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Pet health: Keeping paws thawed

Posted on: December 22nd, 2010 by

Posted by: H.R.
For Pets Best Insurance
A puppy keeps his paws warm by wearing boots.

With the amount of protection we wear on our feet when out and about in the winter—the thick, wool socks and the furry, lined, waterproof snow boots—it should be no surprise to hear that our dog’s paws get cold too. For optimal pet health, keep winter paw care in mind.

Dog boots are gaining popularity and improving in style and fit. While walking in the snow, some dogs will limp or shake their paws, letting you know something is wrong. But if their paws get so cold that a loss of feeling occurs, dogs are in danger of tripping and you may be unaware of potential cuts until blood appears.

Paw wax is also a great tool for added protection and traction in the winter, and even protects against hot summer pavement.

For an easy alternative, “a small amount of petroleum jelly may help soften and soothe paw pads,” says Jessica Rice of the American Kennel Club.

While we can take precautions to only use pet-friendly ice melters, there is no way to know what the neighbors are using. Walking on these salts can not only be painful and irritating, but hazardous if licked off by the dog or tailed inside the home and ingested by other pets. This could cause poisoning or gastrointestinal issues that will put your dog insurance plan to immediate use.

Always keep a towel by the door and wipe off a dog’s paws after walks. Don’t forget in between the toes, and better yet, keep the long fur tufts between the pads trimmed so they can’t accumulate more ice and snow.

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