Freezing dog Paws is the last thing you want for dog in the winter time.
It’s important to know that dog paws are much less sensitive to the cold and snow than human feet are, but there are still things you can do to ensure your dog’s paws stay healthy and warm
Let’s check out the list of tips below!
(NOTE: this is a general informational & educational guide only. It is not professional advice)
How To Protect Dog Paws In Winter, In Cold Weather & From The Snow: 11 Tips
1. Keep winter walks shorter than warm weather walks
We discussed previously that you can take your dog for walks in the cooler periods of the day in the summer to protect their paws.
For winter, it’s usually coldest in the mornings and at night, and is probably going to be cold during the day too. So, there’s no real perfect time to take your dog outside.
What you can do is keep winter walks shorter but quicker so your dog isn’t outside as long, but get’s a more intense walk.
2. Wipe down and dry your dog’s paws thoroughly when coming inside from the cold or home from a walk
This is a great idea and something that is highly recommended for a number of reasons.
After your dog has been outside, and when their paws are exposed to the wet, ice or snow – wipe down their paws with a cloth and dry them thoroughly with a towel.
Wiping the paws with a warm water cloth warms the paws as well as getting rid of any ice salt or snow ice.
Drying the paws off prevents any chafing or wet paw problems arising.
3. Keep your dog’s paw hairs well trimmed and groomed
Ice, snow and water can freeze on the hairs in between your dog’s toes on their paws.
Keeping your dog’s coat and paw hair well trimmed and groomed can help with this.
4. Clear and melt snow in your yard, but be careful to dissolve melting agents thoroughly
Keeping your yard clear of snow can be a good way to protect your dog’s paws.
Some people do this with a shovel for light snow.
Some people choose to use a non-toxic ice melting salt or snow melting agent to get rid of snow or ice.
There are some popular ice melters for pets (on Amazon), but be sure that they are non-toxic, and be very careful of applying them to concrete or driveways as sometimes they can damage these surfaces.
Test on a very very small part of your desired surface first to see it’s effect on it before deciding to use on the whole surface.
Also, it’s a good idea to get your vet’s opinion on any ice melter you use, follow product instructions, and wipe your dog’s paws up after they’ve been outside after application.
5. Dog Paw Wax & Balm
You can get paw protection waxes that are suppose to protect paws from snow, ice, salt and other cold surfaces.
The way they work is they form a semi permeable wax shield over the pads and the exposed areas of the paw.
They also act as a moisturiser.
Musher’s Pet Paw Wax (on Amazon) is a popular paw wax that a lot of owners use.
6. Dog Paw Moisturiser or Petroleum Jelly
Non toxic Paw moisturiser or petroleum jelly has a similar purpose as paw wax and can:
- moisturise dry or water soaked paws
- or provide lubrication to paws that look like they might be chafing or have skin irritation from the cold
7. Waterproof Dog Boots and Dog Shoes
Dog boots and dog shoes give your dog a guaranteed layer of protection in the cold – the same way your shoes protect your feet.
Many of them are anti slip with rubber soles (to help your dog have more traction on ice for example), whilst also being comfortable.
Something like the My Busy Dog Dog Shoes With Velcro Strap and Anti Slip Soles (on Amazon) is popular.
They can be used for a range of purposes and activities.
It’s important to make sure you get the sizing right for your dog’s paws.
8. Waterproof Dog Socks
Waterproof dog socks (on Amazon) are good as another layer of protection on your dogs paws under dog shoes and boots.
Because they are waterproof, they help in conditions that are rainy, snowy, icy or just cold in general.
Some people like dog socks whilst others think they are unnecessary.
9. Make sure your dog is drinking and eating enough in colder seasons
Dogs use more energy in the cold to regulate their body temperature and stay warm.
If your dog isn’t eating enough they may be running low on energy to burn to keep warm. Similarly, if they aren’t drinking enough, they may become dehydrated which affects the body’s temperature to function properly as well.
Your dog’s paws not only need to stay warm, but they need a heavy blood supply to the pads which tend to regenerate skin cells quite quickly.
If your dog isn’t eating or drinking enough it can affect this process.
10. Check paws regularly for signs of red, inflamed or unhealthy paws
Cold, wet or icy conditions can cause your dog’s paws to become inflamed, red, chafed or a number of other things which affects the health of the paw and pad.
Check your dog’s paws and pads regularly to make sure they look normal.
Take your dog to the vet if you suspect the paw is injured or unhealthy in any way.
11. Unless your have a cold weather dog, keep your dog inside in very cold temperatures
Some breeds of dogs like Huskies or dogs with undercoats are going to naturally not feel the cold as much as other dogs.
If you see that your dog struggles in the cold, try to keep them inside as much as possible to keep them warm, while still allowing them to get exercise.
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