Dear LOLA: Ice, sleet and snow can do a lot of damaged, on my dogs paws that is. How can I protect her paws against the harsh weather?
Sincerely, SALTY PAWS
Dear SALTY PAWS: Whether it’s the salt covered streets of the frozen north or the arid tarmac of the southwest, dry cracked noses and paws are a fact of life for dogs around the country. Unlike humans, who fill their closets with tennis shoes, high heels, and other forms of sole protection, dogs prefer going barefoot. In hot weather and cold, on hard ground and soft, their paws can take a pounding. Paw pad injuries from cuts, scrapes to cracks is a number one concern for many pet owners. Here are some ways you can protect your dogs from ice, bitter & dry wind chills, and salty side walks, cold pavements and heal existing paw injuries.
1. Paw Wipe Down- If you are taking your dog for a brisk winter walk beware of salt on the sidewalk which can dry out your dogs delicate paws. Salt and your dogs paw licking frenzy can really cause her paws to get dry. So it is very important to give paws a good wash and wipe down with a damp cloth after your walk. Better yet a warm foot bath always soothes my achy paws. While you are pampering her paws be sure to inspect each paw pad carefully to make sure her feet & toes are free of tears and cuts from shards of ice & salt.
2. Moisturize Regularly , the All Natural Way- Exposure to harsh climates can cause drying, cracking and achy paws. This is my all time favorite tip a paw massage. After wiping down your dogs paws it important to re-moisturize with a soothing paw balm that is not only all natural or organic but also has healing properties. Keep in mind that when purchasing a balm choose one made with all natural or organic ingredients free of chemicals and toxins that if licked won't harm Fido. If you like you can even apply the balm prior to your walk for added protection and to minimize paw wear & tear.
3. Paw First Aid- If your dog has minor injuries it is important to prevent infection and more damaged by properly cleaning the area. Wash paws very carefully with anti-bacterial soap, disinfect with betadine and apply antibiotic ointment . If the injury is severe or you want to keep your dog from licking at the area wrap it with gauze.
As always if the injury is severe and does not get better always consult your vet.
4. Wear footwear- Another added layer of protection is to invest in some dog booties. Not only do they keep your dogs paws warm but shields them from the dry cold weather, ice, snow, rough terrain, heat and other dangers. If your dog is recovering from paw injuries booties can aid in the healing process.
So all you snow dogs enjoy your time in the snow because everyone loves a good snow cone. Better yet go wild make snow angels like the dog in the clip below. Whatever, you eco pups do have FUN!!!
Lola the eco dog
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