For month of January, we felt it was an important time for us to share a number of winter-focused posts for you all. In one of these posts, we shared a few tips with all of you to help keep your furry friends happy and healthy during the winter season. We briefly touched upon how to care for your dogs paws during the winter, and here we would like to go a little more in depth on this topic!
With the winter season comes a number of new elements that our dogs paws are exposed to on their daily walks, including snow, ice, slush, salt, and de-icers. In being exposed to these elements, their paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite, etc. In order to keep your pets paws safe throughout the winter, we would like to share some more tips with all of you.
If your dog has long hair, try to keep the hair between the paw pads and around the paws short. This helps minimize painful ice balls from forming on your dogs paws, reduces the amount of salt and de-icing chemicals that are picked up, and makes it easier for you to clean your dog's paws after your walks. Don't forget to also keep your dog's nails trimmed all year round, including during the winter, as long nails tend to splay your dog's paws while walking, which makes it easier for irritants to get between paw pads.
Thoroughly wash and dry your dogs paws after each walk, making sure to also clean the area between their toes, as this helps to remove any de-icing chemicals that may be left on your dog's paws. You should also use this time to inspect your pet's paws for any cracks or redness. Once the paw is clean, you can apply a paw balm to sooth any irritation or treat dryness (please avoid using moisturizers made for humans, as this can soften paws and leave them vulnerable to injury).
Though your dog may not love them, dog boots are a great option to fully protect your dogs paws. They can keep their paws warm, eliminate the chance of ice ball accumulation, minimize contact with salt and de-icers, and keep their paws safe from trauma. Please note that you should still wipe down or wash your dogs paws, legs, and belly after walks to make sure they don't accidentally lick any residues that may be left from their walk.
If you have any further questions regarding your pets paw safety for this winter season please do not hesitate to call us at Lakeshore Road Animal Hospital! Our team would be more than happy to share their tips and tricks with you.
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