Avoid cracked dog paws, frostbites and itchy paws in wintertime.
I do not know about your dogs, but my dogs love winter and the snow. When winter comes, my dogs spend a long time outside, and it isn’t easy to get them in—cracked dog paws, frostbites, every dog owner’s nightmare.
Yes, my dogs have, from time to time, cracked dog paws, frostbites, as well as burns from the salt.
It is usually not so severe because I take precautions and protect my dogs’ paws.
When a dog has a cracked dog paw pad, it is not fun for your dog. It hurts, it is itchy, and it burns. It is like when you have a cracked heel.
Dog Paws are sensitive and need protection.
A dog’s paws can be very sensitive. You never know how much salt and other chemicals are thrown onto the streets, sidewalks and footpaths by the people and the city. Just to melt the ice and make walking safe for us humans. ( Yes, I understand it can be costly if someone gets injured on your footpath.)
Your dog’s paws are like your car before winter comes. You bring it to the garage and get the underbody protection. The same you do with your dog. You protect their paws from the ice, salt or chemicals on the street.
When you have dogs, you know that not every solution is suitable for dogs. Some can tolerate dog shoes, and some, like my dogs, hate them.
They will chew so long on it that they are shredded in pieces and not useable anymore. They will not stay on for long.
You can use some tips and products to protect your dog’s paws. It would be best if you decided what suits your dog, as you know your dog best.
Protective Balms for cracked dog paws, frostbites and itchy paws before and after treatment.
There are many protective balms available in most pet shops or at Walmart. You can use some human products like Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly.
My recommendation is what I frequently use, and it helps. I use the is the Dog Paw Protection Cream Wax from Mushers.
I love the Cream Wax from Mushers as it is specially made for outdoors, and it comes in 200 gr. and 454 gr. Cream box. There are plenty of others available. Please click on the link below to see the list of dog balms available.
There are other products available, and I will list a few here. All will do the trick. You might even use some human products, but I prefer the ones made outdoors and made for dogs. ( Human products might be ok, but dogs tend to lick their paws soon as you put something on them.)
Before you start, please prep the paws of your dog.
Proper grooming is essential for your dog’s paws. Especially if your dog has a long hair coat, then use a clipper ( beard trimmer with the shortest plastic guard works wonders)
A tip is to keep the hair between the paws short. The hair should even up with the paw pad. Ice balls can be painful for your dog. Well-trimmed hairs around the paws make putting the paw balm on much easier.
Another part you have to pay attention to is that you make sure the whole year around that the nails are trimmed.
Especially in winter, taking care of well-trimmed nails for your dog is essential as the snow and ice will accumulate between the paw pads, and long nails force the paw to splay out.
- Apply a thin layer of balm before you go for a winter walk. After the walk, it is recommended that you wash and wipe your dog’s paws with a warm wet cloth to remove the snow, ice and salt.
- Apply after you dry the paws with another towel and put a thin layer of balm on the paws to avoid irritation, itchiness and drying out. Check for cracks in the paw pad and for redness between the toes.
My Tip: When I walk with my dogs, I use the car to go from A to B. I take a towel and a spray bottle of water with me on our walk to clean off the stinging, irritated paws when my dogs go back into the car.
At home, also check from time to time for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
I know that in stores, there are different dog booties available. As mentioned before, I am not a big friend of it as our dogs have them off in minutes, and then only parts have been left. The rest is shredded to pieces.
Dog boots are available in pet stores online or near your place. Click here to see the style and designs available.
What do those dog boots look like? They look like a sock with a Velcro straps. The Velcro strap is used to keep the sock in place. Click here to see the different styles and designs.
You also can find dog boots with a synthetic leather sole which is an additional benefit of adding traction.
The dog boots protect your dog’s paws, and the dog booties help to keep your dog’s paws dry and prevent exposure to salt, chemicals and deicers.
One thing you have to watch out for is that when you put on the dog boot, the strap is not too tight and constricts your dog’s paw.
I do not know many dogs who like to wear those dog booties. Of course, the smaller dogs might like it as they are pampered with dog clothing and other things, so they might be familiar with it.
I have seen bigger dogs with dog clothing, and it all depends on whether the dog if it is comfortable with it.
Every dog is different, and you know your dog best.
Why you should not bathe your dog in winter too often.
In the cold wintertime, bathe your dog as little as possible. A dog’s body produces special oils to protect its coats and skin from drying out.
When you bathe your dog too often in the wintertime, you might remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
If you have to bathe your dog often, use a recommended moisturizing shampoo.
If you are unsure, ask your Veterinarian for recommendations, as your vet will know best.
My Tip. When you brush your dog regularly, it will stimulate blood circulation, and it improves the overall skin condition.
Did you know that salt and de-icers are toxic for your dog?
Most salts and de-icers used in wintertime are not only bad for our environment, but no, they are also toxic to your dog.
When I walk in the wintertime with my dogs, I try to keep them away from footpaths, sidewalks and roads treated with de-icers and salts.
Use for your sidewalk and yard if you must remove the snow, the ice environment, and pet-friendly de-icers.
Encourage your neighbours to use environment-friendly and pet-friendly de- icer and avoid salt.
Whenever you walk with your dog on a street where they use de-icer
and salt clean your dog’s paws immediately after you return home with a spray bottle filled with water and a dry cloth to dry them off.
Use a thin layer of dog paw balm and rub it into your dog’s paws. This is also to prevent your dog starts licking his paws before they are washed. My dogs chew their paws when they are itchy.
It is annoying for you when you want to go to sleep. Most of the time, they will do it during the night.
The particles of the chemicals and de-icers can be stuck on your dog’s paws and cause him to vomit.
Pay attention that your dog is not drinking out of puddles or let him eat slush.
Some dogs also get a dry, cracked dog nose in winter.
I think it is common sense that when it is cold outside, do not walk too long with your dog. Keep your walks with your dog short. In general, dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia, just as we humans do.
You can spot mild hypothermia when your dog starts to show weakness, shivering, and lack of mental alertness…
Hypothermia in Dogs
Hypothermia is a medical condition that is characterized by abnormally low body temperature. It has three phases: mild, moderate, and severe. … Hypothermia occurs when an animal’s body is no longer able to maintain a normal temperature, causing a depression of the central nervous system (CNS).
If your dog shows signs of Hypothermia, please be alert and bring your dog immediately to your vet or an emergency Center for pets.
Feed your dog in the cold wintertime a bit more dog food. Why?
Dogs do tend to burn extra energy by trying to stay warm.
Sometimes it can cause dehydration in your dog. Feed your dog a little bit more during the cold weather, and you have to make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink will keep your pet well dehydrated, and the skin will become not so fast dry.
Winter can be harsh, cold and long. However, you protect your dog’s paws with the dog booties, or the paw balm will go a long way to keep your dog’s paws healthy. If you worry that you overfeed your dog check out our free dog food calorie calculator.
Remember to prepare your dog’s paws first.
Winter can be tough on our dog’s feet, but proper grooming and protecting the paws using a paw balm or booties will go a long way to keeping your feet healthy.
How do you treat your dog’s paws during the cold winter month? Do you have a DIY balm? Please share with us…
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