Protecting Your Dog’s Paws in the Winter
- 1Minimize your dog’s time outside. When the weather is cold and there is snow or ice on the ground, contact with the frozen ground can injure your dog’s paws. Limit your dog’s time outside if the temperature is below freezing, so that its paws don’t get damaged and the dog doesn’t get too cold.
2Take your dog’s breed and condition into consideration. Some dogs are better adept at dealing with the cold. If you have a small dog that has little body fat or thin fur, such as a chihuahua, then it should not spend much time outside in freezing conditions at all. If you have a husky with a thick coat, then it can spend a lot of time outside without any problems to its paws.
- If your dog’s paws are in contact with the freezing ground too long they could get frostbite, or the pads of their paws could become brittle and crack. Don’t stand in the same spot for too long — it’s better to stay constantly moving, even if you’re just walking around in circles.
- A good rule to follow is not to keep your dog outside longer than you would stay outside. If you have taken the dog outside and you are ready to come in from the cold, so should your dog.
- Don’t leave your dog in a kennel that’s resting on frozen ground or its paws could freeze.
3Wipe down the dog’s paws after contact with ice and snow. Once you have brought your dog in from the cold, be sure to remove any ice, snow, or water that has accumulated on its paws. This will help keep the paws healthy and will minimize the chance of frostbite or raw skin.
- A young, healthy dog is also more likely to thrive in cold weather than a very old dog. Take your dog’s physical condition into consideration when taking it out in cold weather.
- The paws of dogs bred to live in cold temperatures are different from other dog paws. The blood in their paws is rewarmed faster and the pads themselves are made of more cold-resistant tissue.
4Wash your dog’s paws after contact with salt and chemicals. One of the major hazards for your dog’s paws in winter is the salt or chemicals that are used to deice roads and sidewalks. Every time your dog spends a lot of time outside in areas that have been deiced, be sure to wash their paws afterward. Simply rinse the pads with warm water and then dry them off with a towel.
- Be sure to check between the toes for ice and snow. Sometimes ice balls can form between a dog’s toes. If you notice your dog limping during the walk, make sure there aren’t ice balls stuck to its paws.
- Wiping down the paws can also remove some of the salt and chemicals that can accumulate on the surface of pads.
5Moisturize your dog’s paws. If your dog spends any amount of time outside during the winter, it will likely need a bit of additional moisture added to its pads. Moisturizer for dog paws, commonly known as paw balm, can keep the pads supple and free of cracks or brittleness. Apply it both before and after your dog spends time in the cold.
- Salt and chemicals are dangerous for your dog. They can injure the surface of the pads. They can also be ingested if the dog cleans its pads with its tongue.
6Put booties on your dog’s paws. If you plan to have your dog out in the ice and snow for a long time, you can get booties that will protect their paws. Dog booties are available at pet supply stores and online retailers. These booties can be hard for a dog to get used to though, so gradually acclimate your dog to them over several weeks before you need it to wear them for an extended period.
- Use a moisturizer that is designed for the pads of dog’ paws. This type of moisturizer can be found at pet supply stores and from online retailers.
- You can also make your own paw balm out of common household ingredients, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and shea butter.
- When buying booties for your dog, be sure to get the right size. You will need to measure your dog’s paws and get a size that is designed for your dog’s paw size.
- Make sure you get booties that have rubber soles and that are waterproof. These things will help protect the dog’s paws and will give it stability on the ice or snow.
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Source: wikihow. com