A Cork animal charity is appealing to dog owners to take extra care of their pets during the upcoming cold snap.
Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG) is calling on owners to be mindful of the drop in temperatures and take appropriate measures.
DAWG volunteer Maire O’Sullivan said while the charity would recommend that all dogs are indoor dogs, at times of low temperatures, they would ask that pet owners reevaluate their choices with regards to housing their dogs.
Mrs O’Sullivan also said that certain breeds tend to feel the cold more than others, and especially called for owners of greyhounds or small dogs such as Maltese or Bichons and Yorkies to look out for their pets.
As well as this, Maire said old dogs might feel the cold a great deal more than younger dogs and that should be taken into consideration during the upcoming cold weather.
The DAWG volunteer highlighted other dangers for dogs related to the cold snap, such as the road salting.
“Sometimes the grit can get into their paws and hurt them or dogs can lick off the salt and possibly ingest anti-freeze, so be mindful of road salt.” Finally, Maire said that doggie winter coats are not just fashionable items, they also keep dogs warm.
“Dogs that are prone to the cold can benefit from a winter coat. We might laugh at them, but they are very functional.” In terms of the animal charity, Maire said that 2020 had been a very strange year.
“Normally we house about 1,000 dogs a year, but this year we housed 500 dogs, because we have less dogs coming into us.”
The DAWG volunteer said that there are usually a number of calls of all week of owner surrenders, for example, people moving house and being told that they can’t have a dog, or people getting a new job and not having the hours to spend with their dog.
Maire said that they are no longer getting those type of calls either because those things are not happening at the moment, or because the demand for dogs is so high that any dogs needing a home are snapped up without needing to contact DAWG “It’s hard to know if that is a good thing or a bad thing,”
Maire said, outlining the extensive process that prospective dog owners would have to go through at DAWG in order to be given a pet.
One good thing that has come from the pandemic is the amount of fosterers that are now available to take in stray dogs from DAWG if needed.
“We have a surplus of foster homes at the moment, that has never happened in the history of DAWG.
At the moment, the charity has 12 dogs at the shelter looking for new homes and another 8/10 that are not yet ready for adoption.
All DAWG dogs that are looking for new homes are up on the DAWG website as well as on the DAWG App which is available on IOS and android app stores.