How You Can Keep Your Dog Fresh On His Feet
When most people imagine winter months, they dream of trees dusted with fresh, white snow, blue skies, and a crisp breeze that leaves the face tingling. Our minds race at the thought of partaking in our favourite winter sports, sipping hot chocolate, and snuggling up to the fire. Everyone loves winter, even our dogs!
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Unfortunately, the colder weather also has its disadvantages, and often humans and canines alike find themselves suffering from the same issues – dry and damaged skin.
The majority of dogs will experience heightened sensitivity in their pads during the winter months. This is caused by harsh salts and deicing chemicals on the roads, sharp snow, and lack of moisture in the air. When exposed to these elements and weather changes, most dogs will suffer from dry and cracked pads.
Don’t fret! If your dog shows signs of discomfort, we’re here to help you clean, moisturize, and prove some pawesome remedies to keep your dog on its feet.
But first of all, before you do anything to your dog’s paws, you must know how to clean them.
What is the easiest way to clean a dog’s paws?
Cleaning your dog’s paws is an essential task for every dog owner. They will allow you to quickly review to see if there
have been any wounds, redness, inflammation, cracks, ticks or anything else stuck in between them. Checking and cleaning them regularly can save you expensive vet bills and prevent your canine’s health from getting worse.
While there are many ways to clean their paws, generally, the easiest and quickest method involves wipes, lukewarm water and soap. If your dog has been out on a walk and their paws are muddy, it’s best to use a showerhead applying lukewarm water to their paws. Alongside this, you should use soap to get the dirt out. You may wish to wash your dog’s paws in a bath or sink, depending on their size.
On the contrary, if your dog has not been on a walk and there’s not much dirt, you can always use a wet wipe. In this case, you can either use a baby wipe or a dog wipe, as long as they’re fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and natural. You may also wish to get one with Vitamin E as it has lots of benefits to their skin.
What if my dog is licking their paws?
Now you have an idea how to routinely clean your dog’s paws; what happens if you think they’re clean, but your dog is licking them a lot?
Well, in this case your dog might have a yeast infection. This is a common infection where fungus can overgrow between their paws and compromise their immune system. Typical signs of this is your dog licking or chewing their paws. Sometimes, the paws can be red, especially in between their toes and have a slight odour.
If you think this might be the case for your dog you can seek the help from a veterinarian to prescribe some medication. Likewise, there are holistic remedies you can use, like putting apple cider vinegar on your dogs paws.
Apple cider vinegar is a common solution within the dog community to soothe paws instantly. If you wish to do this, you should bathe them in two-part water and one part apple cider vinegar bath for around 5 minutes. Once they’re out of the bath, you can gently pat them dry with a towel.
If your dog does not have a yeast infection, it’s still good you put some measures in place.
Prevention is better than cure!
To help you with these, we’ve come up with a few ways on how to do so, which are:
Sock and Booties for paws
This is the easiest way to ensure that your pup’s paws do not become dried out or damaged. All you need is a simple sock or bootie to protect your dog’s paws from the harsh elements, especially in the winter season.
You’re spoilt for choice regarding dog booties in the pet industry, as there are many options based on quality and price.
However, if your dog lives an active lifestyle, investing in a high-quality bootie is a must! Think of this purchase as an investment towards your dog’s health. Though a pair of dog boots may cost similar to a human’s, they are equally as valuable.
When shopping for your dog’s boots, take the time to test multiple pairs. You will want to make sure that they are comfortable, durable, and will protect your dog’s entire paw.
Higher quality boots will even extend past the first ankle joint and cover a portion of your dog’s leg. This will prevent moisture from seeping in and properly secure the boot for your pup.
Your dog may need a few “test runs” before he’s comfortable with his bootie. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to keep trying until you find the perfect pair!
If you are on the market for a new dog bootie, we suggest checking out MuttLuks and Canine Equipment.
Be sure to wash any salt or sand from your dog’s paws and moisturize after each walk. This will help prevent his pads from drying out!
Soothing Damaged Paws
Despite your best efforts to protect your pup’s paws, it may still suffer from dryness or cracking. Fortunately, this is an easy ailment to remedy!
Using various natural ingredients, dog pads can be restored seemingly overnight, and the cost is much lower than a trip to your veterinarian. Welcome to the world of Paw Balm!
Paw Balm is a term used for a cream or ointment substance made from natural ingredients that can be used to soothe dry skin. Paw Balm may be used as a preventative measure during the hot or cold months, or it can be applied to damaged areas to restore moisture.
Many canine-centric companies have released a version of Paw Balm, but some pup parents choose to make their own at home.
Using a few simple ingredients, you can do the same – All you need is olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax!
Natural Doggy Paw Balm Recipe
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of shea butter
- 4 tsp of beeswax
*This recipe makes 6oz of Paw Balm
- Using a small pot – or double boiler – over low heat, melt all four ingredients
- Stir continuously until all ingredients are well blended
- Remove the mixture from heat, and pour into the desired container
- Let the mixture cool on the counter until it is a waxy consistency
Now you have your very own dog balm!
Apply Paw Balm to your dog’s pads before each walk and before bed at night. Paw Balm can also be used to protect your dog’s pads from extreme heat during the summer.
If you follow these simple tips, your dog is guaranteed to have a great winter! Be sure to check back for more advice on caring for your furry best friend.