Winter can be hard on dogs’ paws. Paw pads can become cracked or peeled from the cold, snow, and ice. This can cause pain for your dog. You can do a few things to keep your dog happy while you’re out on walks or participating in winter activities.
Take care of your dog’s nails
Your dog’s nails are longer than they should be. This causes their toes to spread more when they walk and allows more snow and ice to build between the toes. Your dog’s weight distribution will also be affected by unclipped nails. This means that their weight will shift to the back of their feet, which can cause them to slip on icy surfaces.
It is a good rule to ensure your dog’s nails are visible but not too long.
Regular Pet Grooming
Make sure your dog’s paws are free from extra fur between the toes. You can reduce the salt, grit, and snow that sticks to your pup’s fur by keeping the fur between their toe pads flat. Condensed snow salt can cause your dog to have difficulty walking and make it difficult to keep their feet on the ground. Salt balls and ice between your dog’s feet can cause discomfort as they pull on the fur and push your dog’s feet apart.
Before you go outdoors, moisturize your paws
Your dog’s pads can crack and dry out in cold weather or salt. Before taking your dog for a walk, make sure to coat their paws in petroleum jelly-based products like Vaseline, Paw Balm, or Cooking Spray. After your walk, make sure your dog is kept off any slick surfaces, including tile and exterior walls.
Consider Dog Booties
Dog boots offer the best protection against the elements and can help retain heat. You will notice that not all dogs are comfortable wearing boots immediately. So, it is a good idea to introduce them gradually. Allow them to wear boots in the house for a short time and praise them often ( dog treats) Velcro or fabric fasteners are better for the paws than ties.
Use an Ice Melter that is pet-safe
Salt, ice-melting chemicals, or other chemicals used on driveways and sidewalks can cause paw irritations in your pet and stomach problems if they are ingested. Non-toxic options such as gravel, sand and non-clumping cat litters are better choices. Look for pet-safe brands if you do use chemical de-icers or salt.
After a Walk, Wash Your Dog’s Paws
Warm (but not hot) water can thaw paws and wash away any salt or deicing chemicals. It will also dissolve any ice between your dog’s feet. A designated towel for dogs should be kept near the door so that your pet can easily wipe their paws when they return inside.
Keep your walks to a minimum on cold winter days. Frostbite can occur when you are outside in the extreme cold. Mixing indoor and outdoor activities can help your dog learn new tricks, navigate an obstacle course, run up and down stairs, or play with his favourite toys. You can also bundle up your dog in a winter jacket if you must go outside.
Your dog’s feet can become sore and cold, which can cause you to be miserable. Your dog will be more likely to enjoy walks with you if you take care of his feet, especially in winter.