Tips on Protecting and Caring for Your Dog’s Paws This Winter

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Dogs are pretty well-equipped to deal with varying temperatures. Even still, ice and snow can be pretty damaging to our dog’s paws.

Think of how extremely cold weather, ice, and snow affects your skin — it’s not much different for our canine companions. Cold can cause cracking and drying of their paw pads.

On top of that, we need to be aware of any salts or chemicals that are used for de-icing. These are often found on the ground in the winter. These can be damaging to your pup’s paws, but can also pose extra risks if licked off their paws later.

Dog booties are a clear choice if you live in an area that experiences cold winter weather. But some dogs just don’t like them. So what do you do with a pup that doesn’t want boots?

Here are a few suggestions on how to protect and care for your dog’s paws this winter.

Keep Their Nails Trimmed

When protecting your pup’s paws, it’s important to also keep your dog’s nails thoroughly trimmed. This ensures the paw pads will be making the maximum amount of contact with the ground when going for walks. This is preferable as it lessens the amount of ice that can accumulate in the spaces between paw pads.

Wipe Your Pup’s Paws

As soon as you and your dog come in from outside, make sure to wipe your dog’s paws off. You want to make sure that you remove any ice, moisture, or de-icing products that may have collected.

Keep All That Paw Fur Trimmed

You know what I’m talking about here: all those adorable tufts of fur that stick out between your dog’s paw pads. Keep those long tufts of fur trimmed. Otherwise, it can collect moisture and freeze. It can also collect de-icing products, which can be dangerous for your dog.

Apply a Balm or Wax to Your Pup’s Paws

Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Natural Dog Wax is a well-loved wax that will protect your dog’s paws in hot or cold weather. It’s made with dog-safe natural waxes and vitamin E that will protect and soothe pads and paws.

Unfortunately, the stuff isn’t exactly cheap. So if you’re not interested in forking over $15 for a 60 g container of the stuff, there are plenty of DIY recipes available out there on the internet.

Most of the recipes feature natural beeswax as the main ingredient. It’ll create a protective barrier that insulates paws from cold and wetness, while also being dog-safe. Other ingredients are often moisturizing oils or ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties.

Although you’ll spend a bit on supplies, you’ll wind up with a lot more of the stuff for the cost, versus buying pre-made wax. However, the store-bought versions work great for those of us who might not have extra time to DIY.

The American Kennel Club offers an easy Paw Balm recipe. Or, check out DIY Network’s Soothing Paw Balm for Dogs. Additionally, there are so many other blogs and YouTube channels out there offering tutorials. Just make sure that all ingredients used are dog-friendly!