Protecting Your Dog’s Paws In Winter

Whether you like it or not, winter is here. One of the biggest challenges of winter in Edmonton is all of the snow and ice on walkways and streets.

Because of this, many people will use a lot of sand and salt to help melt the ice or make it easier for people to walk. The downside is that not everyone uses pet friendly salt meaning that when your dog walks on it, it can burn their paw pads. So, what do you do to protect their paws besides pick them up and carry them or not walk them at all?

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Despite their constant protesting of wearing them, all of my dogs wear booties every time they go for a walk. While it can be quite the chaotic scene and time consuming to put booties on all three dogs, it’s worth it if their paws are protected from cold and salt. Freckles has such small and sensitive paws so she wears them any time there’s snow or the temperature is below freezing.

You can purchase a pair at any pet store and they are very easy to take on and off your dog’s paws. I will say if your dogs are anything like Max, you have to make sure the velcro on them in tight so they don’t fall off mid walk (which has happened). Also, some booties can be irritating to your dog’s dew claws so if you find that, try wrapping them in a bandage prior to putting on their booties.

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There are going to be dogs that will refuse to wear booties no matter what. Dolly was that dog until recently as she had no choice but wear them as she had a flare up of her allergies and her paws are too irritated for them not to be covered.

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If you find that is the case, try using a paw protector such as a paw wax to put on their paws prior to going outside. It helps create a bit of a base layer to help protect their paws from salt and sand. I personally like use the Paw Saver from our friend Lauren at DogDogGoose. I have used this many times with Dolly and it works great.

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If you do use a paw wax or nothing at all on your dog’s paws, something that will also help reduce any irraitaion after their walk is wiping down all of their paws with hypoallergenic wipes.

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If you are concerend about slipping on the ice, go purchase a pair of slip on spikes for your shoes. You you purchase them at any Running Room, Costco or Canadian Tire. As we have had a lot of freezing rain in the past couple of weeks, I have multiple pairs of spikes on multiple pairs of shoes, because my dogs still need to go for their regular walks.

So don’t let a little snow and ice deter you from going out with your dog. None of us enjoy in my household but when it does come, we are always ready for it.