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Protect Your Pet’s Paws This Winter

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 2:45pm
Brown dog wearing red collar sitting in the snow

Friday is the first day of winter, and while we might be dreaming of a snowy holiday, icy conditions can present challenges for our pets’ health.  

“During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions,” says Dr. Louise Murray, veterinarian and Vice President of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends' exposure to such agents.”

Keep these tips in mind when you bring your furry friends along for the neighborhood snowball fight:

Bring a towel on long walks to clean off irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

Booties for your pet’s paws help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent irritating sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes.

Massage petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside to protect them from salt and chemical agents. Also, moisturizing can help heal chapped paws.

For more information about ways to protect your pet’s skin and paws, check out our full list of ASPCA winter pet care tips.