Winter time isn’t just tough on us; it’s also tough on our pets. For dogs that go outside, protecting their paws from the elements is a must. Not only can they pick up potentially damaging products like rock salt and ice-melting chemicals, but the snow and ice can also affect their paws directly.
These simple tricks can help your dog warm up to winter weather:
• Keep hair between the paw pads short. Ice and snow can freeze on longer hair, making their paws cold and sore.
• Buy “pet friendly” de-icing chemicals for your steps and walkways. Spread sand or gravel as neither will harm your pet and both are better for the environment.
• Dress your dog in protective gear. For instance, commercially available boots and socks made just for dogs can really help against winter damage. However, some dogs, no matter how hard we try, won’t keep boots on! For these pups, you can use a product like Musher’s Secret to help protect their feet. ("See Spot Shop," Premiere issue, page 44)
• Clean your pet’s paws with a washcloth when they come inside, regardless of what products you use. Not only will this remove any winter chemicals and help prevent buildup of dirt and debris, but it also allows you to look at the area frequently and catch any problems early.