Cold Weather Safety Tips for Your Pets

cold safety albuquerque vet

cold safety albuquerque vetIt looks like Albuquerque may be in for a cold winter. Make sure you follow these safety tips to help keep your pets safe from the cold. Though Albuquerque doesn’t often stay below freezing, it can drop down in the 2o’s and even teens. If you are up in the foothills or on the East side of the mountain, temperatures around 0 are not unheard of. Add in some wind chill and it can be deadly for pets.

Cold Weather Tips for Indoor Pets

  • If it is below freezing, you should only let your dogs outside to go to the bathroom. Cats should be kept in at all times.
  • Remove all salt, ice and mud from your pets paws and fur. Caked mud can keep them cold. Caked on salt should be washed off your pets paws. The salt can dry out their pads and cause cracking of the pad which can lead to infection. Putting booties on your pet can prevent any salt, sand, ice, or mud from building up on their feet.
  • You can put petroleum jelly on your pets paws to help protect their feet from the ice and salt. It easily wipes off when they come home.
  • Keep your pet bed in a warm area of the house, avoid cold or drafty areas. You don’t like to sleep with a draft and neither do they.
  • You may want to reduce their food in the winter to prevent weight gain. Talk to your Albuquerque vet about issues with reduced exercise and weight gain during the winter.

Cold Weather Tips for Outdoor Pets

  • Provide your dog with a dog house so they can get a break from the cold or wind. You can put in a nice bed, some blankets, or straw to help keep it warm in the doghouse.  Make sure you read our blog about insulating your dog house, as Albuquerque law requires that you insulate your dog houses.
  • Indoor pets often need to have their food intake reduced in the winter because they don’t get as much exercise cooped up inside. Outdoor pets need more because they burn more calories just trying to stay warm.
  • Regularly check for frostbite on your pets paws and ears.
  • Give them fresh water regularly and remove any ice from their water bowl. We recommend getting an insulated water bowl or a heated water bowl.
  • Always check your car engine for your cat. Cats love to sleep where it is warm and often that is inside the engine compartment. If you start your car with your cat inside the engine compartment it could kill your cat.
  • Watch out for hypothermia in your pet: weak pulse, lethargy, dilated pupils, decreased heart rate, extreme shivering, pale or blue gums, body temperature below 95 degrees, unconsciousness, coma.

If you are concerned about your pet’s health and the cold weather, talk to your Albuquerque vet.

Thanksgiving Food to Share with Your Pet

Albuquerque Pet Thanksgiving

Albuquerque Pet ThanksgivingThanksgiving is such a yummy time of year and your dog thinks it is yummy too. Instead of kicking them out of the kitchen and trying to keep them from sneaking your food, give them some things they can eat.  Here is a list of food that is good, and safe, for your dog to eat.

Dog Safe Thanksgiving Foods

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are great for your dog. They have loads of good vitamins such as beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Give your dog some sweet potato, raw or cooked, but give it to them before you add any of your other ingredients like marshmallows, cherries, or sugar. Do not give them canned sweet potatoes, only fresh.

Turkey

Turkey is a great protein for your dog. It is lean and healthy and yummy! Your dog can eat both light and dark meat turkey. The most important thing is to make sure that there are no bones. Bones can splinter and cause intestinal obstruction or internal bleeding. Don’t give your dog the turkey skin either, it is too fatty and can cause stomach upset or issues with pancreatitis.

Green Beans

Does your family love the green bean casserole? Green beans are great for your dog. Your dog will prefer these raw then cooked, and only give her fresh or frozen green beans. Do not give your dog the green beans after they have been seasoned or added to the casserole. This is a perfect treat to give while you are cooking.

Carrots

Carrots are another great raw treat for your dog. Before you cook up your carrots, you can toss a few to your pup. They are loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin A and C, and fiber.

Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a great food for dogs. Not only do they taste good but they are great for you. Make sure to only use fresh pumpkin. Do not use your jack-o-lantern or canned pumpkin pie. When you give your pup some pumpkin, it is best cooked. Roasted or boiled will work, and just strip it of seeds. Do not give it to your dog once you have added any spices to it.

Rolls and Bread

Bread is not good for your dog, but will not hurt your dog either. Feel free to share yummy rolls. Do not share dough. That can cause serious stomach upset.

Apples

Are you making an Apple pie for Thanksgiving? Dogs love apples. Give them a slice before you put it in your pie. Just like with pumpkin, give it to them without the spices.

 

If you are concerned your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t, is vomiting, has diarrhea, or is lethargic, call your vet immediately.

Remember to only give your dog these treats in moderation. Even good for you food can give you an upset stomach if you eat too much of it.