Salt is great for traction but terrible for your dog’s paws!
You might have seen the damage salt can do to your dog’s feet already – red and angry, cracked, blistering – none of it pleasant! Or this may be news to you and you’ve never noticed a problem in the past. Either way, you can probably imagine the unpleasantness of walking barefoot for any period of time over sharp grit mixed with various chemicals used to melt snow. Then image your dog is later licking these chemicals off their paws! With your favourite pooch’s interest at heart, I’ve listed three ways you can protect against or reverse salt damage around your dog’s toe beans.
1. Basic protection – Rinse your dog’s paws thoroughly after every walk.
It’s really the very least you can do. If you’re out for longer walks, it may be worth carrying a bottle of water and rinsing your your dogs feet after particularly salty sections of ground. While you’re whiling away down there, you can also monitor the condition of the paws. Signs of irritation include redness and/or blistering around the skin of the feet and dry/cracked padding. If your dog is showing signs of severe irritation, it’s worth looking further into points 2 and 3.
2. More protection – Apply balm to your dog’s paws before a walk.
There are several paw-protecting balms on the market. The benefit of these is that they prevent against further drying and cracking as well as helping to soothe and heal the damage already done. If your dog has longer hair, it may require some basic preparation (“trimming”) to ensure the balm can work its magic. Even with the balm, it is still worth rinsing your dogs feet when you return home if for no other reasons that to ensure your pet doesn’t lick all the chemicals off their feet (which can lead to oral ulcers).
3. Ultimate protection – Buy some booties!
Yes, yes, I know what you might be thinking. Probably the same thought process I initially had – “NO WAY am I making my dog wear SHOES!” and then, after finally yielding to the idea, “This is impossible – he keeps kicking them off!”. Well, if you don’t have the latter struggle as I very much did (cue me hunting for four little booties in powder snow while my dog bounds gleefully away), I have found a neat solution. There exist some rubber booties on the market by Pawz, which I have found are comfortable and impossible to be donkey-bucked off. They’re admittedly a little hard to get over the foot, but the initial battle is well worth the (note: reusable) protection they offer.
If you have any paw-protecting methods to share, please comment below!
Disclaimer: I was not paid or asked to endorse any products/brands mentioned in this article.
Author: Stephanie Thomas