Winter is a time for wrapping our feet in thick socks and boots that protect us from the cold. Our dogs, unfortunately, don’t always have that luxury. There are a few things we can do to protect their feet from such things as cracking and splitting, chemical burns from the road salt/chemicals and frostbite.
Before you take your dogs out for their winter walks, consider these options:
A foot balm applied to a clean foot before a walk can really help to protect the pads and helps to stop salt/sand etc. from sticking to the paw.
Boots now available for dogs of all sizes. Some come with fleece lined inners for those long winter walks, some are a little lighter for short strolls. When fitting a boot, it is important to make sure you have the boot secure so that it does not slip and cause issues, however, be careful that is it not too tight to cut circulation to the foot.
It is also important to ensure the hair under the pad and between the toes is trimmed neatly. This will prevent snow from sticking to the hair and becoming hard lumps that your dog has to walk on. Because of the dangers of using scissors on your dog, ask your groomer to pay particular attention to these areas as part of their regular grooming routine.
Lastly, a good coat or jacket can help your dog enjoy those cold days. If your dog has a long or thick coat, this won’t be necessary. For our senior dogs or dogs with short flat coats, a jacket with a fleecy lining is perfect to help them tolerate those bitter winter winds that we get here in Canada.
There are lots of fun activities you can do to keep yourself, and your dog active in the winter provided that you are both wrapped up and adequately protected from the elements. So get out there and enjoy our beautiful winter.
Written By: North Hill Animal Hospital