By Madison Willis
The Staff of The News 

Paw prints: Keep your pets safe and sound during Labor Day festivities


Last updated 9/2/2023 at 1:32pm

With Labor Day weekend in full swing, New Mexico residents are going all out with one final round of outdoor entertainment before fall.

Though the traditional celebration can be a lot of fun for the entire family, it is important for pet owners to keep their furry companions safe during the festivities.

Retired Veterinarian Dr. David Hudson provides some tips to keep pets happy, safe and healthy.

Guard the grill

Hudson said the smell of cooked meat often piques most pets’ interest, causing them to get near hot surfaces and burn themselves. He said pet owners who plan on cooking out should make sure they are constantly guarding the grill and the chemicals used to operate them.

No table scraps

One of the biggest warnings Hudson gives owners this Labor Day weekend is to prevent giving pets any table scraps.

“I would try to stay away from giving your pet food that is grilled. Especially meat products, things we like to grill,” Hudson said.

Human food tends to cause digestive issues such as “colic-y symptoms,” diarrhea, vomiting or loss of appetite within pets, Hudson said. Not only can it cause digestive issues, Hudson said it could lead to behavioral issues as well, which can lead to begging and fighting over food.

“Dogs can also develop pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas gland from trying to digest foods that are high in protein or high in fat. So we want to stay away from that as much as possible,” Hudson said.

Beat the heat

Despite fall rolling just around the corner, New Mexico continues to persist with its hot weather. Hudson advises pet owners supply plenty of water and shade for their furry friends as the family enjoys outdoor activities.

Read the room

With the holiday weekend, it’s hard not to bring in family, friends and other pets into the fun. Hudson said owners should keep an eye on their pet’s behaviors around large groups. He said the excitement of the festivities may be a bit much for pets who are overly anxious or shy around others.

He advises owners take the celebration slowly for more timid pets and see if they are comfortable with new faces before cranking up the party.

Watch out for critters and bugs

Common in eastern New Mexico this time of year are flies and snakes, which can cause a major threat to pet health and cost owners a pricey visit with the veterinarian clinic if they don’t keep an eye out, Hudson said.

“September and October will traditionally be the parvovirus months for (the region). So current vaccinations are very important,” Hudson said.

Hudson said pet owners should make sure their pets are current with their vaccinations and are under supervision while enjoying the outdoor festivities with the rest of the family.

Madison Willis writes about pets for The Eastern New Mexico News. To suggest a story or nominate a “Pet of the week,” contact her at:

[email protected]


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