Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends’ exposure to such agents and other hazards.
To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, heed the following advice:
- Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes.
- Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin.
- Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
- Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry.
- Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation.
- Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paws.
- Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition.
- Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated, and her skin less dry.
- Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops.
Whenever you walk your dog or take it for a run, jog or hike, always check its paws after physical activities are completed. A quick look at the pads and between the toes will help you evaluate any possible injuries. Trimmed nails are also important to the health of a dog’s paws.
reference source: https://pets.webmd.com/top-winter-skin-paw-care-tips | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide