5 Tips for Dogs in Snowy Climate
18 December, 2013
With winter upon us, the snow will begin to fall in most of the nation. While it is beautiful to look at, it’s hard for us humans to navigate and can be tough on our dogs too. Some dogs love the snow and want to play in it; while others just hate it. However, it is important to be specifically mindful of your dog when he or she is out in the snow as your pup’s paws are very sensitive.
Remember that snow is basically crystallized water. So, taking your dog out for a potty (or simply to play on a snowy day is like rubbing a piece of icy cold crystal against your dog’s paws which are very sensitive. Snow can irritate a dog’s paws or cause rips on your pup’s paws over time. However, a short dash in the snow won’t hurt your pup but the below tips can prevent irritation to your dog’s paws.
Below are 5 tips to help:
1. Keep your dog’s groomed and nails trim. Nails are more fragile in a cold-wet environment and can crack or break during playtime. Also, keep your dog’s fur trimmed between your dog’s paws. This particular spot tends to accumulate snow and dirt which can become uncomfortable or irritating for your dog’s paws.
2. For more extreme conditions, it is wise to keep their feet covered. Booties work really well if your dog doesn’t mind wearing them. Just be sure that they’re waterproof, or they won’t provide any benefit. In heavy snow situations, dog boots are probably your best solution. These cover your dog’s paws, as well as, keep them warm and protected. Dog boots can be quite expensive.
3. You can also try applying a layer of petroleum jelly or balm on your dog’s paw pads just before you go out. The layer will help protect against chafing. Don’t put too much, though, for it can make the paws less hard-wearing and more susceptible to cuts from debris. One thin layer is enough. There are also paw-waxes specifically designed for your dogs’ paws and can be found at most popular pet stores. This method helps protect their feet and soothe their paws.
4. After a walk or an outdoor snow activity, take the time to wash your dog’s paws with warm (not hot) water to remove all debris and help improve circulation to their toes. This will also help clean away any protecting balms that you don’t want your dog licking on (or tracking through the house).
5. Watch out for rock salt for your pup. Rock salt is used to keep sidewalks from icing up or to prevent thick layers of snow from accumulating. Rock salt is very abrasive, and can quickly chafe your dog’s paws, even if you don’t notice it.
Most dogs will not have sores or cuts, but may still suffer from irritated paws that will be bright pink or red. Your canine pal will limp or avoid walking due to the discomfort that he is feeling. He may begin licking his paws excessively to soothe the pain. If there are cuts or sores, be sure to treat them immediately. Wash them thoroughly and apply antiseptic or antibiotic ointments. It is then best that they stay out of the snow for at least a couple of days.
Tips For Your Dogs At The Dog Park