Whether your dog loves to play in the snow and wile away the winter hours outdoors, or hates the cold weather and wants go to back inside as quickly as possible, caring for your dog’s paws is a vital consideration. Road and sidewalk salt can cause serious damage to your canine pal’s paw pads, so if your dog has dry, cracked paws, consider these solutions and remedies:
Don’t let your dog suffer – look out for dry, cracked paws!
Your dog’s paws should be rough, to enhance traction and enable your dog to run and play, but dry, cracked paws can be extremely painful for your dog. Treat paws when they are dry to help prevent cracking – don’t let them get cracked, because not only are they painful for your poor canine pal, but dirt and debris in the cracks can actually cause an infection!
If you live in an area with cold, snowy winters, or if you live in a dry, dusty climate, check your dog’s paws daily for dryness. Make it part of the morning or evening routine; it’ll help you stay on top of your dog’s paw health, and it’ll also help your dog become accustomed to people handling his paws!
Wash your dog’s paws regularly to remove road and sidewalk salt.
Not only can road and sidewalk salt cause dry, cracked paws, but some of these salts are actually toxic if your dog ingests them! Wash your dog’s paws in warm water when you come inside to remove any salt. This is especially vital if your dog is a licker; if your dog licks chemical salt from his paws, you might find yourself with a trip to the emergency vet in your future!
Because dog’s paw pads need to retain a bit of roughness, you can’t really use human-grade moisturizers on them to treat dryness. In fact, some human moisturizers even contain chemicals that can be harmful to your dog! One of the best products to treat dry paws and help prevent cracking or damage from road salt is Nature’s Butter™ Paw Balm. It's is completely safe for your dog, even if he licks it off and ingests it!
Applying this soothing salve regularly can help condition your dog's paws and prevent dryness, and if your dog's paws are injured or dry, Paw Butter can help alleviate pain and help your dog heal faster. The formula is not greasy, so no worries about getting little paw prints all over your sofa. As an added bonus, Paw Butter can also be used to treat dry noses and even dry skin, flea bites and hot spots
For some dogs, boots are an option.
If your dog tolerates boots, you have an effective tool to combat dry, cracked paws. Simply put the boots on before you leave, and remove them when you get back. Using boots also saves you the trouble of having to wash your dog’s paws, as you can simply take them off when you return home. Unfortunately, boots can be time-consuming to apply, and some mischievous dogs remove boots as quickly as you can put them on. Boots aren’t a universal solution for all dogs.
Whichever method you choose, be sure that you add 'paw maintenance' into your dog's daily checklist.