Keeping Outdoor Pets Warm in Winter

snow dog albuquerque
Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

Can you believe the snow? Can you believe all the rain we have been getting? The Farmers Almanac is predicting it will be a we, and cold, winter this year. This means you may want to take some extra steps to ensure that your pets stay warm.

Keeping Outdoor Pets Warm

  • Bring them Inside: On really cold days, it is a good idea to bring them inside. Brining them inside is the best way to ensure that they stay warm. If you cannot bring them into your main house, think about bringing them into your laundry room, a bathroom, or even a garage. The main thing is to bring them in out of the elements.
  • Insulate the Doghouse: First, make sure you have a shelter for them, like a dog house. Then make sure that your shelter is insulated. You may want to add a layer of caulk along the seams to help prevent water from getting in, it will also keep cold air from blowing in. Another way to insulate your pet shelter is to add some extra blankets or even hay into the enclosure. That will give them some insulation while they sleep.
  • Keep their bedding fresh and clean: This is a big one, keeping your pets blankets or hay clean will help ensure they stay warm. If their blankets or hay get soiled, it will hold in the cold or could even freeze.. Launder or change their blankets and hay regularly.
  • If it is really cold, consider putting a heating pad underneath their blankets. You do not want to let your pet sleep directly on the heating pad as it can cause burns, but you can put it underneath their bed and it will help keep them toasty warm.
  • Exercise! This is a great way to warm up. When they get to running around and get that blood pumping it will warm up their whole body. Instead of saying, “its too cold to play outside”, if you have an outdoor pet, say to yourself, “Its cold outside, let’s go play.”
  • Keep their water from freezing. Access to water is a big issue for the winter. It is common for water bowls to freeze solid. Make sure to check it regularly and remove the ice when you see it. We suggest buying an insulated water bowl to help keep the water from freezing.

If you are concerned about your pet getting too cold, bring them inside. If you are concerned that they are having health issues because of the cold, please call your Albuquerque veterinarian and have your pet checked out. Things to watch for are:

  • Not drinking water
  • Not eating
  • Lethargy or not wanting to move around
  • Labored or difficult breathing
  • Shivering that won’t stop

Take care of .yourself and your pets this winter and stay warm.

Easy DIY Dog Toys

DIY dog toys

This is the time of year for buying gifts and many of us don’t want to leave our dogs out of the gift receiving loop. But buying dog toys can get expensive. At Albuquerque Vetco we are always trying to save you money which is why we offer the lowest cost vaccines and spay’s and neuters in New Mexico. We thought we would share some of our staff pics for great easy to make DIY dog toys.

Old Shirt Rope

Tug of war is one of a dogs favorite games. Save your money on that expensive tug, and try using some of your old shirts. All you need to do is cut your old shirt into three strips. Tie the strips together at the top, then braid it all the way down, then tie it again at the bottom. If you want it thicker, make your strips wider. If your dog really loves to chew, try trying an extra knot in the middle of the braid. This is a great toy for your dog and a great thing to do with those old shirts.

Rope and Tennis Ball

This is a variation off of the Old Shirt Rope. Once you have your braid, use a knife to cut a hole in a tennis ball, then pull your braided rope through the ball and tie a knot on the other side. This makes the rope easy to throw, and lets face it, dogs just love balls.

Tennis Ball Food Puzzle

Food puzzles are a fun way to give your dog treats and gets them thinking, which is always a good thing. Making your own food puzzle is super easy. Take a tennis ball and cut it halfway. Pinch the ball to open up the mouth you just made by cutting and put your treats inside. Throw it for your dog and let her go to town trying to get the treats.

4th of July Microchip!

microchip albuquerque

microchip albuquerqueThe 4th of July is coming up and it is time to get your pet their microchip.  You may be wondering what the 4th of July has to do with microchips. Did you know that more dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year? The reason behind that is the noise. Fireworks can be really scary for dogs. When they hear them go off, they often try to hide for safety. Sometimes hiding means running from the noise, which can mean running out of your house, your yard or your bbq.  It is really easy for them to get lost in all the confusion of the holiday.

One of the best ways to ensure that your pup make it back to you is to have them microchipped. That way if they do get lost, they are easily returned to you when they are found.

Microchips are easy and quick to get. Bring your pet into our daily walk-in shot clinic and they can implant the chip in a matter of minutes. It is an easy procedure that does not require any overnight stays or anesthesia.

Remember, microchips are not just for dogs. You should make sure your cat has their chip as well.