How to Protect My Dog’s Feet and Paws During Winter?
Heavy winters are here and they are going to be harsh on your dogs’ paws too. Paws get extremely dry making it painful and difficult for them to walk and move around.
Apart from ice, the salt that is used to melt ice on the roads and sideways is also a consequential threat and prolonged exposure to it will lead to chemical burns, frost bites, cracked and chapped paws in dogs.
Prepare your Dog’s Paw for Protection:
An important step before taking your dog out for walks in winters is by taking precautionary protection steps and by prepping their paws for a fun, yet cold stroll.
1. Trim your dog’s nails, as long nails cause the feet to spread out while walking, thus making more room for snow collection between paws.
2. Cut any hair that grows between the paws and toe pads to avoid dirt, soggy snow, and salts getting adhered to them.
3. Moisturize dog’s paw adequately for protection with dog paw balms or dog pad creams. Apply a generous amount of shea butter and Vitamin E enriched paw balm like Hemp Balm to moisturize and protect dog paw and feet. Do not use human moisturizers as they can cause allergic skin reactions.
4. Invest in a good pair of protective dog boots this winter for protection. Dog boots are available in various sizes and patterns and also come along with velcro straps to fit them in place. If your dog is a runner, then you may want to get them a snug fit, instead of a larger size.
5. Clean your dog’s paws with a warm towel after every walk, to remove snow and dirt that gets accumulated. The warm towel will also soothe your dog’s cold feet. Reapply another layer of balm for paw protection at home.
De-icers and salt are extremely harmful on your dog’s feet. Make sure you use pet-friendly de-icer that is available in the market in your driveways and walking areas. Wash your dog’s feet and maintain it clean after every walk as described earlier. Dogs tend to stick in their noses and climb on piles of dirty and treated snow. Do not encourage them to do so and stick to walks in dry and clean areas as possible. Dogs are prone to frostbites just like humans do. We pet parents are responsible and should limit the walking time periods accordingly.
Winter is challenging for pet parents and pets. Dog feet and paw protection can be done easily with proper grooming and using precautionary protection methods like balms and boots for dogs.