Winter Care for Your Dog’s Feet

foot padsHere in Ohio, we are just about recovered from our first major snowfall of 2010.  When I let my dogs inside last night, I took a look at their feet – bad news!  My golden had lots of snowballs stuck between her toe pads, and all of the dogs’ toe pads looked a lot worse for wear.  So, I did a little research today to find out how to take better care of their feet during the harsh winter weather.

First of all, if you live in a very cold area, consider buying booties for your dog.  These are available at outdoor stores like Cabella’s and are especially helpful for dogs with long hair between their toes, dogs who are elderly, and dogs who seem especially sensitive to cold.

Next, trim the hair between your dog’s toes.  This is what caused the problem with my Golden Retriever.  Long hair allows snow and ice balls to form and cling to the feet.  As your dog walks, the balls work their way in between the toe pads and can cause quite a bit of unnecessary pain.  Check your dog’s feet when he or she comes inside and remove any snow or ice you find pretending to be toe jam.

Keep a pail of water and some towels near the door your dog uses.  Dipping the dog’s feet in the water and drying them thoroughly will not only remove mud but will also dissolve any road salt or ice melt that might be stuck to your dog’s paws.  Many of these substances are irritating to your dog’s feet and can cause stomach problems if the dog licks the chemicals off his or her feet.

If you need to clear slippery walkways where your dog may walk, check the label of any commercial preparations you use to make sure they are safe for dogs.  Alternatively, use kitty litter or sandbox sand to provide a sure-footed surface.

If you will be walking your dog, try spraying his or her feet with a little bit of cooking spray (like Pam) before you go out.  The oil will moisturize and protect the footpads.

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

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5 thoughts on “Winter Care for Your Dog’s Feet”

  1. Do it yourself: I have always had the most fun with this particular method.
    It’s also important to be consistent with training itself.
    If your canine friend is skidish you might want to adopt this walk alone first to determine appropriateness on your friend.

  2. It may not be a good idea to leave your pets in the custody of neighbors, friends, etc.

    Often, a kennel will provide the option for a dog to have
    a play break to socialize with other dogs although, obviously, this is not a requirement for dogs that are not fond of socializing.
    If one of my dogs needs to visit the vet while I’m gone,
    or she needs to bring in a professional to fix an electrical or plumbing problem, I leave
    her a credit card for those emergencies and also offer
    back-up phone numbers of friends in case she has any problems.

  3. The dogs hair between their toes grows longer in the winter to protect these pads. To cut that or trim it is not the right thing to do. Neither is spraying your dogs pads with a chemical laden product such as pam cooking spray. I am shocked by these two ideas.

    Get boots for your dog. If the snow between your dogs toes is a problem for the dog, that is one thing and the boots will cure that problem. If it is a problem for you because you don’t want snow on your floors as it melts (dog temp is 101) then the problem is you. Kennel the dog until the snow melts (put a towel in the kennel to absorb the water).

    Never spray any chemical laden product on your dogs feet and NEVER cut the hair from between the toes of your dog either. I am appalled that it was even suggested.

  4. I reliably enjoyed reading your blog and mould it both scholastic and interesting. I purposefulness be strong to bookmark it and precise in it as across as I can.


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  5. Nice article! I own a company that makes high quality dog boots. I have a reviewers program where bloggers and other media can purchase and review our product at significant discount. Let me know if you are interested. Best, Jim

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