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Dog Paw Care in the Winter

Updated on January 27, 2010

Dog Paw Care

Your dog's paws really take a lot of work. Your dog walks on them all day long, whether it's raining, snowing, sleeting, or blistering hot. The paws can easily get itchy as skin dries and even flakes off, and when your dog's are bare, it can become dangerous if there are chemicals (such as de-icers) on the ground.

Your dog's paws are very important, so you want to do your best to make sure that you take care of them for him because he can't do it by himself.

When caring for your dog's paws, keep in mind the following advice. You never know as the advice below just may save your dog's life from chemicals getting into his body from his irritated paws.

Winter Skin and Paw Care

  • Use a towel on your dog's paws as soon as he comes into the house. Make sure to get in-between his toes and everything.
  • If you're going on a long walk, bring a small towel so that you can periodically stop and clean off your dog's feet. Then when you get home wash and dry the feet, making sure to remove any ice from the hair; while washing your dog's feet check for cracked paws and redness between the toes.
  • Trim the longer hairs in between the tows and paw pads so that they won't attract small ice balls, salt crystals, or other de-icing chemicals, which can dry on the skin.
  • Consider buying dog shoes so that your dog's feet don't come into as much contact, if any, with salt crystals, chemicals, and ice. The dog boots will help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in-between your dog's toes, which can cause irritation if not removed. Dog boots are pretty common among sled dogs to help protect the paws, so don't feel silly if you're in the city walking your dog on iced walking paths. You're doing your dog a favor.
  • Massage petroleum jelly or a commercial paw protector (like Musher's Secret) into the paw pads before he goes outside. This will potentially protect the paws from salt and chemicals. When the dog comes back inside, wipe off his paws.
  • Consider massaging a little non-scented lotion to the feet after cleaning them off to prevent dryness.

If you find the weather outside is too cold for you, then it's probably going to be too cold for your dog. Consider kenneling your dog in the house while you're away instead of putting him outside. Dog's can have heat stroke during the summer months, but they can also freeze in the winter months.


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    • cojaqmarketing profile image

      cojaqmarketing 8 years ago from Carmel, Indiana

      My girlfriend was telling me about this...since we (my dogs and I) are from California we don't know much about snow! Now we live in Indiana where it's 20, snowy, and salty! I've observed my dogs lifting their paws and looking at them funny...I just thought it was because their feet were cold. Great info...thanks.


    • sibaja_software profile image

      sibaja_software 8 years ago from Italy

      I have two "outdoor" dogs, thank you for your great advice. I am going to check them out today and make sure their paws are well taken of.