December 15, 2014

Walking Your Dog in a Winter Wonderland? Protect Your Pet's Paws with These Tips

In many parts of the country, winter weather is in full swing. For those experiencing snowy or icy conditions, it’s important to keep in mind that the winter season poses some elevated health risks for our pets—including our pets’ paws. Before you take your pups outside for a stroll through the snow, check out a few of our winter paw-care tips: 
  • Towel off. It’s helpful to bring a towel along 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 her toes.
     
  • New shoes, please. Purchasing 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 sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation. 
     
  • Use petroleum jelly for paw protection. Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before you head outside helps guard them from salt and chemical agents. Also, moisturizing your pet’s paws after you clean them aids the healing process when they’re chapped.
For more information about ways to protect your pet’s ski n and paws, please check out our full list of ASPCA expert tips for the winter season.