Animal programs

New Mexico Animal Protection: Protect Animals in Freezing Weather

Winter weather is hitting New Mexico with snow, ice and dangerously cold temperatures this week.

At least three people have been killed in weather-related crashes and many more are suffering from the freezing cold. Animal Protection New Mexico urges residents to remember the animals they share their lives with and to ensure their pets are warm and safe in cold weather.

“A lot of people think that dogs, cats and other pets won’t get cold because of their fur or hair – that’s a common misconception,” said Alan Edmonds, director of the Challenging Animal Cruelty program. at Animal Protection New Mexico. “Many, if not most, of the animals we share our homes, yards and barns with are not well equipped for cold temperatures. They are as susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia as humans.

APNM advice on animal care in cold weather:

  • Bring animals indoors, either in your home or in a heated or well-insulated building like a barn or shed.
  • Straw is a good insulator for any shed, barn or shed.
  • Blankets or cloth are not good for keeping animals warm outside – once wet cloth freezes.
  • Frequently break the ice on the bowls of water.
  • If you can’t bring the animal inside, create an outdoor shelter from the cold.
  • The shelter should be high enough for the animals to sit up and turn around. If it is much larger, they will not retain their body heat.
  • Make sure the shelter is slightly above the ground, so that it doesn’t get waterlogged.
  • Face the entrance to the shelter to the south or southeast to protect yourself from the elements and maximize sun exposure.
  • Cover the opening with a piece of thick rubber or a thick cloth like a doormat or a piece of carpet.

The APNM urges New Mexicans to monitor animals kept outdoors and take steps to care for them if they show signs of cold-related illness or hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include: chills followed by immobility, slow heartbeat, lack of coordination, and pale or blue gums.

If you see an animal left outside in inclement weather, contact the APNM Animal Cruelty Helpline, (505) 265-2322, ext. 29, or (877) 5-HUMANE or email [email protected]

Edmonds reminds all New Mexicans, “If you’re cold, so are the animals. Bring them inside or make sure they have a place where they can stay warm and safe.