A deep freeze has settled on the Okanagan Valley, bringing hazards to household pets.
The BC SPCA says owners should watch for the salt or sand used on sidewalks as it can get between your dog’s paw pads or toes.
Puppies and older dogs may find it more difficult to control their body temperature. Dogs with heart disease or diabetes are also at a greater risk of getting frostbite because these conditions reduce blood flow to their extremities.
The cold can also aggravate existing health conditions such as arthritis in older dogs, who should be monitored closely or kept indoors.
Frostbite signs include pale grey or blueish skin, pain and swelling in the area, blisters or skin ulcers, and areas of blackened or dead skin. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, pale or grey gums, lethargy, and stumbling or lack of coordination.
The BC SPCA is strongly urging guardians to keep all animals indoors during cold weather. If you must keep domestic or farm animals outside, ensure they have access to shelter that is off the ground, provides protection from wind, cold and dampness, and is properly insulated.