospital at 111 Street and 102 Avenue NW.

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The extreme cold warning for much of Alberta was lifted early Sunday afternoon.

Winter safety guidelines from the Edmonton Humane Society. Courtesy: Facebook/EHS

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