Your Pets Feel The Bitter Cold Too 

Winter isn’t officially here yet, but the bitter cold has arrived. Leaving your dogs outside can be more than just uncomfortable says Don Hanson, Co-owner of Green Acres Kennel in Bangor. “They have to have access to water throughout the day,” says Hanson, “snow doesn’t count. when it gets below zero, that water is going to freeze, so unless you’ve got a heated water bowl, which a lot of people don’t, they should be inside.”Hanson says it’s not difficult to figure out whether your dog is a fan of the winter weather. “Well if your dog stays out in the cold or rolls around in the snow, that’s a real good indicator,” he says, “if you know you let them out to go to the bathroom, they kind of look at you like ‘Hey you have indoor plumbing, what’s wrong here?’ you know that’s a clue. Or lifting up the paws out in the cold, that will generally be an indicator.”It’s not just your dog that you have to worry about. Dr. David Cloutier works at Veazie Veterinary Clinic and sees a lot of different animals who have been exposed to the brutal Maine winters. “More cats than dogs,” he says, “usually dogs are in and home, but sometimes cats will get stuck somewhere and can’t get home and they will be really, really cold when they come in.”Dr. Cloutier says exposure to the cold can take a serious toll on your pet. “The long term effect, hypothermia, just like people, you get really, really sleepy and if you fall asleep, you may not wake up.”When it comes to your pets, the best way to protect them is to use common sense. “Be smart,” syas Hanson, “if you’re cold and not feeling good outside, your pet is probably not going to be feeling good either and when it gets real, real cold, it’s time for us all to come inside and sit around the fire and warm up.”