As the summer hits its peak season, the Investigations and Emergency Response Department begin to reach our highest call volume for concerns of dogs being left outside. While we understand that dogs like to be outside (and we love seeing them spend time out there!), it’s important to ensure that your animal has everything they need.
- When an animal is going to be left outside for longer periods, they must have access to fresh water at all times. We ask that you make sure that the water is being kept in a nice shady spot to prevent it from over heating. We often hear from owners that their dogs tend to flip their dishes, so we suggest getting a large bucket (Like an ice cream pail!) and putting some rocks at the bottom to weigh it down. Alternately you can screw or wire the pail to a stationary object such as a deck post. This should prevent the bucket from being flipped and will keep your dog hydrated. A lot of owners don’t leave food outside for their animals as pets are often on a feeding schedule so we are less worried when an animal does not have food outside with them but access to water is an absolute must. It’s very easy for animals to dehydrate and offering a constant source of clean water is the easiest and best prevention.
- We ask that owners be mindful of the temperatures and weather that day – your yard may be in the shade for the morning, but may have very little to no shade in the afternoon. Having a form of shelter (a dog house, an area with a tarp above, leaving a door open to a back porch, etc) will keep your dog out of the sun, and will protect your pet from rain. We understand that some dogs may not choose to use the shelter and that’s okay – we just ask that owners provide the opportunity for their animal to access the shelter.
- If you have an animal on a tie out, please make sure that there is nothing in the area where the tie out may get tangled. Every summer, we receive multiple calls for cats and dogs who have managed to tangle themselves around fencing/trees/ etc and end up choking themselves. If you are using a tie out or a chain, please survey the area to make sure that there is nothing that may end up posing a hazard. Make sure that you take a quick look around your yard for anything that may not belong: anything your dog could ingest, open gates, holes under the fence, etc. Remember that the length of tie out must allow for access to shelter and water.
- With the higher temperatures, we ask that you check on your animals through out the day if they are going to be outside for longer periods of time. Every animal is different and so is the way they’re able to handle the heat. You want to ensure that your dog is bright and alert – please be aware of what the signs are for heat exhaustion in animals like panting, drooling, restlessness and vomiting.
For the month of June 2019, the I/ER team attended 181 animal welfare concerns, 68 animal related emergencies and 44 jobs for a variety of other tasks.
For Animal Emergencies within the City of Winnipeg call 204-982-2020
To report an Animal Welfare Concern within the City of Winnipeg call 204-982-2028
To report an Animal Welfare Concern outside of Winnipeg call the Animal Care Line at 204-945-8000 or toll free 1-888-945-8001
To report Winnipeg Bylaw concerns (dogs running at large, barking complaints) contact 311