Protecting a Dog's Paws From the Cold

Frigid temperatures can leave your best buddy shivering -- and his paws may pay the price as well. It's important to keep a watchful eye on your dog while he goes outside during cold weather. Cold temperatures have the potential to be dangerous when your buddy is outside too long.

Use Caution and Common Sense

If your dog's paws feel very cold to the touch and he is shivering, acting anxious, or he is reluctant to walk or move, a visit to the vet is necessary. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reminds pet owners that if the weather outside feels to cold for you, it's also too cold for Max. Just because dogs are covered in a coat of fur doesn't mean they're winter-proof. Dog's paws can be sensitive to cold weather, so exercise caution when letting your dog outside during the cold months.

Winter-Ready Paws

There are a few helpful products on the market that may prevent your dog's precious paws from getting chapped or frostbitten. Balms for dogs are available at many veterinary clinics and pet supply stores. Before applying a balm, make sure that your dog's nails are clipped and hair in between the paw pads is trimmed. Trimming this hair helps to keep ice balls that can get stuck on paw pad hair at bay. Balm should be applied in a thin layer before your dog steps outside. Dog booties are another protective paw product and can be found online as well as in pet supply stores. Some dogs may not like the way booties feel at first and they may take some getting used to.

By Pamela Miller

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References

ASPCA: Top Ten Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips
Cesar's Way: Ask the Vet: Winter Proofing Your Dog's Paws

About the Author
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.