With the cold winter weather upon us, Canadians are always trying to find new ways to keep ourselves warm. But what about our pets?
Shevaun Hoyle, an inspector for the Kingston Humane Society, says some animals are particularly vulnerable to extreme temperatures, whether it be in the summer or frigid winter months.
Hoyle says some tell-tale signs that your dog is too cold include shivering and lifting their paws.
“Despite what the temperature is, if you see that in your animal, you want to bring them inside,” says Hoyle.
Hoyle says that if you must leave your companion outdoors for a short while, there is a safe way to do so. She suggests building or assembling a proper shelter for them.
“A dog house that is large enough for the animal to stand up, turn around and stretch out. But you don’t want it any bigger than that.”
Global News spoke with some dog walkers on Thursday who gave their input on the idea of leaving their pets outside in the winter.
“I don’t think that’s fair to do that your animal. If you want to have the responsibility of having an animal, you should keep it inside,” says Kingston resident Morgan Taylor. “Leaving it outside seems a bit cruel to me.”
Ryan Lowe, a dog owner of two, says “it all depends on the dog breed.”
“You have to know your dog. Don’t leave it outside that’s longer than what is good for them.”
According to Hoyle, there is no set limit to the amount of time or temperature to keep your dog outside. She says it all depends on the weather, temperature and shelter.
That being said, under Canadian law, it is illegal to leave dogs outside for an extended period of time in extreme temperatures.
“Every animal must be provided with adequate and appropriate protection from the elements, including harmful temperatures,” Part II of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act states.
But the Humane Society admits it is hard to monitor, and often it is up to the public to report these situations to ensure the safety of pets.