🐾Paws for thought, a winter weather walkie warning given the delightful weather we are having at the moment🐾
De-icing products such as road salt and grit are the biggest potential danger to your dog’s paws on its winter walks. Road salt / grit contains a chemical de-icing product that can lead to chemical burns on your dogs skin if exposed to prolonged contact. Try to avoid walking your dog over gritted surfaces wherever possible, and if your dog has been into contact with gritted surfaces, wash and dry the paws thoroughly after your walk.
Antifreeze and de-icer products used for cars can be another problem as they are highly poisonous to dogs and If your dog gets de-icer on his paws, he may try to lick this off , again another good reason to wash and dry your dog’s paws off once you get back from your walk.
Ice balls forming between the pads and toes of the feet can also be very uncomfortable for your dog and potentially lead to ice burns. Dogs that have very hairy feet (Cavaliers!) are particularly susceptible to picking up lumps of ice so try to keep the hair around their paws trimmed down in the winter to help to minimise this.
Frostbite can occur in the paws of dogs that are walked outside for protracted periods of time while it is very cold - give your dog the chance to get warmed up on longer walks, and keep an eye on his comfort and temperature when out and about on those cold days.
Just as some people find that dry, chapped and cracked skin on their hands is the bane of their lives during the winter, so too might your dog suffer from the same types of problems on the pads of his paws. Feeding a diet rich in essential fatty acids can help to minimise this kind of problem, as can using a barrier cream or specially designed paw wax, or even special doggy booties or waterproof socks when outside.
Don’t stop with the walks in winter they are very important for health and well-being just be aware of the external factors that can affect your 4 legged pal 🐶