Stop Snow From Clumping On My Dog's Paws

By Stephanie Dube

Whether your dog loves the snowy weather or only goes outside when forced, winter provides some special challenges for dog owners. Snow accumulates easily in the hairs between your dog's pads. His body heat partially melts the snow, then it refreezes into ice. These ice balls can cut his pads and are uncomfortable, not to mention the mess they will leave on your floor when he comes back into your toasty home. Don't think you can avoid the problems by sticking to treated areas where the snow is melted. The chemicals used to melt snow can irritate your pup's skin as well.

Items You'll Need:
• Scissors
• Wash cloth
• Shovel
• Boots

Step #1 - Clip the long hairs that grow between your dog's pads. It isn't necessary to clean out all the hair, just trim the long hairs that extend between the toes, as these are the hairs that attract the snow.

Step #2 - Wipe off your dog's feet when he comes in. This cleans off the excess snow as well as any salt or other deicing chemicals be may have on his feet. A wash cloth dampened with warm water should be enough to clean your pup up.

Step #3 - Clear your dog a spot. If there is a good bit of snow on the ground, shovel a path to his favorite bathroom spot so he doesn't have to track through the deep snow.

Step #4 - Consider boots. Many dogs refuse to wear boots, and it can be a challenge to keep them on, but if your dog has a lot of long hair on his lower legs and feet, boots may help keep ice balls from forming in his hair. Experiment with different styles until you find one that stays on your dog -- and don't leave him unattended with them on, or you may find he lays down and chews them off.

By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

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References
Partnership For Animal Welfare: Dog Tip: Cold Weather Protection For Pets
Collie Rescue: Herd It At The Water Bowl
Vet Street: How to Keep Outdoor Pets Warm in Winter

About the Author
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.