For some New Mexico dogs, even if their family’s won’t bring them inside and out of the cold, they’ll at least get insulated dog houses – or their owners will face fines and jail time.
Dogs living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and surrounding Bernalillo County are now required, by law, to have insulated dog houses available to their outside pets.
Neglecting to provide an outside pet with an insulated shelter will result in a citation, a court appearance, a $500 fine, and up to 90 days in jail.
Animal Protection of New Mexico said, “It’s a common misconception that dogs and cats won’t get cold because of their fur. If you are cold, your companion animal is cold. Most domestic cats and dogs are not well equipped for cold weather and can easily be susceptible to frost bite and hypothermia.”
Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, decreased heartbeat and weak pulse, stiff muscles, lack of coordination, and pale or blue gums. If you dog is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
The very best place for a dog is inside the home with family, but for those animals that must remain outside, using straw bedding is important because it retains heat and evaporates moisture, unlike hay, blankets, and pet beds which can become wet, freeze into icy layers, and stay wet.
For residents of Bernalillo County, free straw bedding is available (while supplies last) this winter through the partnership with Animal Protection of New Mexico, Albuquerque Animal Welfare, and Bernalillo County Animal Care Services.