When you're out for a hike in the winter, you throw on your jacket, hat, gloves, heck, even your long underwear! And of course, you never forget your warm winter boots.
So what about your dog? Should your pup have the same kind of protection for their paws? The answer will vary depending on where you live, your dog's breed, and their own preference.
The two main options to protect against the elements are balms and boots. Some dogs find boots uncomfortable and for some dogs, their paws are strong enough to be okay in most situations without boots. However, there are a number of situations where dog boots can come in handy.
Ice and Snow
You may not like it, but most dogs love the snow! Unfortunately, this leaves your dog's paws full of snow and ice which can be very uncomfortable. Make sure you clean and dry your dog's paws after every walk. This may be the best time to invest in some dog boots if your dog will wear them. Boots provide the most protection and the paws remain dry, eliminating the need to clean them up when you go back inside. The only downside to boots is the wrestling match that often occurs when you try to get them on your dog for the first time!
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Most dogs don't see too much rough terrain in their daily routine, but when you hit the trails for a weekend hike, you may run into something a little more gnarly. By using a paw balm before walks and bedtime, you're moisturize the paw which gives it the ability to stretch and flex over uneven surfaces. Using paw balm helps the paw do its job as a small shock absorber without breaking or cracking.
We humans love this stuff. We toss it around on sidewalks and roads like it's going out of style. It's great for melting ice and snow, but if it's not a dog-friendly brand (most of the time it will not be), then it can be harmful to your dog's paws. Salt can get stuck in your dog's feet, causing dryness and discomfort. This is another reason why it's very important to clean and dry your dog's feet after a walk. It's also another situation where boots or alternatively, our paw balm can come to the rescue.
Cold Dry Paws
Just like a warm pair of mittens, insulated dog booties can help keep your pup's paws warm. With cold weather, comes dry and chapped paws. Some dogs and breeds are better built for the cold, so like we always say, it's important to do what's right for your dog. If you've never tried dog booties, it might be worth testing them out and see if they work for your dog.
If you just can't get your dog to wear boots or your dog's paws are chapped and dry from the winter weather, use paw balm. This all-natural paw balm helps to repel salt, heal cracking, and nourish the skin.
See you on the trails!