Dogs absolutely love romping in the snow during the wintertime. In fact, it's one of their favorite times of year to be outside! Still, it's important to remember, especially if you live in a big city, that snow also usually means road salt, which can cause problems for a dog's paws.
Road salt is usually a mixture of rock salt — a rough, jagged type of salt — and different chemicals. Bigger cities and even smaller ones often use this mixture to erode the snow and make it easier for cars and people to get through it. Unfortunately, the industrial-grade rock salt can be rough on a dog's paw pads.
The salt mixture can actually make your dog's paws dry, chapped and cracked. In addition, it may even contain chemicals that could burn paws. This can be quite dangerous for a pet, depending on the specific mixture used.
If you don't notice when your dog has road salt caked to its paws, it may even try to lick the mixture off, potentially leading to poisoning if the chemicals in the mixture are ingested. Therefore, it is important to take good care of your dog's paws during this time of the year.
First, rub down their paws with a wet washcloth after they have been playing in the snow. Soap and water is also helpful, especially if the salt has gotten caked on. Take your time to make sure you get off all of the salt.
Second, you can make a paw wax out of beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter. It's very easy to assemble this mixture, and it will keep their paws from getting chapped. It's also pet friendly, which means it's okay for your dog to ingest a bit.
Finally, you can put your pet in booties, small shoes or another type of winter wear to avoid any contact with these chemicals. Be safe this winter, and protect your puppy's paws from road salt. If you have any concerns, talk to your dog's veterinarian.