Dog’s Feet: Tips For Winter Paw Care

by DFS-Pet-Blog on December 21, 2010


For a large part of the country, the cold weather is upon us. The warm, shaded paths of summer have become frozen. Summer sandals have been put away and winter boots have been brought out. That’s a natural, seasonal change for us; but what about our canine friends? Their footgear stays the same; summer and winter. They still want to go on walks with us and explore their yards. How can we help their feet deal with the cold during the winter months?

The good news is that a dog’s foot is specially designed to provide a barrier to protect it from the cold. Dogs have a fat pad built into their thick footpads. This fat pad helps insulate the dog’s foot from the ground. There is also adequate blood circulation to the feet and the insulating properties of the dog’s fur.

Hazards to be aware of as you walk your dog in the cold:

  • Sidewalk ice melters like salt, magnesium, or calcium chloride can be irritating to your dog’s paws and harmful if ingested. Do not allow your dog to lick up any of the ice melter and be sure to wipe your dog’s paws with a moist towel after your walk. I would recommend that you use a “pet-friendly” sidewalk salt at your home.
  • Longer-haired breeds should have the hair between their toes trimmed to prevent the formation of ice balls which can compromise the blood circulation in the foot as well as being very painful.
  • Walking on ice is not only hazardous for us but also for our dogs; especially older dogs. Slips and falls can lead to major injuries.

dog boots

This winter, be sure to check your dog’s footpads daily for cracks or signs of injury. Your dog may need a protective wax or cream to coat his foot- pads. These products may help heal cracks if they form.  Some dogs will benefit from the use of dog boots. These boots provide a barrier between your dog’s feet and the hazards of ice melters and the cold.  If the pads becoming overly dry or injured, I would recommend seeking the advice of your veterinarian. Enjoy the season; spring is just around the corner.

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Recommended Cold Weather Paw Care Products:

Mushers Secret Paw Care

Mushers Secret Paw Care

Muttluks Hott Doggers Dog Boots

Muttluks Hott Doggers Dog Boots

Muttluks Dog Boots

Muttluks Dog Boots

Ice Melt-Down It's not salt! It's better!

Ice Melt-Down It's not salt! It's better!

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Jerermy August 5, 2014 at 4:11 am

Thanks for sharing this lovely article.

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