Health & Grooming: Winter Dog Paw Protection
With winter weather on its way, it’s time to grab your dog’s snow boots and play, play, play!Although a dog’s paws are tough and strong, they need protecting while making snow angels.
Humane Society senior veterinary advisor Dr. Barry Kellogg says deicing chemicals and salts are hazardous to dogs, both when they come in contact with their paws and when the dog licks their feet. “Chemicals used to deice can make their feet irritated by inflaming their pads and in between their toes quite a bit,” Kellogg says.
Kellogg says to not be fooled by traditional rock salt either, as it may end up giving your friend an upset tummy.
Get your four-legged friend ready for the winter weather this season with these tips and tricks for protecting your dog’s paws:
Time for a “paw-dicure” – During the winter months, Kellogg says simply keeping your dog’s paws well groomed can help keep your friend safe and healthy. When drying or cleaning paws, carefully get in between the pads to remove any chemicals or ice that may be hiding.
Give raw paws the boot! – Wearing protective paw-wear like snow boots for dogs and socks can be a stylish and safe addition to any outdoor activity. Whether your dog prefers disposable or everyday wear, footwear is available in stylish colors, designs, and fabrics. Kellogg suggests a well-fitting bootie made out of a breathable material like cotton for the winter.
Paw safety station – Giving your dog’s paws a quick towel dry can really help keep them healthy. Gather a couple of hand towels and some pet-friendly ointment or pad wax to keep near the door. Coat his or her paws in the gel before leaving for your walk, then towel dry when you come back in to remove any deicing chemicals or left-over ice. Safety tip – Some deicing chemicals begin to warm when they become wet, so avoid cleaning your dog’s paws with water.
Fun Fact: Just like humans, dogs can have allergies! Kellogg says dogs will often lick or chew their paws when they become itchy, which may be a sign of an allergy to something outdoors.