Paw Protection in Ice and Snow

In winter, dogs’ paws need special protection. Most dogs take great pleasure in romping through the snow. However, caution is required here, because small lumps of ice, salt, and grit can cause fine cracks in the ball of the foot or chafing between the toes. Even initially small paw injuries can be very painful for animals. In addition, dogs often lick their paws clean after a walk and the road salt gets into the dog’s stomach – where it can lead to stomach damage.

The easiest and most pleasant way for the dog is to avoid fields and forest paths in winter and to avoid salt-sprinkled paths completely. But that is often not possible, especially in the city. In this case, dog shoes (booties), which are available in specialist shops or from the veterinarian, offer good protection. For dogs that don’t like shoes at all, it’s a good idea to trim off any excess hair on the pads and rub cream on their paws before going for a walk.

Vaseline has good fat properties, but it is derived from petroleum and is not as high-quality as vegetable oils. Shea butter has a very healing effect. There are also numerous ready-made products on the market. It is important to ensure that the creams do not cause any problems when licking them off. The use of tea tree oil in dogs is therefore controversial. After every walk, you should clean the paws with lukewarm water from stones and salt.

Healthy paws in ice and snow:

  • If possible, avoid strewn paths, as otherwise, it is particularly easy for cracks to form in the cornea.
  • Put Vaseline or a good paw protection ointment on the pads of your dog’s paws before going for a walk. This will prevent the skin of the ball of the foot from cracking. However, do not use any products that contain tea tree oil, as this is toxic.
  • Long, protruding fur can be cut off between the toes so that no lumps of ice form between the paw pads. Or you can carefully remove lumps of snow during the walk. At home, small stones, road salt, and ice can be removed from the paws with a lukewarm foot bath.
  • If the dog’s paws are already injured, regular use of a good healing ointment or disinfectant will help. To stop the animal from licking everything off again, you can give it small kibble or put a sock over its paws.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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