Winter can be a tough time for a dog’s paws. Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air, chilly rain and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy skin. But, these aren’t the only discomforts dogs can suffer. The salt used as ice-melter on roads and sidewalks is very tough for a dog’s paws, and nice winter walks can become downright dangerous if your dog licks off the chemicals from ice-melting agents. Learn how to protect dog paws from winter and snow by following these basic paw protection tips.
Winter warning from us to you!
Salt and other ice-melting chemicals can be horrendously hurtful to our beloved dogs and it is, therefore, very important to prevent cold weather dangers from affecting our pet’s paws and skin.
#1 Prep the paws
First of all, make sure the paws are ready for the winter. Good grooming is essential for healthy winter feet. Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and ice-melting chemicals that can dry on the skin – especially on the feet. If your dog has very hairy feet, trim them throughout the winter.
#2 Warm water
When you’re walking in the city, avoiding all the rock salt is almost impossible. Keep a bowl of warm water just inside your door so that you can wipe your dog’s paws (and your own boots) when you are back home.
#3 Short winter walks
Dogs left in the cold for long periods of times are also at risk for frostbite on paws and hypothermia. It is not advised that dogs spend hours in the cold. In winter, frequent short walks are better for your dog than a single long walk.
#4 Bring a towel
Bring a towel on your walks to clean off salt crystals and other chemicals. Be aware of cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
#5 Dog boots
Another good option to protect your dog’s paws is dog boots. Just as wearing boots in the winter protects your feet, dog booties will prevent injury to your dog’s paws. Dog boots are made by various manufacturers and can be easily found online and in pet stores. Dog boots protect your dog’s paws from salt, ice balls and sharp items that may be hidden under the snow. Your pup may not like the boots in the beginning but, with a little time and patience, you can train your dog to love wearing his booties!
#6 Is it too cold?
It’s good to remember that if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog too. Our furry companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when it’s really cold.
#7 Last but not least
During winter time, try to care for your dog’s feet like you do your own. When your feet get cold, sore, and blistered, the discomfort can make you miserable. Your dog feels the same way.
If you have any experience in how to protect your dog’s paws from winter and snow, please share your knowledge in the comment field below!