Albuquerque Animal Welfare urges people to keep pets warm this winter

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With colder temperatures on the way, it’s important to remember to protect your four-legged friends from the harsh conditions.

What people may not realize is that dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia too. The general rule of thumb to always keep in mind is, if you’re cold, your pet is probably cold.

“Most folks believe that when an animal has fur, when they go outside, they’re not cold. But in fact what happens is when you’re cold, your animal is actually cold,” said Thomas Romero, Corporal with the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Field Division.

Now, with temperatures starting drop, the Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department is urging everybody to take precautions and get ready for whatever this winter will bring.

If you’re unable to keep your companion indoors, officials say to make sure the dog house is fully enclosed, with only one hole in the front to get in and out of.

To keep their dog house even more insulated, use straw, not blankets. Officials say straw will retain the animal’s heat and it helps evaporate moisture.

Corporal Romero says they get at least 10 calls a day during the winter about animals being left outside or seeing dog houses that are not adequate.

Rather than just issuing a citation, Corporal Romero says they take that time to help educate and provide assistance to those pet owners.

“A lot of folks don’t know that so we’ll tell them, okay, you have a dog house that’s good, but go get some straw, it’s free. Or if they don’t have a ride, let me go get it for you and I’ll deliver it,” said Corporal Romero.

To keep your pets from getting hypothermia, here’s a few signs to look for: uncontrollable shivering, weak pulse, stiff muscles, lack of coordination, or pale gums.

Officials also suggest that if you’re taking your dog outside, to put a jacket or sweater on them for an extra layer of warmth.

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