Your dog’s paws can take a beating
in the winter unprotected from the snow, slush, ice,
cold, rock salt and chemical de-icers on the ground.
Without a little attention, they can develop cracked,
dry foot pads, blisters, and even infections. There
are some steps that you can take, however, to keep
your dog’s paws clean and healthy throughout
the winter season.
Take some time before you take him
out for a walk to prepare his paws for the conditions.
For dogs with long hair, clumps of ice, salt and sometimes
even gravel can easily gather in between their toes
and it can really hurt for them to walk. Help avoid
this clumping by keeping hair between the toes trimmed.
Also keeping their nails trimmed is another way to
avoid clumps of ice forming in between the toes. Long
nails cause the toes to separate further apart when
After a walk or playtime outdoors,
always make sure to clean your dog’s paws with
warm water. While you are washing, make sure to inspect
the paws to make sure that there aren’t any
sore, red areas or cracks that need special attention.
Use petroleum jelly on any areas to sooth these areas.
Petroleum jelly can also be placed on the dog’s
pads before venturing out into the winter weather
for extra protection.
Some areas where you may take your
dog will be heavily salted or may contain various
other melting agents. It is important to try to stay
away from these areas. Salt can cause extreme dryness
in the foot pads that leads to cracking and blisters.
Dogs can also ingest the salt and chemicals by licking
the paws, which can cause serious health issues. There
are many pet-safe melting agents available on the
market these days. And, in special cases, neoprene
booties can offer the ultimate protection.
By taking a few extra minutes to pay
attention to your dog’s paws this winter, you
can ensure that your pal will be healthy and ready
for that 5-mile hike come spring!