Taking Care of Your Pets Feet

Salt used for de-icing roads and sidewalks can dry out your dog’s pads leading to cracked, irritated sore feet. To prevent this, wash your dog’s toes and pads with warm water after walks to remove any salt residue and dry them thoroughly. You can also get boots to cover their feet, and help to keep them warm.

Keep the hair between your dog’s toes and pads clipped short, even with the bottom of the foot. When hair is left too long, snow sticks to it, forming ice balls that are uncomfortable and hard to remove. Long hair between the pads also reduces traction, making it easier for your dog to slip and hurt himself on the ice.

Good nail care is important, too. Nails that are too long also reduce traction. They force the dog to walk on the backs of his feet, splaying his toes. The greater the space between his toes, the more snow will pack up between them.