The Snow IS Coming!
Living in Colorado has its perks and snow is just one of the many. However, a little bit of preparation can go a long way to the enjoyment of the cold-weather season. As you’re winterizing your home and your car and making sure the kids have proper winter clothing, don’t forget about doggie. True, most dogs adjust very well to cold temperatures. But when it comes to their paws, there are a couple of considerations to guard against discomfort or possible injury.
How Your Dog Can Enjoy Winter
Proper grooming is always important, but winter — and especially snow — call for a couple of extra steps. Hair around the paws should be trimmed to keep it from touching the ground and allowing snow to build up. Check that nails are a proper length. Long nails cause the paw to splay out and create space for snow and ice to accumulate between the pads.
Salt, sand and de-icing agents can be very harmful to your pup. Not only can these things cause irritation if lodged between toes, most are very toxic if ingested as your dog is licking his feet to remove the substance. For some dogs, boots are good way of protecting feet (and providing traction as well); for others, a protectorate like petroleum jelly or a commercial cold-weather balm might be preferred. Check online sites for a variety of balms and recipes for a homemade mixture intended to be massaged into your dog’s paws prior to a walk in the cold and snow. — frostbite and burns.
Winter walks can be invigorating for dogs just as they are for humans, so don’t shy away from venturing out if the flurries are flying. Just watch your step.
• Try to avoid icy surfaces.
• Keep an eye on doggie trying to drink from puddles that may contain anti-freeze which is highly toxic for dogs.
• If pooch is stopping often to lick paws, snow may be building up between toes. Having a small towel on hand is a good idea for times likes this.
Once you get home, wash off paws with a little warm water to remove any snow or foreign items and make a quick check for any redness or irritation. If you find doggies licking his paw or limping, this may be an indication that something is causing discomfort and a re-check is in order.
Walk. Play. Enjoy the season! Kids and dogs of all ages love a good romp in the snow and with a little preparation, there’s no reason not to indulge!