Protecting Your Dog’s Paws in the Snow

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Walking the dogs in cold snowy weather is among the hazards of dog ownership, except if you’re fortunate enough to live where snow can not be found.

In addition to the risks of having an enthusiastic dog on the end of the leash in icy conditions, ice and snow may result in damage to your dog’s paws likewise. Snow and ice may get trapped in between the pads on your dog’s paws, leading to cuts and uncomfortably cold toes.

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Actually a tiny amount of build-up beneath your dog’s feet can take the sensitive hairs underneath and lead to a notable lack of traction.

You could help by maintaining your dog’s nails cut short and the fur in between his toes trimmed to a manageable level. Cut too short, the fur will not provide safeguard from the snow any longer, but a nicely trimmed foot will bring in less ice and snow to accumulate inside. In order to avoid trimming out an excessive amount of hair, always keep your scissors parallel with your dogs pads and simply shear off the fur that sticks out from in between the pads. Close to the toes the fur ought to be cut just short enough to see the end of the toenail. Trim around the sides to keep that nice “paw” shape. In case your dog is not a dog that grows between his toes (not all do), then you need trim nothing.

In case you are living in the land of constant snowfall and below freezing temperatures, probably dog boots are a good solutions…

  • NeoPaws Boots and Shoes have a rubber sole, similar to a tennis shoe, providing good traction and stability.
  • Muttluks are made for warmness and comfort, available in fleece-lined for extreme cold. Muttluks have treated leather soles though and may or may not provide the traction required for icescapades.
  • Ruff Wear Barkin’ Boots have a long lasting and flexible sole created to let your dog to “grip” with his paws, as if they were bare. Not developed for warmth, however, but good protection nonetheless.

Whenever you’re arriving from a snowy walk and question how to free your dog’s feet from caked snow, the finest bet is to just allow it to melt off in the heat of your home. Pulling on the packed snowballs will be unpleasant for your dog and he will be quite unwilling to let you try a second time.

Source: about.com