When the weather starts to get cold and there is frost and ice on the paths and roads, your dog’s paws can become particularly vulnerable to injury. Just as cracked, chapped lips can be uncomfortable in winter for us, some dogs are more susceptible to injuring the pads of their paws or suffering discomfort and irritation in the cold as well. Many dogs will weather the whole winter without a problem, but for others, walking during the muddy and frosty season is no fun at all. If you happen to own one of them, it is important to take extra special care of their feet and be on the lookout for any signs of soreness, cracking or redness.
So, winter is here, how do you look after your dog’s paws?
When the temperature drops below 0 °C water freezes into ice making paths and roads slippery and dangerous. Salt is used to melt the ice - when it dissolves in water it lowers the water’s freezing point. As a result, the water remains a liquid even at temperatures below 0 °C. This process doesn’t work, however, when the ice is already completely solid as salt can obviously only dissolve in a liquid. Road salt is made from rock salt that is derived from underground mines and then crushed. The rock salt is treated with an anti-caking agent. This prevents the formation of lumps and makes it easier to pack and transport. It’s not only the salt that bothers our dogs’ feet however. The various chemicals and sand that are added to the salt, providing us with more friction for our boots and cars, contribute as well.
Small, delicate doggies, such as the Chihuahua and other toy breeds, are known for their sensitive paws. Similarly, lean dogs, like Greyhounds, Whippets, and similar breeds are also more likely to have sensitive paws. You can see why it’s so important to wash or wipe your dog’s feet as soon as you get home from a walk. Remove the salt and other chemicals from your dog’s paws as soon as possible. Do this before they have a chance to lick them.
Be mindful of ANTIFREEZE, it's extremely toxic to dogs and can cause kidney problems and death. The sweet smell and taste is irresistible to them, so if you see any liquids by cars, keep your dogs away from it.
Giving a little extra attention to your dog’s paws and general health over the winter can contribute greatly to their overall well-being and may even avoid an unwanted vets bill.
An application of paw balm will go a long way to keeping your dogs pads in tip top condition by moisturising and soothing cracked and damaged pads.
Limited edition winter salve perfect for extra tlc that is often needed in the winter. Lightly fragranced with orange, frankincense and cedarwood essential oils. Frankincense in particular is balancing, moisturising and anti-inflammatory. Orange is antimicrobial and cedarwood is antibacterial. A seasonal take with a herbal infused base using Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil and a selection of 5 herbs known for their skin friendly properties. Calendula is anti-inflammatory, moisturising and healing. Plantain is anti-inflammatory, soothing and said to promote healing. Comfrey is said to promote healing and is also known as 'knitbone' for this reason. Yarrow has so many uses but is most famous as a wound healer and finally Rosemary. Rosemary is said to offer anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, ant-bacterial, and antiseptic properties.
Come rain, sun, snow, or ice your furry friend will appreciate all your efforts as well as that winter exercise.