Winter Paw Safety

Winter is here which means salt on the roads and sidewalks in the Newmarket/Aurora/Sharon and Holland Landing area.   LOTS of salt!  This is for our safety of course, to make sure our vehicles and feet don’t slip causing accidents.  However, it is very irritating to our pet’s paws.  Not only does the salt often have jagged edges which can get stuck in or between the pads of our pets feet, but the chemicals in the salt itself burn their pads and are toxic.  To add to the joy, if they lick the salt off their paws it could cause vomiting or diarrhea.   Well, that is a lot of good news isn’t it?

We know that in our climate there is no way to possibly avoid salt from November till March/April.  So here are some tips on how to help your pet stay safe around the winter salt.

1)      When you come in from a walk wash your pet’s paws with warm water and dry with a towel.  Or I love using unscented/alcohol free baby wipes, as they also tend to grab the salt and remove it well.  Make sure you get in-between the pads to ensure that chunks of salt and snow are removed.

2)      There are a variety of different Balms you can use to protect your pet’s paws.  We have used Bag Balm in the past (green tin).  This was meant to be used on Cow’s Udders to keep them soft, but also works as a good protective layer from salt.  You can easily purchase this from Amazon or I have found it often at the North York Farmers on Gorham in Newmarket.

3)      Make sure your dog’s feet are ready for winter.  If you have a long haired breed, trim the hair between and around the pads to stop “snowballs” from gathering.

4)      Keep your pet’s nails trimmed.  This will stop the paw from flaying, so that snow, ice and salt do not build up between the pads.

5)      Boots – oh I know, I see you rolling your eyes now and saying “Fido will NEVER wear boots” or more often “my dog is not going to be seen in boots”.  Well stay tuned in a day or two for tips on how to get the right type of boots for your pet and some tips and tricks on how to get your pet used to wearing them.



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