Walking the dogs in cold snowy weather is one of the hazards of dog ownership, unless you are lucky enough to live where snow doesn’t exist. Along with the hazards of having an enthusiastic dog on the end of the leash in icy conditions, ice and snow can cause damage to your dog’s paws as well. Snow and ice can get stuck in between the pads on your dog’s paws, causing cuts and uncomfortably cold toes. Even a small amount of build-up under your dog’s feet can pull the sensitive hairs underneath and cause a noticable loss of traction.
You can help by keeping your dog’s nails cut short and the fur between his toes trimmed to a manageable level. Cut too short, the fur won’t offer protection from the snow anymore, but a neatly trimmed foot will attract less ice and snow to collect inside. To avoid trimming out too much hair, keep your scissors parrallel with your dogs pads and just shear off the fur that sticks out from in between the pads. Around the toes the fur should be cut just short enough to see the end of the toenail. Trim around the sides to keep that nice “paw” shape. If your dog isn’t a dog that grows between his toes (not all do), then you need trim nothing.
If you live in the land of constant snowfall and below freezing temperatures, maybe dog boots are in your future?
- NeoPaws Boots and Shoes have a rubber sole, much like a tennis shoe, giving good traction and stability.
- Muttluks are built for warmth and comfort, available in fleece-lined for extreme cold. Muttluks have treated leather soles though and may ort may not provide the traction needed for icescapades.
- Ruff Wear Barkin’ Boots have a durable and flexible sole designed to allow your dog to “grip” with his paws, as though they were bare. Not built for warmth, however, but good protection nonetheless.
When you’re just coming in from a snowy walk and wonder how to free your dog’s feet from caked snow, the best bet is to simply let it melt off in the heat of your home. Pulling on the packed snowballs will be painful for your dog and he’ll be very reluctant to let you try a second time.
**Article Courtesy of About.com**