Protecting Your Dog’s Paws in the Winter
Although the temperature in Chicago is well below freezing, it almost feels balmy compared to those frigid single digits we experienced last week. While the temperature may have risen a few degrees, the several inches of snow bestowed upon us isn’t going to melt anytime soon. Although having the white fluffy stuff on the ground gives the holiday season a certain degree of authenticity, slippery sidewalks and deicing products can be dangerous for our dogs’ paw pads. To make sure your pup’s hands and feet stay out of harm’s way this winter, take note of the following cold weather safety tips.
1. Keep your dog groomed
To prevent ice balls from forming between the pads and toes of hairy-footed dogs, be sure to schedule regular grooming appointments. Your dog’s inter-pad hair and nails should be trimmed short during the winter months.
2. Choose a “pet safe” deicer
Many commercial deicing products can be hazardous to your dog. Choose a “pet safe” product such as Safe Paw, or use sand, pebbles, or non-clumping kitty litter to protect your pup.
3. Wipe your dog’s paws
Keep a bowl of warm water and a soft towel next your entryway so you can remove dangerous deicing salt from your dog’s paws when coming back inside after a walk.
4. Apply a protective balm or wax
Before each walk, you can apply a protective balm or wax to your dog’s paw pads to create a barrier between his paws and the salty sidewalk. Applying a thin layer of Vaseline also works well.
5. Invest in a pair of dog booties
Yes, they look silly. Yes, your dog may resist. However, with some training and patience you can train your pup to wear dog booties outside. After all, they are the ultimate form of protection against the elements.
Winter can be brutal on your dog’s paws. However, as long as you keep these cold weather safety tips in mind each time you leave the house, your dog will be safe and comfortable all season long. Unfortunately, when the temperature gets too chilly outside, those long walks to which your pup has become accustomed can be dangerous. Luckily, there is a solution! Bring your dog to The Doggy Dojo for a fun-filled day of daycare. Allowing your pup to burn off some energy in our climate-controlled facility is the perfect way to make up for the time you can’t spend outdoors. We look forward to welcoming your dog to the Dojo pack!