Exposure to intense cold in pets favors the appearance of diseases, especially those of respiratory origin. Photo: Tiago Queiroz/ Estadão
In Brazil, there are about 30 million helpless animals – among them, 10 million cats and 20 million dogs – according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although the forecast points to warmer days, the blanket promises to be our faithful companion until the end of June.
Therefore, the movement to help homeless people has grown, especially in recent weeks. However, who helps these helpless pets who are also in a vulnerable situation?
“Thin dogs and those with shorter and less dense hairs are the ones that suffer the most. Some breeds that feel the most cold are: Chihuahua; Pinscher; Greyhound; Whippet; Italian greyhound; Dachshund; German Shorthaired Pointer; Boxer; Boston Terrier and Fox Paulistinha (Brazilian Terrier). Cats with no fur, such as the Sphynx breed, or with short fur, such as Cornish Rex, Siamese and Chartreux, may feel colder than others”, explains Stella Figueiredo, veterinarian at DogHero.
According to the veterinarian, some signs that indicate animals are feeling cold are:
- Cold paws and ears
- body tremors
- very low body temperature
- Long time lying curled up
- Sleep more than usual
- Slower breathing and movements.
In addition, Fernanda Risoli, Emergency Room Coordinator at Veros Hospital Veterinário, warns that felines in a street situation look for car engines to hide or enter places they can’t get out of, so be careful with these animals.
And the consequences of this exposure to the cold can be serious. “The fall in immunity favors the appearance of diseases, especially those of respiratory origin such as kennel cough, colds, bronchopneumonia, pneumonia, respiratory allergies, feline viral rhinotracheitis (in cats) and which can be the gateway to even more serious diseases. serious, even death, if severe hypothermia occurs”, says Nicole Cherobim, veterinarian of the EcoCão Espaço Pet franchise.
That’s why we’ve separated a list of initiatives to help homeless animals in the cold:
Thinner pets with shorter fur are the ones that suffer the most in the cold. Photo: Tiago Queiroz/ Estadão
Homeless People and Their Dogs (MRSC)
The project is one of the main ones in Brazil. Recognized by the UN and an active member of the Global Compact, the initiative has existed since 2015 and aims to raise donations for vulnerable families, including, of course, their pets. In winter, the “low temperature emergency action” takes place on specific days, but contributions can be made throughout the year.
In addition to cash support, the MRSC collects items that are new or in perfect condition, such as clothes, beds, food and blankets. Physical donations can be delivered to collection points in Guaianazes, Vila Leopoldina, Sumaré and Ipiranga, in São Paulo.
PET coat campaign
Limeira, in the interior of São Paulo, took advantage of the traditional coat campaign to create the pet version. The action collects clothes, blankets, food, guides and collars at 16 collection points throughout the city. Check out more information here.
6th edition of the Pet Clothing Campaign
Cobasi will hold the 6th edition of the Pet Clothing Campaign this year. The campaign will start in the first week of June and all 154 Cobasi stores are collection points and will receive specific material to collect donations. The aim is to help the company’s more than 60 partner NGOs to protect the pets they house in winter.
And, this year, the campaign is part of the actions of the Cobasi Cuida platform, recently launched by Cobasi, created to promote adoption, donations, volunteering and other information.
On the Petlove website, it is possible to make donations to various NGOs. Just choose your favorite, select the products you want to send to the institution, make the payment and the shipping is on the website.
Some of the NGOs that can be helped are: Cão sem Dono, Associação Quatro Patinhas, Casa dos Anjos, Projeto Esdras and much more.
The EcosPeloBem initiative, of the partnership EcoCão Espaço Pet and EcoAngels Educação Sustentável, collects recyclable items (such as plastic caps, aluminum seals, paper, oil and used books, electronics…) and pet items, such as clothes and blankets, during throughout the year to help NGOs and protectors. Recyclables are sold and all proceeds go to the animal and environmental cause.
How to help homeless animals?
In addition to these initiatives, Stella Figueiredo lists some care that can help helpless animals:
- The animal needs to have a house or a closed place, where it can shelter from the rain and wind.
- If possible, house it indoors, such as a garage, indoors, or in a doghouse.
- If in the city where the pet is very windy, it is important that the door of the house is facing a protected place, such as a wall, that prevents the wind from entering.
- The house, preferably, should be in a covered place so that it does not get damp, or, much less, cold.
- In addition to the house, we recommend that you provide a blanket or clothes, they keep pets warm.
- If the pet doesn’t feel comfortable, don’t force the situation. Another important measure is to try to offer food and water, so that they stay hydrated and ensure the proper functioning of the body.
“Although the canine influenza vaccine does not prevent the infection and its symptoms, infectious tracheobronchitis in immunized animals is milder. Vaccination options can be found on the market in injectable or intranasal form. To decide which is the best option for your pet, ask for guidance from a veterinarian”, guides the veterinarian.
Another important issue is that, in winter, with the drier climate, there is a higher incidence of ticks. Therefore, care must be redoubled for those who come into contact with forest areas and even gardens.
To protect themselves from the cold, street pets need a house to shelter from the cold and wind. Photo: Tiago Queiroz/ Estadão
Wild animals also need attention in the cold.
It is worth remembering that, in addition to dogs and cats, other animals that have grown in popularity as pets are birds, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, chinchillas, among others, known as wild animals.
“These are animals with different sensitivities and resistance to cold. Even at this time of year, some species go through the molting phase of fur and feathers, which means that it is a time when the animal is more vulnerable to diseases, as its immunity is compromised”, explains Nathalia Diez Murollo.
The veterinary specialist in wild and exotic animals at Veros Veterinary Hospital, lists some signs to identify if these animals are cold:
- Birds usually have ruffled feathers, may show tremors, are quieter without singing and may reduce food consumption.
- Some rodents, such as hamsters, if not properly warmed, can also go into hibernation, that is, they are in a “dormant state”, which also brings harm to their health, and in addition, many tutors may think that this animal is dead, and end up getting rid of it.
- Other small mammals, such as guinea pigs, rabbits and mice, in general, can also spend more time in the shelter and burrow, lethargic, can have tremors, stay in a hunched posture and can also reduce food consumption.
THE Estadão contacted the Coordination of Health and Protection of Domestic Animals of the Municipality of São Paulo to find out about initiatives in the capital to help stray pets, but did not get a response until the publication of this text.