Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet, and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:
Keep your house warm and use a towel to dry your pet as soon as they come inside, paying special attention to feet and in-between the toes.
Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth.
Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
Don't give them too many baths. This gets rid of essential oils, which can give them dry, flaky skin.
Don't forget to put petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside. This can help protect from salt and chemical agents.
Feed your pet more during the winter. More food means more calories for staying warm.
Be sure to let them sleep somewhere warm in the house.
If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside.