Protecting your dog's paws during the cold winter weather is vital in making sure your pooch is healthy and happy. Simply choosing a winter paw balm like Soft Paws goes a long way in protecting dog pads during in the cold.
Protecting Your Dog's Paws With Our Winter Paw Balm
No other time of year takes its toll on your dog's paws like the harsh cold months of winter. Whether it's the cold environment, snowy & icy ground, exposure to chemical de-icers and salt or rocks and grit, winter can be a brutal time for your dog - they may be excited when it's time to go for a walk but make no mistake, there are very real dangers lurking at this time of year!
Don't get us wrong, snow is still heaven for an excitable dog - new environments and a sensations are exciting - running around, jumping through snow, sliding on ice and biting at snow as it falls is a total blast... but to make sure your dog truly has the best time possible - protecting their delicate paw pads from winter is easy if you start early and use the best products possible - like Soft Paws paw balm.
Keeping on top of protecting your dog's paws in winter is easier if you start early and use your paw balm in the months leading up to the cold weather.
As you can see from the picture below - if you're not protecting paws, they can easily become dry, cracked, damaged and seriously painful - open cracks can also lead to infection and serious health problems!
Using Soft Paws dog paw balm couldn't be easier - simply rub gently with your fingers until it starts to soften and apply liberally to the pad - gently massage in (if your dog will let you), we often find that distractions are key to this so try after your dog has eaten and use their favourite toy to keep them occupied so you can work it into the skin.
Regularly applying your paw balm...
If starting your winter paw protection early is important, then the key to maximising the benefits of the balm is regularly applying it! We've always advised that you base the application on the condition of your dog's pads and how active you are - if they're in a pretty bad way, use more... if they're looking alright, use it less frequently. If you lead a fairly active life with your dog, use the appropriate amount of paw balm to protect the paws - after every other walk is a great benchmark!
Our handy guide on paw condition would be:
Dry, Damaged & Cracked Paws - Apply at least 2-3 times per day (usually best after exercise or eating to avoid licks)
Dry Paws - Apply 1-2 times per day (morning & evening - after walks)
'Normal' Paws - Apply 2-3 times per week to maintain soft, smooth & healthy paws
By following these simple steps, you can give your dog the best possible chance of being comfortable in winter. This means that when the cold months do come around, your dog has healthy paws which don't run the risk of becoming as easily dry, cracked or damaged.
Ready to get the best winter protection for your dog's paws? Use Soft Paws paw balm from MyPamperedPup!
Why your dog needs winter dog paw protection...
OK, so we've talked a lot about how winter can take its toll on your dog's paws but I bet you're wondering "what exactly is the danger?".
When it comes to winter we break down the things that can affect your dog into four easy-to-remember categories:
1. The cold, ice & snow: how they affect your dog's paws...
Perhaps the most common cause of injury for your dog during the winter months is the cold itself - 'frostbite' is the name given to the damaged caused to the skin when exposed to the extreme cold. When exposed to the cold the veins in the skin become narrower to prevent losing heat - what this means is that those areas get less blood pumped to them. Frostbite is basically a combination of the body not pumping blood to the area to lose heat, so they become so cold that the skin tissues and cells freeze, causing irreparable damage if the exposure is long enough. As a dog owner, it's important to monitor how long you're out in the cold for with your pup - frostbite can set in after only 30 minutes when exposed directly to the cold but it depends on a number of factors so there are no hard and fast rules for preventing it, other than being vigilant!
One thing you can do to help prevent the damage associated with the cold & frostbite is ensuring your dog is well groomed:
The average time for frostbite to set in on your dog's paws!
Clipping your dogs nails...
This is important as longer nails force your dog to spread their toes as they walk - this means a larger surface area of the paw is exposed to the cold which allows the sweat to freeze and ice and snow builds up between the toes this is really uncomfortable and could lead to trauma - imagine walking around with marbles pressed between and underneath your toes and feet! Oooooch!
Dog paw pad ice burns...
Signs of winter cold damage on your dog's paws
When checking and inspecting your dog's paws during winter, there are a few signs to look out for that can be sure-fire signs of cold weather damage:
2. Chemical de-icers: how they can damage your dog's paws...
Less common than the damage caused by the cold itself is the chemical de-icers we use to clear ice and snow from our cars and property. As we use de-icers throughout the winter they end up covering the ground on roads, pavements and driveways - when your dog walks on ground contaminated with de-icing chemicals they linger on the hair and is absorbed by the skin.
