Frosty Paws: Protecting Pet Paws This Winter
Here in Maryland, both people and their pets are used to harsh winters. That doesn’t mean that your pet’s paws need to suffer, however. Highway Veterinary Hospital has your back when it comes to protecting pet paws this season. Read on to learn what you can do.
Winter Woes for Furry Feet
The winter weather can wreak havoc on delicate pet paws. When allowing your pet to enjoy the northeastern weather, it is important to be on the lookout for some common problems.
Cold weather catastrophes for furry feet can include:
- Trauma due to hard snow or ice
- Chemical burns from ice melt products
- Injuries from objects hidden beneath the snow
This doesn’t mean that you should keep your pooch indoors all winter. There is plenty you can do as a pet owner to protect those precious paws.
Protecting Pet Paws
As the mercury drops, proactive pet owners are sure to take steps when it comes to protecting pet paws from the cold. Be sure to:
Groom away — Grooming your pet is important year round, but in the winter it becomes even more vital. Overgrown hair between paw pads makes an excellent place for snow and ice to ball up, holding irritants close to the skin and making things generally uncomfortable. Keeping this hair short and the nails trimmed can also provide better traction on slippery surfaces.
Steer clear of irritants — Salt products that are used to melt ice can be very irritating to your pet’s paws. Use pet-friendly products when possible and always be sure to wipe down your pet’s paws and underside when coming inside.
Consider some clothes — If you will be spending extended periods outside in the snow and cold, you may wish to invest in some well-fitted boots for your pet. These can help provide warmth and prevent irritation and injury. Many different types of shoes and booties exist to fit the needs of most pets.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize — Cold paws are prone to drying and cracking. Moisturizing with a little petroleum jelly or something like Musher’s Secret can provide a little moisture and added protection.
Winter paw protection is essential to your pet’s comfort throughout the season. If you have questions or concerns about taking care of your four legged family members this winter, feel free to call us. Our expert staff is here and always happy to help.