Its always fun playing with your dog in the snow and watching them discover a new season, but the truth is the winter weather can be pretty harsh on your pups paws. Their paws are at risk from toxic chemicals, frostbite, dry and cracking pads. Follow the tips below on how to winter proof your furry-friends paws.
- Warnings of salt: Most of the salt and de-icers are toxic to our pups paws. Try to keep them away from any trail or sidewalk that looks to have heavy salt on it. Stay clear of puddles that your dog will want to drink out of and don’t let them eat any slush. Keep a warm bowl of water with a towel by the front door to wipe their paws with. This will prevent them from licking their paws and ingesting chemicals. There are pet friendly de-icers that you can purchase for your own driveway and sidewalk.
- Grooming: Good grooming goes a long way to keep your dogs paws healthy. Long-haired dogs should have the hair between their paw pads clipped and shortened so that its even with the pad. Trimming the hair around the paws will prevent ice balls from forming which can be really painful. Also, make sure you are keeping their nails trimmed year-round.
- Dog Balm: Before venturing out into the cold, purchase a balm at your local drug store or pet store. This will protect their palms from snow, ice and ice melt. If you cannot find a pet balm for paws, Vaseline will work instead. Apply a thin layer of it before going outside. When you are all finished, wipe their paws with a warm washcloth to remove any un-wanted toxins. Then apply another layer of the balm to keep them from drying out. Try out this palm balm!
- Dog Boots: Boots for your dog may sound silly but they are actually the best way to protect their paws. They add traction, keep them dry and protect them from salt. You can find some online or at your local pet store. Dog boots are more like socks with a velcro strap. It is important to remember not to strap them on too tight. It should be just snug enough that it won’t fall off. It may take a while for your dog to get use to them. Try them out prior to your trip outside and let them wear the boots around the house. Reward and praise them when they have them on for a certain length of time. Try out these dogs boots!
- We tend to believe that our dogs can face the cold longer because of their fur coat. This is not always the case. Just like us, dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia. During these cold winter days, cut your walking time short and always watch for signs like shivering and moving slowly.
If you have any questions about protecting your pups paws, call us at (636) 939-3000.