Pause to Think About Paws
With it being the snowy weather season in Denver, there are a few things to pause and think about before your dog's paws hit the snow. It's important to remember that snow, ice and salt can wreak havoc on your dog's paws, which can lead to frostbite, chemical burns, dry and cracked pads and other trauma. This is why pet parents need to take the steps to protect their four-legged furry family! A few suggestions would be:
- When possible, keep your pet away from heavily treated roads and sidewalks.
- Use pet-friendly de-icers.
- Keep walks short when the weather is bad.
Dog boots are another great option and are readily available both in pet stores and online. Most are sock-like and held on via Velcro straps. Remember that it may take a while for your pet to get used to them, so a good idea would be to start using them inside the house. You can begin with short periods of time and gradually increase the usage.
Another option is a protective balm, also known as paw wax. These also are readily available in pet stores and online, or you can make your own. Online “recipes” are plentiful and typically call for a mix of beeswax, calendula oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Just before a walk, apply a thin layer of the balm with your fingers or gently rub your dog’s paw pads directly in the wax. This will protect their paw pads while outside. Reapply another thin layer of balm to keep the pads from drying out and to reduce irritation.
Your dog will thank you for taking these basic steps!