Experts Warn Pet Owners Amid Harsh Finnish Winter

Winter Warning For Finland's Pet Owners

Image of a Finnish Hound. Credit: EtaKarppa/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

The Helsinki Animal Welfare Society (HESY) recently issued a critical alert regarding the dangers of Finland’s extreme winter weather for pets.

With the Nordic region experiencing its coldest temperatures this winter, reaching lows of minus 40 degrees Celsius, the safety of pets, particularly those left outdoors for long periods or abandoned, is in danger.

Impact Of The Cold Spell

Recently, the harsh weather started disrupting transportation across the region, causing significant challenges for rail traffic in the Arctic north and leading to school closures in southern Norway.

This perilous cold snap not only affects human activities but poses a lethal threat to pets. Exposed to the severe cold, animals are at risk of frostbite and potentially deadly hypothermia, especially if they are outside for prolonged periods without suitable protection.

Hypothermia can cause vital organ failure, while frostbite may lead to tissue damage and loss, particularly in extremities like ears and tails.

Understanding Breed-Specific Cold Tolerance

Different dog breeds have varying levels of cold endurance. Breeds like Huskies and Lapland Reindeer Dogs are more adapted to the cold, unlike Finnish Hounds, Dobermans, and Pugs, which are more vulnerable to the cold’s adverse effects.

HESY stresses the importance of knowing the breed-specific needs and vulnerabilities of pets to ensure their safety.

Vigilance And Public Duty

Pet owners are advised to keep their pets indoors during severe weather and provide protective clothing and footwear to short-haired or hairless pets.

If a pet is found alone in the cold, the recommendation is to bring the animal inside to warm up before taking it to an animal shelter.

Cats are particularly prone to frostbite injuries in winter, especially those that seek shelter in unheated environments.

The situation demands increased vigilance and responsibility from pet owners to protect their pets from these dangerous conditions.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.