Surviving the chills and ills of wintertime

Dogs still need to go out, even when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose. What about the salt and his paws? Is it nipping at toes? What if she licks the salt? Is the road or frozen yard too cold on his paws? Do not fret pet lovers!

Saving Grace Petcare has done the legwork for you (get it, leg work? Because we walk dogs, *wink*). Here’s the info you need to let Bebe enjoy her snowtrek safely.

Paw Care

You probably know that rock salt and ice melt products can irritate your dog’s paws. Try to avoid large accumulations of road salt, and wipe off or wash Fido’s paws as soon you get home.

If your dog’s feet look a little rough and dry, that’s normal! Just like us, our dogs get dry, cracked feet in winter. It’s time for Pet-i-cure day! Actually, it’s more like a few minutes.

Vaseline, the genius care product that it is, works just as well on your pup’s tootsies as your own. Take a small dab and rub it into their paws before the walk and after you’ve cleaned the paw post-walk.

If you have a few minutes to spare, check the fur length around your dog’s toes, and give her nails a trim. The hair catches and stores the salt irritating your pet, then your dog licks it off. When a dog’s nails are long, her toes are spread out exposing more of her paw to the chemicals. Again, your dog will be getting in there, trying to stop the iching. Not good, because…

Tricolored corgi standing in snow

Rock Salt and Antifreeze are TOXIC to Dogs

If your dog consumes a significant amount of salt, get to the vet. Just a lick while you’re walking along is no biggie, but a lot can cause vomiting, lethargy, convulsions, and kidney disease.

During this time of year, people use antifreeze on their vehicles, but it can drip into the puddles of melted ice. Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet, making it a dangerous temptation for your pooch. Consumption of even a small amount can cause drunken-like behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma, and even death. Get to the vet quickly if you suspect antifreeze poisoning, and try to keep your pup’s face out of the puddles.

Icy and Frozen Ground

We might need slippers and boots to survive winter, but Mother Nature gifted our best friends with temperature regulating feet. When warm blood arrives in their paws via the arteries, heat is transferred to the closely associated networks of veins inside the paw, warming up the blood before it goes back to the torso. Called a counter-current heat exchange system, arctic foxes, Antarctic penguins, and dolphins also use this strategy to keep their extremities warm without sacrificing core warmth.

Dogs’ heredities vary, affecting their hair length, height and personality. Paws, therefore, may vary among dogs. Keep in mind your dog’s size, breed, and familiarity with the cold.

When it comes to inclement weather, you know your pet, so consider their individual needs and abilities. When in doubt, take a shorter walk and spend more time drying off and playing inside. Winter can be fun with the right attitude and prep work!

More questions about your dog’s winter safety? We’ve got the answers.

Hate the cold? We’ll take your dog out for you! Contact Saving Grace Petcare today.

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