Winter Paw Care
Coming into direct contact with ice, snow, slush and bitter temperatures, the winter season can be very hard on your dog’s paws. Investing some extra time into dog paw grooming and maintenance can minimize such problems as cracking, sores, blisters and infections.
Traditional ice and snow melts can be very hazardous to your dog. Rock salt and most chemical deicers can irritate skin and paws, making walking uncomfortable. Also, if ingested, these products can have a toxic effect. A safer and better alternative are products that are specially labeled as “pet-safe.”
It is important to wash and inspect paws after outdoor activities or walks to remove any traces of salts or chemicals and to check for injuries. Examine the foot pads and between the toes for inflammation, cuts, splinters, gravel or any other abnormalities. Following up with a thin layer of Paw Wax or Vaseline can help soothe irritations. Reapplying before the next outing can also help protect paws.
Snow will cling to fur, especially long fur, as dogs play in the snow. Trimming the hair between the pads, around the edge of the foot and long feathers will greatly reduce the chance of developing snow and ice balls between the toes. It is also very important to maintain proper nail length in the winter. Long nails can cause splayed toes, allowing for further snow and ice build up.