We dogs need to keep warm while we stroll around with you on our daily walks. It’s really important that our feet are protected. We don’t have boots, but all we need is a little special care.
Just take a little extra time to keep our well-groomed.
Here are some great tips to help minimize problems with cracked, sores or blisters on my paws.
- Stay away from heavily salted areas as much as possible when walking us. Rock salt and most chemical de-icers can irritate my paws
- Check out my paws after walking in areas treated with salt and other de-icers. Check between my toes and examine my pads for cracks in the skin. Look closely at any inflamed areas for splinters, embedded gravel, etc. If you see it… get it out! If my paws are cracked, my owners like to use Musher’s secret and usually they rub in on like a foot massage. Very nice after a cold walk! You can also use which works great too.
- Always wash my paws with warm water after playing around outdoors and winter walks. Even if there’s no trace of cracks, irritation or any damage and no snow and ice to remove, it’s important to wash away all traces of salt and other de-icers so I can’t lick it off later. Don’t let me try to chew away any lumps of ice and snow sticking to its paws or hanging from its fur. It’s not pretty and I might chew too hard.
- Cut long hair growing from between my pads or each foot. Using sharp grooming scissors, cut hair so that it’s even with my pads, be careful when you’re doing it! If there are any mats between the pads, very carefully cut the mat out, leaving as much of the hair below the mat as possible. Cut hair from between my toes even with the surface my foot. Next… trim hair from around the edge of my foot.For my long-haired dog friends with long feathering on the back of their front legs, trim any hair so it does not drag on the ground.
- Keep my nails trimmed all year-long, but absolutely crucial in winter. Untrimmed nails can lead to splayed feet, sore nail beds, and even a torn nail. When nails are extra-long, my toes spread apart when walking, leaving more space for snow and ice to build up.
When you’re outside with your pets during the winter, watch out for signs of discomfort with the cold.Such as:
- Whining or whimpering
- seem a little anxious
- they start walking slow or stop
- They start to look for warm places to burrow
If you see these signs it could mean that they want to get someplace warm. So cut the walk short and head to a warm and cozy place.