Published: 06 November 2021

As the weather becomes colder and the roads, paths and fields are often icy there are added hazards around that can cause harm or discomfort to your dog. We've some top tips for keeping your pooch warm and safe including a special focus on keeping paws healthy.

  • In the colder winter months there are many irritants around which may affect your pet's paws such as road salts, ice, snow, de-icer, to name but a few. These may cause your furry friend no end of issues if not cared for correctly so follow the advice below to keep paws healthy and in good condition.

  • Have a look at your dog’s paws after walks. Check and inspect their pads and in between toes. You are looking out for any sores or things that shouldn’t be there such as ice and debris.

  • Coming in out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes.

  • Take a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals. If you notice any lumps, soreness or cuts, bathe the area in warm water and give your vet a call if you have any concerns.

  • Keeping the fur trimmed around the paws can help to reduce irritation.

  • Use a paw protecting ointment. There are many on the market which you can apply before taking your pooch out in cold weather and ice.

Of course, paws aren't the only consideration. Keep these tips in mind too:

  • Cut down on baths. Washing too often in the winter months can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If you do need to bathe your dog choose a dog moisturising shampoo. You may also want to consider leaving your dog's fur longer through the winter months.

  • Be aware of chemicals that are around. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cosy dog (or cat) bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or worse.

  • In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold which can be fatal.

Want to make sure you're prepared for dealing with any ailments or injuries your dog might suffer? We run First Aid for Dogs courses in Sussex (including Brighton and Angmering near Worthing), online via Zoom and offer a self-paced online First Aid for Dogs course too. Learn how to prevent injuries and accidents, as well as how to deal with them should they occur on our comprehensive canine first aid course.

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