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Keep Dogs Safe During the Maine Winter!

The famous wildlife photographer Roger Caras once said: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” If you feel that way about your all-time favorite four-legged friend—and we’re betting you do—we know you’ll want to do everything you can to keep your dog safe, cozy, and protected this winter. These 7 “Keep Dogs Safe in Maine” tips will help you do exactly that!


First Up: An All-Important Rule of Thumb
The wisest and most fundamental way to keep dogs safe during the Maine winter is to remember this all-important rule regarding taking dogs outside: If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dogs. Dogs left outside during harsh winter weather can experience hypothermia, become disoriented, or suffer serious injuries.    


Dry Off His or Her Coat

Each time your dog comes in from the cold—especially if he or she has been out in the snow, sleet, or ice—be sure to thoroughly dry off their back, paws, and stomach with a clean towel. Don’t forget that rock salt, antifreeze, or other potentially dangerous agents might get on their paws, and that these can be harmful if ingested. Also regularly check to make sure paw pads have not been cut in the encrusted snow or ice.


Keep Bedding Cozy and Warm
Be sure your dog has a warm, cozy place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy pet bed with a pillow or nice, warm blanket will do the trick.
 
Take Quicker Bathroom Breaks
If your dog is a puppy or a senior citizen, he or she may be particularly vulnerable to the cold. For that reason, shorten bathroom breaks to quick trips outside rather than longer walks. Some dog owners even use indoor “pee pads” on especially cold nights, so their dog doesn’t have to hold it in and risk a urinary tract infection.
 
Keep Your Dog “on a Tight Leash”

Never let your dog off the leash during harsh winter weather, since they can lose their scent and become lost. Also, make sure your dog always wears identification tags, as winter is the time of year in Maine when most dogs become lost.
 
Feed a Bit More Each Day
Dogs burn extra calories to stay warm in the winter, so feed your dog a bit more during the Maine winter to provide much-needed extra calories. Also, make sure your dog has plenty of water, so he or she can stay well-hydrated, with skin and fur that isn’t too dry.


Pay Special Attention to Older Dogs
Older dogs and/or those on special medications need special attention during the cold winter months. If your dog has arthritis, diabetes, hip dysplasia, asthma, or heart issues, those conditions can compromise his or her ability to regulate body temperature. This means you should limit exposure to harsh weather for older dogs, even more so than you would do for younger ones.

Looking to buy your dream home—or sell one—in Maine? We’d love to assist you, and invite you to contact us today.
 

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