Winter Paw Care

Did you hear what the Groundhog predicted this year?  He saw his shadow, and we all know what that means.  We are in for more of this winter weather!

While you are out there playing around in that white fluffy snow, here are some tips to keep your furry companion at optimal level to enjoy it with you!

 

 

1. Trim Hair Between Pads

Long hair between the toes of your dog’s feet can collect snow and salt on walks around the neighborhood or hikes up in the hills. Be sure to keep that long hair trimmed short by bringing your dog to the groomer or by clipping at home. We recommend ultra quiet baby clippers from Vijan to get in-between the toes and around the pads. You can also using grooming scissors to keep the hair between the toes short, but exercise caution to avoid cutting the sensitive skin on your dog’s feet. While keeping the hair on your dog’s feet is important in the winter, never clip your dog’s coat short if they will be outside for any extended period of time. This will drastically decrease their insulating abilities and could create dangerous drops in body temperature.

foot-pad-injuries-in-dogs_02. Wiping Off At Home

After enjoying your outdoor adventures, be sure to wipe off your dog’s feet and belly with a towel. This will remove any salt or other de-icer your pooch picked up on the walk, as well as any chemicals, such as antifreeze, that might be on the road. For long walks, consider bringing a towel with you to help remove snow build-up or salt as you go. To best protect your dog’s feet from de-icing agents, keep off of dry sidewalks and roads if possible. Consider switching to a pet-friendly de-icer, such as Safe Paw Ice Melt to provide a non-toxic substitute ice remover for your home or business.

dogs-paw-cleaning

3. Protecting Paws and Pads

Before going outside, a wax can be applied to your dog’s pads to create a layer of protection from ice, rocks and rough ground. We recommend Bag Balm and Musher’s Secret to protect your dog’s feet this winter. These products do wear off as your dog runs around, so they should be re-applied during long hikes and before each walk. For a less messy and surefire way to protect your dog’s feet from the elements, booties can be worn while outside. We recommend Ruffwear Boots to provide a heavy duty, breathable barrier to protect your dog’s feet.

Adorable Pug wearing red boots, in the snow in winter

4. Treating Cracked or Dry Pads

Be sure to inspect your dog’s feet after each walk for any ice balls, irritated skin, or cracked pads. If you notice dryness or cracking of your dog’s pads, you can apply coconut oil or Bag Balm to help moisturize and heal the pads. Drastic changes in temperature and humidity that comes from going outside and inside in the winter can dry out your dog’s skin and pads.  Adding a humidifier to the house can help keep the pads and skin of your dog moisturized and healthy. Running on rough surfaces can also cause toe nails to split and bleed. Products such as Kwik Stop or corn starch can help to stop any small bleeds, making sure your pup is ready for the next big adventure.

Latta-Portrait

Phew, now give yourself a high-five!  Stay safe and warm out there!

Share pictures of your snow filled adventures with your pet on our Facebook page!