These chemicals are incredibly harmful and cause irritation and skin burns to the paws themselves - what's more harmful is that these chemicals are also seriously toxic! If they are irritating the paw pads, chances are your dog will lick them to soothe the irritation, in doing this they're ingesting the toxic de-icing chemicals.
Minimising the de-icer risk to your dog
There are several of ways to minimise the risk of de-icing chemicals to your dog and things you can do to keep your pooch safe during winter:
3. The dangers of winter road salt: how it can damage your dogs paws...
Road salt is everywhere during the cold winter months and it attacks your dog in numerous ways:
Irritating winter road salt on your dog's paws...
During winter the sheer abundance of salt & grit covering the roads really takes its toll; the salty solution draws moisture out of the paws which leads to seriously dry skin, irritation, cracks and damage. What's more, as the damage starts to take its toll and the pads do start to crack, the salty solutions gets inside them which is extremely painful!
The key to minimising the risk of winter salt damage is to be diligent with your dog's paws during winter - this means wiping and washing them carefully following each walk to ensure there's not salty residue remaining when you're back inside. You should also keep an eye on your dogs walking to see if they're limping, showing signs of discomfort or avoiding putting weight on a particular pad.
When you're back home and you've carefully cleaned and checked the paws for signs of damage or irritation, it's always best to liberally apply our healing paw balm Soft Paws to deeply nourish and replenish moisture lost from the cold weather and salty ground.
Our Soft Paws paw balm protects from the harsh winter ground salt in several great ways:
The dangers of poisoning from winter de-icing salt!
Not only can de-icing ground salt be irritating and damaging to your dog's paws, accidental ingestion can be deadly!
Most of the time, ingestion usually occurs because your dog licks their paws due to irritation from the salty water - if you're not careful and don't wash and wipe the paws after a walk, before sealing and protecting them with Soft Paws paw balm, then ingestion can easily happen.
De-icing ground salt used to clear road and pavements often contains toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury & ferrocyanide. These chemicals are within the road salt which dissolves into the ground water that your dog walks on - this then clings to paw hair and is absorbed into the paw pads.
The key to ensuring your dog doesn't run the risk of salt poisoning, it's vital to carefully wash and wipe each of paw pads to remove any remaining residue. Once you've done this - repair, nourish and protect the paw pad skin with a healing, moisturising paw balm!
Signs & symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs...
If the unthinkable does happen and your dog manages to become exposed to and ingest dangerous de-icing chemicals then it's important to stay calm and watch out for the signs and symptoms of salt poisoning:
If your dog has any of the symptoms following a period of outdoor activity in an area where you know there's been a lot of de-icing salt on the ground then it's important to contact your vet immediately! These symptoms can lead to severe trauma, seizures a coma and even death if not treated urgently.
4. Grit and trauma: pain & discomfort for your dog's paws...
We've already covered how winter is hard for your dog's paws - salty ground water, cold frosty ground and sharp, painful grit mean it doesn't take long into the cold winter months for your dog to be suffering from the effects of painful, uncomfortable paw pads - the drying effects of the winter environment lead the skin open to cracking.
Cracked paws are not only painful, if left untreated they leave your dog open to infection and potentially more serious health problems. Cracked paws are much more common during winter because of the harsh environment so checking to make sure your dog has tip-top paws is essential! Not only this, you should also use the best paw balm, Soft Paws from MyPamperedPup!
Keep paws healthy and protected in winter with Soft Paws paw balm...
The best way to keep on top of making sure your dog's paws are healthy, moisturised and protected during winter is by ensuring you have a daily and weekly routine aimed at making sure paws are inspected and treated and a daily application of paw balm to nourish paws and replenish lost moisture.
Keep your dog's paws protected with our moisturising winter paw balm!
More posts you'll love...
By The MyPamperedPup Team
Specialising in small batch, natural dog grooming products MyPamperedPup is a brand for conscientious dog owners who choose only the best products they use to care for their dogs. The Blog Team are here to provide you with the very best and latest news and information about our business, our products and the world of caring for your pooch.
Read more about our amazing paw balm