Let's "paws" for a moment and consider winter feet


Actually, I’d like you to think specifically about your dog’s feet.  February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and the winter weather, combined with ice melting products, can wreak havoc on our puppaloos’ paws!  So here are a few ideas for you to think about.

Long-haired breeds need to have the hair trimmed between their paw pads.  This will help to prevent snow from balling up around the hair and causing pain for your dog while walking or running.  Groomers are really good at doing this; if you don’t have a groomer available to you then there are many articles explaining how to do this at home.  

Our cousin Roxie!
Dogs also need their nails clipped.  Otherwise, the long nails can splay the dog’s foot out while they are walking, allowing snow to accumulate between the pads.  Can you even imagine the discomfort of walking barefoot and getting snow stuck between your toes??  

Snow, salt and just general cold can make winter really uncomfortable for your dog and his feet.  Just like us, proper care and preventative maintenance can really help.  A pet specific product, like dog paw wax, can help with snow getting between the paws and causing irritation.  If you use this type of product, it must be applied every time the dog goes outside.  Other products, like bag balm (found in drugstores), when used regularly, will help heal cracks and cuts in the pads and prevent the pad from cracking.  Other products are out there too; asking your favorite pet store or veterinarian will yield some valuable ideas.  

Finally, one of the best way to prevent damage to your pet’s feet and make the walks outside more comfortable are dog boots.  Yes, they may look ridiculous.  But if you make sure to get the right size (again, your favorite pet store can help) and get them used to wearing boots when they are young, it will make your dog’s time outdoors much more enjoyable.  


References

Cameron, M. (2010).  How to care for a dog’s paws and pads in winter.  Retrieved on January 29, 2014 at http://voices.yahoo.com/how-care-dogs-paws-pads-winter-7252500.html