We were already able to enjoy some snow this winter and there is nothing more beautiful than a morning walk in the snow. Even for most of our four-legged friends, walks become even more interesting and attractive, as snow is great for jumping acrobatics, hunting and playing. But it is important to properly prepare the dog for winter conditions and, as much as possible, take care of his health. The inconveniences caused by snow, ice and other thawing products can be easily avoided.
PREVENTION BEFORE TREATMENT
This winter, we adhere to the rules of prevention before treatment and try with minor preventive measures to prevent unpleasant consequences on the paws of our pets such as ulcers, cracks and dry pads.
Therefore, it is recommended to protect the pads with a suitable ointment. Arava protective and nourishing ointment protects the pads from cracks and drying out and keeps them soft and healthy. The combination of different natural oils prevents skin dehydration, helps with tissue regeneration and nourishes the skin and coat. At the same time, it allows metabolites to leave the paw.
In addition, it makes sense to use the ointment due to the constant transition between warm indoor and cold and wet outdoor environment, which causes drying and cracking of the pad (similar happens to the skin of our hands in winter if we do not use gloves or hand cream).
Many owners also struggle with snowballs in the winter, which form between the toes of our dogs. I think everyone could confirm that this is a very unpleasant thing. It is the accumulation of snow between the toes, which melts due to the release of body heat and then freezes into ice crystals, which cause an unpleasant sensation. Therefore, in winter, when it is snowing, we often see puppies licking their paws on walks, as they try to remove the crystals that irritate them.
This often happens to dogs with longer hair between the toes, so it is recommended to cut the hair, because in addition to the current milder pain, snowballs also cause the pads to dry out. A protective ointment will also help us solve this problem, since it will reduce the forming of snowballs between the toes.
The paws should be washed and wiped after each walk, or you can just use Arava paws and body cleansing wipes. This way, you will not only keep your floor clean, but also make sure that dogs do not consume large amounts of salt or any other toxic de-icing products that could affect their kidneys or other organ systems by licking their paws.
WE ALMOST FORGOT THE CLAWS
A broken claw is not something you would want in winter (and neither in summer). These wear down on their own if dogs walk a lot on asphalt or sand (sometimes it may not happen so pay attention to the claws, even if you walk a lot on rough surfaces). However, for those who walk most of the time on grassy surfaces, it often happens that the claws are not enough worn down and they are too long. You can notice this by monitoring the movement of your dog around the apartment. If the creaking of claws is heard, it means they are too long. Proper claw length is also important for stabilizing the paw. Too long claws allow the snow to accumulate even more easily in the form of snowballs.
Claw trimming is a completely harmless task that is not necessarily stressful. It is important to teach the dog from an early age. We can always have Arava powder with us to stop the bleeding, and in this way, we can avoid long bleeding of the claw if we accidentally pinch it too high.
Inspect dog pads, toe areas, claws regularly, and pay attention to burns, cracks, blisters, swelling, discoloration of the pads, or split / damaged claws.
In this blog, we focused on the health of dog paws. However, in winter, pay attention to the general health of the dog (healthy coat, clean ears…) and proper hydration and nutrition.