You look outside and see a beautiful winter wonderland. You get up, put on your coat and boots, put a harness and nice winter coat on your doggo and head out the door. Ten minutes into your walk, your pup is walking on three paws and holding the fourth up in the air. This happens so often. It could be the cold, the paw could be irritated by salt, an ice pellet may be stuck between the toes or an entire chunk of salt might be stuck up in there. Any of these problems will take the fun out of winter for these poor dogs, who, for the most part, love to frolic in the snow. There are a few ways of protecting your dog’s paws from the elements.
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What are the best options for protecting your dog’s paws?
Dog Booties to Prevent Paw Discomfort
Many people choose” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”>oties. These are great because they offer protection from all of the elements. They are warm and there is no need to wipe paws when they return home; a process that few dogs enjoy. It may take a while for your dog to get used to the feeling of having something on their feet. Take few practice runs in the house before going outside to help your pup adapt. Initially they may bite at them or refuse to stand or move once they are up, but it will become as routine as putting on a harness for both of you.
It is important to choose well fitting booties with proper tread. I have found that a Velcro strap to adjust tension helps with comfort and keeps the bootie from coming off.
Using Paw Wax to Coat Your Dog’s Paws
Another option is to choose a paw protection wax which you apply directly to the bottom of your dog’s foot. It coats the pads and puts a layer of protection between your dog’s paws and the elements. If your dog is adamant about not wearing booties, this is a great alternative. It’s best to choose a wax that is made from natural ingredients. Your dog will likely wind up ingesting anything you smear on his paws, so having healthy ingredients will save any other potential problems.
Protecting Your Dog’s Paws After Their Walk
When you return from your walk it is important to clean the salt and snow from their paws. Many times the salt is wedged between the dogs toes or pads. If left there, it can burn the skin causing pain. By immersing your dog’s paws in warm water you can remove and residual sand or salt. Be sure to dry the paws thoroughly with a towel to avoid bacteria grown and infection.
Whatever method you choose for protecting your dog’s paws, you can help maintain the health of his feet by applying a balm to help with dryness or cracking. Rough paw pads can be brought on by walking in all weather, including heat.
Another popular choice for keeping paws moisturized is coconut oil. It is a natural alternative that is safe for consumption, should your dog lick it off.
The pads of a dog’s feet are exposed to extreme temperatures and various things left on sidewalks. Using a moisturizer specific to a dog’s needs, will keep your doggo comfortable.