Living in Texas, we don’t have to deal with ice or snow on our dogs’ paws very often but last week’s cold, cold weather had us getting prepared for possibly icy dog walks. Since we live in a rural area, we don’t have to worry about salt or de-icing chemicals (which can make your dog ill if he licks them off following the walk) but we still wanted to know what to do if we encountered icy paws. We started doing some research and came across these excellent tips from UK-based Four Paws:
Before the Walk:
- Apply some Vaseline or a good paw protective ointment to the paw pads of your dog before taking them out for walks. This should prevent cracks in the paw pads.
- In order that no ice lumps form between the paw pads, the long fur between the toes can be clipped.
On the Walk:
- Avoid uncleared paths as much as possible.
After the Walk:
- Remove little stones, salt and ice from the paws by soaking them in lukewarm water.
- If you find damage to the paws, Four Paws pet expert Martina Schnell recommends, “Regular use of a good ointment or disinfectant can cleanse wounds. In order to keep the animal from immediately licking off treatments, you could give them something to nibble on, such as a safe dog treat.”
We made it through our freezing weather without having to de-ice any paws around here…but we’re ready for the next round of cold weather when it arrives!