Wintertime is here, and it’s cold outside! Snow, ice, and salt can all wreak havoc on our pup’s paws. These cold temperatures can cause cracked and peeling painful paw pads. As pet owners, we will do whatever we can to prevent our furry friends from unnecessary paw pain. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid paw pad problems and keep your pup’s paws healthy, happy, and healed during the winter months.
Lubricate Your Pets Paws Before Heading Outdoors
Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, our dogs spend time enjoying the outdoors. But winters are especially harsh on their paws. Try wiping your dogs’ paws with Vaseline or cooking spray before you take them on a walk. You may also want to consider using highly emollient beeswax to help protect their sensitive paws. Beeswax can be used all year long, simply rub the wax on right before taking your dog on a walk to avoid irritation. Remember paw pads should not be overly softened since they must maintain their protective attributes. After taking these precautionary measures, if you notice cracks on your pet’s paws, applying olive oil, sesame oil or coconut oil should help their paw’s heal faster.
Keep Your Pet’s Nails Trimmed
This is a simple way to avoid paw discomfort. When your dog’s nails are trimmed, there is less room for snow and ice to build up between their toes. On the other hand, long nails make your dog’s toes spread, which makes them feel like their walking with marbles between their toes. Untrimmed nails also affect their weight distribution, causing them to be more likely to slip on icy surfaces. Your pets’ fur should also be trimmed between their toe pads, this keeps the fur between the pads level and reduces the amount of slush, snow, salt, and grit that can stick to your dog’s feet. Trimming your pet’s nails can also aid in keeping ice and salt balls from lodging between their toes.
Cover Them Up With Dog Booties
You and your pup will most-likely encounter ice melting chemicals during your winter weather walks. These harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on your pet’s health and irritate their paws. Washing your dog’s paws with warm water after a walk will help melt the ice between their toes, but dog booties can be a better preventable option. Dog Booties can be a great way to protect your pups’ paws and they help your pup retain body heat. Beware not all dogs like wearing these boots, when they are first introduced to them, so be patient. You may want to let your pup wear their booties in the house for a short time, while you encourage them with treats. Some pet owners try Velcro straps which may stay on your pup better than tied booties. If possible, keep your pet’s off cold and slick surfaces indoors or out.
Ways to Help Soothe Your Pups Achy Paws
Your dog’s precious paws are cracked and bleeding, don’t despair; there are solutions. No matter how hard you try to care for your pup’s feet, the cold weather may cause discomfort to your pup’s toes. This season can cause your pup’s pad to dry out and crack. Your puppy feels the same way you do when their toes get sore and develop blisters, miserable! Don’t worry, there are more than a few remedies that will help soothe your pup’s achy paws:
- If there is blood on your pet’s paws, wipe it off
- Use an anti-bacterial soap to clean your pup’s paws.
- Apply Vaseline or bag balm.
- Tape a sock over your pup’s cracked paw, remember to tape over your pet’s ankle, not the foot which will cause your pet to limp
- Be sure to check the pads daily
- Your pup should rest during this time for a speedy healing
- Paw pad moistures are also an option for achy paws
- Use a cone collar to discourage your pup from touching his paws while healing
- Consult with your veterinarian if you follow these remedies and your pup’s pain persists.
Be Pro-Active to Prevent Paw Pain
Your pet’s paws are different than your neighbor’s pet. Your pets depend on their healthy paws to support their weight. Take the precautionary methods needed to ensure your pet has a healthy winter, Snow matter what! Your pet’s healthy paws are just as important as your healthy feet. You can help decrease the chances of cracked paws this winter. Consider giving your pup selenium, which will help your pup’s immune system. Zinc is known to strengthen your pet’s skin and help them heal more rapidly. Consult with your veterinarian for dosage, you and your pup will be glad you did.