Winter weather can be tough on our pets. With blistering winds and ice build up, it’s important to keep an eye on how our pets are affected - especially their nose and paws.
This exposed skin is at risk of drying, cracking, frostbite, or even chemical burns. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your fur ball this winter.
Winter Paw and Nose Care
1. Trim Foot Pads
Taking your dog outside in the winter means that he is going to be walking through snow and ice. If your pup has long hair between his foot pads, ice can build up causing irritation. Try trimming this hair so that it does not stick out between the toes. A simple trim can prevent future pain and soreness.
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is also quite important. Long nails force the paw the splay out, resulting in more ice and snow getting packed between the toes. Shorter nails = safer paws.
2. Beware of Harmful Chemicals
De-icing salt is not a dog’s friend. It can be abrasive to his feet and is very harmful if ingested. Prolonged exposure can even lead to chemical burns. Non-toxic pet friendly salt is available or you can use an alternative such as sand or kitty litter. After a walk around the neighborhood, make sure to clean those paws so harmful chemicals do not continue to cause irritation and your dog doesn’t lick the salt. Try keeping a bowl of warm water and a cloth in the entryway. A quick rinse and wipe down will wash off any substances and prevent future issues
3. Protect Those Paws
You wouldn’t want to walk around in the winter barefoot, right? Even though dog’s paw are much tougher than our feet, they still need some protection. A great option is a set of dog boots. These will keep harmful chemicals off of your pups paw and prevent ice and snow from coming in contact. (Dogs typically are not comfortable in boots right away. They feel foreign to them. Try putting them on for short periods in the house before venturing outside.)
4. Soothe Doggie Irritation
If your pup’s nose or paws are looking dry, there are plenty of options to help them out. Coconut oil is safe and will soothe those cracked areas. Other natural oils work well too, such as olive oil and almond oil. Running a humidifier can be great for providing consistent relief because dry air will dry out skin.