Icy sidewalks and driveways are so scary during winter for animals and humans. There are three varieties of deicers used to melt the ice/snow. They are salt, chemicals and sand. Salt is easily available and is commonly used everywhere in America to de-ice. The salt on sidewalks and pavements will mutilate dog paws. If you leave your pooch on ice for a long time, the deicer can cause a chemical reaction on the paws.
To protect your dog paws:
Walk on the grass:
Whenever possible, make your pooch walk on the grass. It feels so soft for the dog. The possibility of finding ice on grass is very rare. Still, if you see your dog limping while walking on the grass, immediately take the pet home. Inspect the paws and if you see any abnormalities see the vet.
Stop ingesting salts:
Dogs lick the boots and paws after coming home. If their paws are not cleaned after coming home, you risk the pets ingesting the deicer chemicals. These chemicals will cause serious illness and sometimes lead to death.
Keep a bowl of water handy:
Before leaving the house, so it will be easy for you to wash the paws immediately after reaching home. Keep your shoes in a place where your pets can’t reach them easily.
Your furry friend enjoys short walks in snow/ice rather than long walks. Walking or playing in the snow for a prolonged period can cause frostbite in paws, tail, nails, ears, etc., If these parts are not cleaned properly it develops an infection and may even start bleeding.
Trim the hair:
Yes, in our earlier blog, we said it is a bad idea to trim all the hair on the dog during winter. But you should trim the hair short around the toe and paws. The hair between the toe and pads of paws will hold ice balls and cause serious problems. You may not notice them right after you come home but after a couple of hours, you notice paws bleeding. To avoid this, keep the paws cleaned and maintain them in proper shape.
Apply a moisturizer or balm:
Your pet doesn’t walk in snow or ice? Still, you have to take care of paws! The cold and dry breeze during winter makes the paws dry and crack. Balms or moisturizers made especially for dog paws works best. A thin layer of balm on the paw, applied once a day will maintain the pH levels of the skin.
If you see any tear or crack on paws, clean it with an antiseptic, cover it with a clean cotton and then take to a vet immediately. Pads protect the paws and bones of the dog, if they are affected, it takes time to heal.
Use dog boats during winter:
Train your pet to wear dog boots. There are plenty of models available in the market for pets. Pick the right size for your pet feet. It should be neither tight nor lose but hold the feet snug and your pet should be able to walk and run comfortably.
Your pet may find it difficult to walk the first couple of days and you can even expect a great laugh, watching your four-legged friend trying to walk with shoes. Wearing shoes can make things better for you and your family members.