8975 McLaughlin Rd., Brampton, Ontario

Winter Worries: Salty Paws

As winter approaches many owners begin to worry about the salt used on the roads to melt ice and its effects on their dog’s paws. Salty Paws, not to be confused with Santy Clause, can be easily prevented with a few of these tips!

It may be easy for us to say to limit your dog’s time outdoors when it is extremely cold or snowing but this may not be an option for all dog owners. It’s important to provide some protection to your dog’s paw pads during the winter and the ice and salt can cause drying, cracking, trauma or even chemical burns. A good starting point to protecting your dog’s paws during the winter is a proper grooming. If your dog has fluffy feet you’ll notice they tend to collect ice balls which can harm your dog’s feet.

There are a few protective balms or waxes that can be used to help protect your dog’s paws. These are applied before each walk to protect the pads from cracking and harmful chemicals in the road salts. However, the best way to protect your dogs paws from the winter worries are booties. Booties not only keep out harmful salts and ice balls but also keep your pets feet warm and prevent frost bite. Dog booties may look a little silly but then again so do human snow suits. Just as a child may not want to wear their snow suit, your dog may not like their booties. It is important to introduce them slowly at first by putting them on for short amounts of time in the house. Once your dog is acclimated to its fancy new booties they’ll love wearing them.

It is also important to stop your dog from licking its paws after a walk in the winter. They may think the salt stuck in their toes tastes good but it often contains sodium chloride or potassium chloride which can be very dangerous for your dog to ingest. Wiping your pups feet off with a towel will both ensure salt is removed but will also keep your house dry as an added bonus!

This blog post was written by McQueen Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic in Brampton providing quality affordable veterinary care

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