The first real winter days are a real joy for most dog owners. The landscape is wonderfully snowy, the ticks give exceptional peace and the dogs visibly enjoy the fun in the fresh snow.
Unfortunately, the cold season also brings inconveniences that dog owners should never take lightly. In winter, the dog’s paws are particularly at risk, as ice, snow and the use of road salt can damage them. If the dog starts limping, it is often too late. Dog owners should therefore think of preventive measures in good time.
The road salt is particularly tricky in winter. The salt not only attacks the paws, but even with small tears and injuries acts like a catalyst that not only prevents the wound from healing, but often even leads to painful inflammation. Dog owners are therefore more than well advised to avoid paths strewn with salt as much as possible. Since most of the people (and also the municipalities!) Use salt regardless of the animals, contact can never be avoided completely – at least if the dog owner does not live as a hermit far away from civilization …
Therefore, dog owners, whose dogs have had problems with their paws in the past, should apply them. There are several creams to choose from, traditionally deer tallow or petroleum jelly are used. But in specialist dog shops there are also creams specially developed for dog paws. If the animal’s paws are particularly sensitive, it is advisable to consult the veterinarian when choosing the paw cream.
But salt is not the only danger that the dog’s paw is exposed to. For (understandable) environmental reasons, sharp-edged gravel is often used against the smoothness, but it affects the paws similarly. This should also be avoided. Since ice cream can also be very sharp, some dog owners even put so-called “dog shoes” or “dog boots” on their favorites, but opinions differ about their meaning and nonsense. If in doubt, dog owners should test how comfortable or uncomfortable the dog feels in such shoes and make the decision dependent on it.
Before and after going for a walk: paw care in winter
It is particularly uncomfortable for the dog when snow and dirt clump on its paw. Therefore, the hair between the toes and on the paws should be kept as short as possible. If it is a restless animal or if the dog owner does not trust it to cut, a specialist (such as the veterinarian) can also be consulted because cuts must be avoided at all costs.
After walking the dog in winter, many dog owners rinse the dog’s paws with hot water and soap. With both, however, you don’t do your dog a favor, on the contrary: soap only attacks the strained paw even more and the water should be at most lukewarm. After washing, it is advisable to dry the paws briefly, for example with a microfiber cloth.
Avoid hypothermia – also and especially when visiting supermarkets!
Another important topic in winter is hypothermia of the dog. Of course, huskies or St. Bernard dogs really feel in their element during the cold season, but especially small dogs with short fur can quickly become hypothermic at the temperatures. Therefore, dog owners shouldn’t overdo the length of the walk and always keep an eye on their dog. If the dog begins to shiver or shows other signs of hypothermia, the dog should be brought back to warm quickly. Many dog owners swear by winter clothes for dogs during the very cold days. Because many dogs today are no longer used to living in snow and cold like their ancestors.
Unfortunately, in many countries, dogs are still denied access to many shops and supermarkets. In summer, connecting to the supermarket is usually not a problem, but in winter it is. On a leash (and possibly sitting in the snow), the dogs hypothermia much faster than if they can run around outdoors. If the shopping then takes longer than previously expected (for example because a queue has formed in front of the cash register), it becomes more than just “uncomfortable” for the dog in front of the door, but a health hazard. In the warm supermarket, many dog owners don’t even notice how “time flies”, but the dog in the cold does! Therefore, the tip is: If the dog is leashed in front of a shop in winter, dog owners should, for safety reasons, set a timer – for example on the smartphone – that reminds them of the freezing dog in good time. The safety and health of the dog always comes first – even and especially during the winter.