Paw protection for dogs in winter seems to be a top priority of most petparents. From scouring the internet for answers to what temp is too cold for dogs feet to how can I help my dogs paws in the winter, pet parents tighten their armor in their fight against winter, protecting their pooches at all costs.
Wondering how to protect dog paws in winter? You are in the right place. Keep reading to have all your queries answered.
7 Dog Paw Protection Tips To Employ This Winter
Winter paw protection does not come easy. You need to be on your guard and immediately visit a vet if the situation seems out of control. But prevention is always better than cure, so follow the following tips and avoid an unnecessary visit to the vet.
1. Regular Grooming
Grooming must be your top priority when considering paw protection for dogs in winter.
It is important to keep your dog’s paws clean and trimmed. If a nail is long it poses a risk of breaking which can lead to wounds and bleeding. Something that must be avoided in all seasons.
Also, long nails can increase the space between the toes which can lead to ice accumulation in the tender spaces.
Along with the nails, also trim long-haired dogs and extra hairs growing on the paws. This will make it hard for ice and salt to cling to the skin.
So, if you are wondering, should I trim my dog’s paw pads in winter? You will have to trim the hair between the paw pads to make it easy for you to clean them.
2. Keep His Pads Moisturized
Paw protection for dogs in winter includes moisturizing them to avoid cracked, dry, and flaky. Use paw wax, dog paw ointment, dog paw balm, or paw cream for dogs to keep them well moisturized and healthy.
Coating your dog’s paws with paw wax or either of the above creams will help in avoiding the development of ice balls. But what’s that?
As snow adheres to the dog’s paws and accumulates between the paws, it melts due to the dog’s body temperature. However, it refreezes and forms clumps of ice which are known as ice balls.
It is best to avoid the formation of ice balls in the first place and since wax prevents ice from sticking to the paws, it eliminates ice ball formation at the root.
3. Invest In Dog Boots
It is not just ice out there, there is salt, ice-melting chemicals, other chemicals, and winter hazards like sharp items hidden under the snow which can harm your dog’s paws. Dog boots or booties offer the best paw protection for dogs in winter, protecting your dog’s paws from chemicals and even preventing injury.
And yes, they are slip-free, so you do not have to worry about that either. But you need to make sure the size is right. They must be tight enough to not slip off and stay in place but not too tight that it makes the dog uncomfortable or interfere with circulation.
Also, your dog is going to be averse to the boots initially. Try training him at home by making him wear them for short periods. Gradually increase the time and start taking him for short walks with the booties on.
Did you know, rubber dog booties are not just cute and designer, they are also water-resistant and biodegradable.
4. Short Walks
Can dogs paws get too cold? Yes, they can. The rule of thumb is that if it is cold for you, it is cold for your dog as well. While the dog’s breed, size, health, fur, medical condition, and body fat determine a dog’s ability to withstand cold, generally below 7 degrees celsius it becomes uncomfortable for most dogs.
Even with all the precautions, try to limit the time of walks. Especially if your dog belongs to breeds that do not do well in cold temperatures, is a puppy, old, or has a medical condition, keeping outings to a minimum is very important. The severe cold can cause severe hypothermia and frostbite commonly known as dog cold paws. If you feel that the dog paws are cold dying, immediately take him inside and contact your vet.
If you feel your dog’s daily exercise needs are not being met, you can take frequent short walks instead of one long one. Also, if you take him on walks after the sun has gone down beware of the possible risks and prepare accordingly. Make him visible using a reflective collar, jacket, leash, etc, and add a tracking device to prevent him from getting lost.
5. Avoid Deicing Agents
Avoid areas with deicing agents on your walks. These will be the salty or slushy areas. These chemicals are harmful to the dog’s paws plus there is the fear of your dog licking the chemicals.
If you deice your lawn, make sure you do it with pet-safe ice melters and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
6. Monitor Your Dog’s Paws And Keep An Eye On His Behavior
Take care of your dog’s paws like you do your own. Regularly examine his paws for cracks, redness, discoloration, wounds, blisters, etc. If you do find anything, treat the issue right away.
Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and be on the lookout for any signs of discomfort. If you find that he is licking his paws a lot or is limping, etc, have him vet checked immediately.
7. Keep Your Dog’s Body Warm
Keeping your dog’s core body warm is more important than external warmth. It will keep him healthy and protect his body, including his paws. To do so:
- If it gets too cold, make him wear a dog jacket or sweater. You can also make him sit near the fireplace and spread a blanket over him.
- Give him a tested high-calorie diet. Metabolizing a high-calorie diet will produce more heat and keep the dog warm.
- Keep your dog on and about. Moving generates heat and will keep your dog warm. But if you’re taking him outside, be sure to stay far from breezy areas.
Also, if you are wondering “Can dogs eat Clementine” or if it will help increase your dog’s core temperature, read the article to know about it.
A rough winter can be very hard for you as well as your dog. Make sure to minimize the effects of extreme cold by taking precautionary measures and keeping your dog in the best condition. Try these 7 tips and kiss your winter worries goodbye.