Winter can be rough on our dog’s paw pads. Exposed to the elements and toxic chemicals, the paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite and chemical burns.
Some winter tips for preparing your dogs paws for the winter.
Good grooming is essential. Trim the fur to keep the hair between the paw pads short so that it is even with the pad. This is to help prevent ice build-up.
Another good option to protect your dog’s paws is dog boots. They consist of a sock like boot with a Velcro strap to help keep them in place. Some have soles which provide the additional benefit of adding traction. These boots protect the paw by helping them stay dry and preventing exposure to salt and de-icers.
Be sure to check that the strap is not too tight; the boot should be snug so that it doesn’t slip off but not so tight that it constricts the paw. Dogs tend to not to like wearing the boots at first so acclimate them to wearing them by putting them on your dog for short periods of time in the house. Praise them and gradually increasing the length of time as they get used to them.
Salt and de-icers can be toxic
Salt and most de-icers can be toxic to our canine friends. Try to keep your dog away from roads and sidewalks that have been heavily treated with salt and chemical de-icers.
Immediately after a walk, wash your dog’s paws with warm water to help prevent them from ingesting any salt or chemicals that may be on their paws. While outdoors, do not let your dog eat slush or drink from puddles near heavily treated roads and sidewalks.
Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just as humans are so use common sense as to how long your walks can be. Keep them short and watch for signs of hypothermia such as shivering, anxiety and moving slowly.
Winter can be tough on our dog’s feet but good grooming and protecting the paws by using booties will go a long way to keeping your dog’s feet healthy.
Click on picture for link for Dog Boots