Winter is here! I’m looking out the window and our outdoor play spaces are already covered in snow, so now seems like a good time to talk about caring for our dogs’ paws during these colder, snow-filled months.
Contrary to popular belief, the snow and ice itself isn’t actually our main concern in the winter. The real source of injury for dogs is the de-icing agents left all over our streets and sidewalks. Regular and prolonged exposure to these chemicals can cause serious irritation and even burns. And, the salt can easily become wedged in the dog’s paws, causing them to lick and accidentally ingest the chemicals directly.
We have a few suggestions for helping to protect your dog’s little feet from the winter landscape. Our personal choice to avoid any of these issues is to use Musher’s, a wax-based protective cream that can be applied to your dog’s paws and in between your dog’s toes before venturing outdoors. It acts as an invisible boot for their paws and can even be used to guard against hot surfaces, sand, and other irritating surfaces. We have provided a link to purchase Musher’s through Amazon on our Shopping page, which can be found here: https://atlantick9.com/shopping-links/
Booties are another great way to directly prevent your dog’s paws from the deicers. But many dogs don’t take to them quite as easily as we’d like, which is why something like Musher’s is our top choice. Another quick tip is to dip your dog’s paws in a shallow bowl of warm water by the front door when you come back from your walks, which can also help melt any ice that has collected in between your dog’s pads and toes and prevent ice balls from forming.
With just a few simple steps, there won’t be anything to worry about this season, and you can both enjoy those brisk walks in the snow!
Atlantic K9 Training is a dog training school and breeder of Jack Russell Terriers and GermanShepherds based out of Boxford, Massachusetts. Owner Kathleen O’Connell James has been training dogs and teaching canine behavior to their owners for two decades. Our scientifically sound dog training methods foster a unique approach where we focus on both the personality and temperament of the dog as well as the dynamics within the family, immediately setting the stage for success.