How to Keep Your Dog’s Paws Healthy in the Winter

During the cold winter months, your dog’s paw pads deserve a little extra TLC. Exposure to the elements and the chemicals used for snow and ice removal put this sensitive area of your pet’s body at risk of frostbite, cracking, drying, and chemical burns.

Good grooming is the easiest way to keep your dog’s paws healthy during the winter months. Poorly groomed dogs are susceptible to ice balls forming on their paw pads, which can be very painful. You want to make sure the hair between the paw pads is short enough that it is even with the paws. It’s important to avoid having hair come into contact with the ground, as this can cause ice balls to form between the paw pads. Your dog’s nails should also be neatly trimmed to prevent the paw from splaying out as he walks.

Before you take your dog outside during the winter months, apply a thin layer of a commercial paw protectant such as Musher’s Secret, Bag Balm or Vaseline to the paws. This will help prevent them from drying out while soothing any irritation.

As a precautionary measure, try to keep your pooch away from roads and sidewalks that have been treated with salt and de-icers. The ingredients in these products are often toxic to dogs and can burn your dog’s paws. Many pet-friendly versions can be purchased for your home.

If your pet must be outside in an unfamiliar area, wash his paws with warm water as soon as you get back home. This will help prevent him from ingesting any harmful substances that may be on his paws. Once his paws are clean, apply another coat of the protective balm you’ve selected.

Not all dogs like them, but boots can be a good way to keep your dog’s paws safe during the winter months. Dog boots, which are available at many pet stores, are like thick socks with Velcro straps to keep them in place. Some have the added benefit of rubber soles to provide extra traction on slippery surfaces. They should fit snugly, but not be so tight that they limit movement or restrict blood flow.

Max & Ruffy’s Can Help You Protect Your Pet

A high quality diet can help you keep your pooch happy and healthy all year long. When you’re searching for safe and nutritious dog treats, Max & Ruffy’s is an excellent choice. All of our treats are certified USDA organic and made with no artificial or genetically modified ingredients. Several varieties, including W.P. (Pizza), 327 B.C. (Banana & Coconut), and Tree of Life (Coconut, Molasses, & Flax) are also grain free.

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