What Occurs to Dog Paws in Salt, Snow, and Ice?
Several potential paw dangers are brought on by cold weather, including:
Paw pads can become dry, chapped, and cracked due to cold weather and dry air. It can hurt, and if your dog reacts by licking or chewing their paws, they can get sores or infections.
- Paw injuries: Trampling on sharp items under the snow, such as salt crystals, rocks, or other objects, can cause discomfort and even cuts.
- Frostbite: Dogs’ feet and toes can experience frostbite if it becomes too cold, just like humans can.
- Poisonings: Hazards include toxic antifreeze, ice-melting substances, and de-icing salt on a pet’s paws. Your dog can develop an upset stomach if they lick these chemicals from their feet. Or much worse, they might become poisoned severely.
- Slips and falls: Trauma or injuries might happen from slick ice. Pets with diseases like arthritis may have more trouble balancing themselves on slick surfaces.
- Hypothermia: Even though this is more of a “whole body” problem than a paw problem, it’s vital to keep in mind that chilly weather can have detrimental effects on a puppy’s health.
Fortunately, taking a few common sense steps will help you stay safe and avoid health issues during the winter.
How to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Safe in the Snow and Cold Weather
Here are some tips to save your dog’s priceless paws when the weather turns chilly and the pavements become slick:
Keeps the paw pads moist.
Before taking your dog for a winter walk, coat its paw pads in dog paw wax or paw balm ( petroleum jelly will work in a hurry if you don’t have paw balm). The moisturizing balm creates a barrier that deters ice and dangerous substances.
After walks, you can also apply paw balm to your dog’s paw pads to moisturize and calm them. Just make sure to first remove any chemicals, salt, or ice.
Do not dehydrate your dog.
Maintaining moisture in your pet’s skin and paw pads can be challenging during the dry, chilly winter months. Don’t rely on snow to satisfy your dog’s thirst; instead, make sure they have access to plenty of water and bring some along with them for longer outings.
A humidifier can also be useful (besides, it will be excellent for the dog owner’s skin). These straightforward suggestions will assist in keeping your pet hydrated and relieve itchy and irritated skin.
After walks, wash your dog’s paws.
Towel-dry your dog’s paws after dipping them into a shallow dish of warm water (make sure the water is not hot!). By doing this, the ice, salt, chemicals, and any other buildup that their paws may have encountered will be removed. Additionally, it will keep your floors spotless!
Don’t use deicing agents.
This means avoiding particularly salty or slushy regions while out for a walk. Calcium chloride and sodium chloride, two commonly used ice deicers, can be harmful to paws.
Use pet-safe ice melters if you’re in charge of deicing the area around your house, and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
In the bitter winter, keep your strolls to a minimum.
It’s recommended to limit your pup’s time outdoors unless they enjoy running around in the cold and snow, and you’re ready for a long walk.
Senior dogs, pups, dog breeds with shorter fur, and animals with arthritis or other health issues should be especially aware of this.
Keep the paws of your dog clean.
The nails on your dog should be trimmed for better balance. Trimming the lengthy hair between a breed’s toes will also help with paw cleaning and reduce the likelihood of ice balls forming there.
Buy dog booties or boots.
This footwear is a great option for shielding your dog’s paws from winter threats like ice, chemicals, and salt. Additionally, many of them keep your dog’s toes dry and are non-slip in slippery circumstances.
It’s crucial to choose the appropriate size. The boots should be fitted so that they are snug enough to stay in place but not so tight as to restrict circulation after measuring your dog’s paw as instructed by the manufacturer.
Your dog might need some time to become used to the dog booties. Offer rewards for keeping the boots on for the first few minutes.
Be aware of your dog’s paws.
Pay attention to paw maintenance: Look for redness, cracks, sores, or any other worrying indications on the pads and in the spaces between the toes. Additionally, pay attention if your dog appears to be licking its paws frequently. Contact your veterinarian if you have any worries.
Keep the entire body of your pet warm.
When it’s cold outside, keep your dog inside as much as you can. When going for walks, think about wearing a sweater or coat to help your dog stay warm. Your dog is more likely to retain healthy circulation to their paws and is also less likely to have cold-weather health issues like hypothermia if their core temperature is kept at a comfortable level.
To protect your beloved friend’s paws and toes, take a little additional time before and after walks to implement these paw protection safety practices.
By keeping your dog comfortable all winter long with the help of these paw care suggestions, you and your friend may safely take in the beauty of the season.