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How Snow And Ice Affect Pet Paws


Once the winter months begin and harsh weather conditions prevail, your pet’s paws are at risk of being exposed to dangerous hazards such as becoming chipped and cracked, causing extreme discomfort. Paws are meant to withstand tough surfaces and different temperatures, however, snow and ice can harm paws after continuous exposure. There are many environmentally friendly products available that can help to protect your pet’s paws safely from the harsh elements. Along with these products, there are ways to prepare your pet’s paws to face the cold including cleaning methods.

Prior to bringing your pet into the snow or ice, it is important to find the correct ice melter that will be safe for their paws to walk on. When searching for an ice melter, please choose only:

  1. environmentally friendly products, as these will be safe on plants and shrubs
  2. 100% salt-free-non-toxic, in case of ingestion
  3. anti-staining
  4. traction agents included to prevent slips

Several protective products may also consist of creams and waxes that may be applied directly to the paws. Some brands available are:

  • Pawmagik
  • Musher’s Secret
  • Paw Plunger
  • Nutri-Vet Pad Guard
  • EcoPure Healthy Paw
  • Canine Earth Awesome Apple Paw Balm

In addition to these protective products, it is best to utilize safe de-icers that are natural and salt-free, such as:

Safe Paw

For Safe Paw in particular, the product recommends spreading before precipitation for best results. It is important to read the labels of the de-icer products to discover any special instructions for use.

It will be helpful to follow the following methods prior to venturing into the snow or ice with your pet:

  • groom your pet’s paws thoroughly, remembering to clip the hair between toes
  • wipe paws with petroleum jelly to moisturize
  • apply layer of protective product such as cream or wax to paws
  • use de-icer such as SafePaw on sidewalks or asphalt
  • avoid allowing your pet to walk in areas that may have been exposed to anti-freeze
  • immediately wipe paws upon returning with a soft towel
  • clean your pet’s paws with warm water
  • wipe paws once again with a natural pet-friendly moisturizer

There are several ways to prepare and treat your pet’s paws in addition to applying protective products and choosing the correct ice melting products, as follows:

  • always clean paws between toes and dry thoroughly
  • wipe paws gently after returning from snow or ice
  • clip the hair between paw pads to avoid the amount of snow collecting between toes
  • place a bowl filled with warm water by your door to defrost and clean your pet’s paws after a walk

Benefits of protecting your pet’s paws against the snow and ice are plentiful:

  • smooth paws
  • more enjoyable walks for your pet
  • less exposure to ice balls forming on paws
  • de-icers prevent slips and falls on ice
  • no chipping or dry spots on paw pads
  • no irritation or discomfort from ice

This winter, consider purchasing a de-icer product along with protective creams or waxes, and follow the steps above to ensure you pet stays protected from the brutal winter snow. Winter conditions should not have to limit your pet’s time outdoors, and should not have to negatively affect your pet’s delicate paws. All it takes is a little preparation and research, then you and your pet will be ready to face the winter months comfortably!

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