Dog Paw Maintenance In The Winter
Winter can be difficult for us at times so do not underestimate how difficult it can be for your dog as well. Paws especially can come in for a difficult time battling the elements such as rain and snow due to the harsh environment winter creates. So it is really important that you keep paws nice and healthy during this period to minimise any issues.
Here are some tips and ideas to help during this period:
Nails – Very important that they are not kept too long all year round and especially in the winter. Do not want them dragging or getting caught in something causing damage. Longer nails also make the paw spread out increases chances of snow and ice getting trapped in between in the gaps.
Dog Boots – Why not look into dog boots? Can be extremely warm & comfortable for the dog. They slip on easily and are usually like a sock with a velcro strap to keep in place. They may also have a sole depending on which one you buy.
It may look a bit odd at first and take some getting used to by the dog! But will become second nature after a while. Some people do think it is a bit weird but we all look a bit weird during the winter wrapped up!
Wax – Can be applied to the paw before going out for a walk. Waxes and paw balm provide a protective layer between the surface and the paw. Ideal if dog boots are not your thing! Great to use every now and again but in the winter will be using it a lot more due to the weather.
Safety While Walking – When out walking in the winter and especially in the snow there are a few things to look out in order to protect your dog.
De-icers and salt used on roads and sidewalks can be toxic to our friends. It can cause irritation to their paws if in contact for prolonged periods. So make sure you thoroughly wash the paws when you return home. May need to adjust your walking route as well depending on how much is used in your local area.
There are pet friendly de-icers available if you need to use on your own property. But as we cannot really control what others use, you need to make sure your dog does not ingest it, whether licking paws after the walk or drinking from puddles when outside.
Also be extra careful and vigilant when walking the usual route especially in the snow. Many potential hazards can be covered by snow so keep an eye out. Also adjust your walking time accordingly to keep a balance between required exercise not risking illness due to excessive exposure to the cold.