How to Protect Your Dog's Paws in Winter
Especially the urban terrain is not pleasing for dog paws in winter. Sidewalks are often wet, frozen, snowy, salted or gritted. It simply does not do much good to our barefoot fellows. Therefore, read some practical tips on how to care for dog paws in winter.
Precautionary hair trimming
First, prepare your dog for walks through the cold streets. In addition to the trimmed claws, the dog should have the hair between the toes and pads trimmed because a lot of dirt or ice balls of frozen snow stick to them. You can cut the hair with scissors with a rounded tip. If your doggie is more sensitive to touches, start slowly, and get ready some treats to help. Let the doggie slowly get used to the scissors and reward each progress. In addition to good treats, a clicker is also suitable for this activity.
Before the walk
Before the walk you can apply a special protective balm to the dog's paws. Avoid using products intended for humans, they could harm the dog. Balms designed for this purpose are non-toxic, even after licking, keeping the dog's skin moisturized but not unnecessarily oily, nourishing the skin and when applied, the paws do not slip on the surface.
Special dog boots can be also helpful for those with more sensitive paws or for dog athletes. In this case, be careful to choose the right size and quality material. However, most dogs do not want to put boots on, so you will probably have to train your dog how to put them on and how to wear them. Again, proceed slowly and step by step and have some treats ready. First, put on the boots for a short time and try to prolong it with every next try. Reward and praise your dog for every success.
After the walk
After coming back home, wash your dog's paws with warm water and wipe. You can lubricate them with a protective balm again. Cracked paws can also be treated by Vaseline or lard, however, there is a risk of rapid licking. If the dog injures his paws, bleeds or limps, head straight for your vet.