We’re in the thick of winter in New England. To date Mother Nature has been kind but reality and experience tells us to be prepared for her winter fury! For your pets, this means being ready to protect paws from the cold, ice, salt and other winter hazards. While many pooches don’t love the idea of wearing winter booties, with patience and practice, most dogs will get accustomed to wearing them. Boots will eliminate your pet’s paws coming in contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and other chemical ice-melting agents. Booties also prevent sand and salt from getting stuck between toes which can lead to irritation. Fletch and I are big fans of Mutt Luks booties. Fletch wears the original fleece lined boot.
Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemicals. My pet sitter Joan swears by a product used for sled dogs called Musher’s Secret. The manufacturer states this barrier wax “forms a breathable bond with your dog’s paws …. and provides tenacious protection even in the most extreme conditions.”
When you and your pooch get home from a walk, wipe paws with a warm cloth. Moisturizing after a good toweling off will help heal chapped paws. If you ever spot wounds or redness on your pet’s feet, it’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian.