Winter Health Tips For Your Dog

image: snowman

Top 10 Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips
from the

Whether you enjoy making snow angels with your pooch or brave the elements on walks together, jaunts into the cold outdoors can have serious health consequences. Chapped paws and dry, flaking skin are not the only discomforts pets face. Winter walks can become harmful excursions if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off bare paws.

Says Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Director of Medicine and author of Vet Confidential, “During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions, causing potential problems that range from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends' exposure to such agents.”

To help prevent wintertime dangers that threaten paw and skin health, please heed the following advice from our experts:

  • Wash and dry your pet’s feet after outdoor romps to remove ice, salt and chemicals from ice-melting agents—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

  • Take a towel with you on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws instead of waiting until you get home.

  • Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry. And booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical de-icers.

  • Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paw skin.

  • Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on a pet’s skin. (Don’t forget the hair between the toes!)

For more information, please read Cold Weather Safety Tips, and if you spot wounds or redness on your pet’s feet or skin, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

image: dog paw

More links:

Winter Exercise Guidelines from the ASPCA   (from the ASPCA web site)





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