Winter is officially upon us. Don’t forget that your canine pal is running around barefoot … or bare pawed. The dry air, snow, ice, salt, and sand can be rough on dogs’ paws. Fido’s furry feet need some extra TLC at this time of year. A Wheat Ridge, CO vet discusses winter paw care in this article.
Many de-icing products contain toxic chemicals and/or ingredients that can irritate your pup’s delicate paw pads. Opt for pet-friendly products on your own property. You may also want to wipe Fido’s feet down before bringing him back inside. Get into the habit of keeping a bottle of water and a washcloth near the door. (Note: This is also just a good routine for Fido to be used to, as it can help keep him from tracking in mud and dirt in warmer weather.)
Although not all pups will tolerate footwear, some are very grateful for a bit of protection against the cold. Make sure Fido’s footwear fits comfortably, and offers great traction. Also, don’t force your canine buddy to wear shoes if he clearly hates them.
Your furry pal will have a hard time walking if his claws are too long. Overgrown nails not only cause your pooch to shift his gait, they also make it harder for him to get good traction on slippery surfaces. This can increase the chances of Fido slipping and falling. Keep those nails clipped!
Fresh snow can hide all sorts of things, from broken glass to rusty nails to lurking holes. Pay attention to where you and Fido are walking!
Does your canine friend have tufts of fur growing between his toes? These are cute, but they can collect ice balls. Fido can also get salt and sand between his toes.
Just like our own skin, Fido’s paw pads can get dry, rough, and cracked. Use paw balm or wax to keep them from cracking. This can also help protect them from irritants, such as salt, sand, and ice. You can also use Vaseline or coconut oil in a pinch. Or, just make your own: the AKC has a simple recipe available here.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Wheat Ridge, CO animal clinic, today!