Winter paw protection

kristine-marieDeb D’Andrea, Nederland.  Now that colder weather has begun to set in, when hiking or just heading outside to ‘do their business,’ keep an eye on your pup to help ensure they don’t get cold or get frozen snowy paws.  If you see your dog doing the ‘hot foot’ dance; immediately lifting one and then the other foot in a rotating pattern, avoiding stepping on the ground, bring them inside immediately.  This behavior can also occur if they are on a hot surface, like black tarmac during the summer, except then their pads are burning.

A couple years ago before getting my Girls boots, it was about -15 and Tiki was in the middle of my snowy field doing the hot foot dance. I ran out and carried her into the house.  She was cold. After that I invested in winter boots for her.  Now she loves her boots and she knows they save her feet from the cold ground.  She even lost a boot in the yard one winter, picked it up and brought the boot inside for me to put back on her; then outside she went!

Bear and Sally don’t experience the same level of sensitivity to the cold, but they do get snowballs between their toes and in their fur.  For them I use a little sesame oil and lightly rub it between their toes and fur before they head out.  This helps keep the snowballs from forming, and Bear and Sally can last outside longer.  Sesame or coconut oil is fine for them to ingest, so when Bear and Sally return, they happily lick the oil off their paws. Of course, you don’t gob it on, a little dab will do.

For boots there are many different styles and price points; and it really depends upon what you’re planning on doing with your dog as to which is the best choice for your dog.  On the higher end there are the “Ruffwear Polar Trex” boots that are ideal for the extreme outside dog enthusiast.  These boots keep your pups feet warm, dry, provide great traction and are taller than most other boots.  There are “Muttluks” and “Pet Life” and “Fashion Pet Arctic Winter-proof” dog boots.  The choices are endless and vary widely in price and options. If you’re going to be in snowy, icy conditions, a boot should have traction otherwise you could end up with a very injured pup. And keeping nails trimmed helps ensure proper foot placement inside the boot.

When ordering boots for your pet, following the manufacturer sizing chart is essential for a comfortable fit.  The last thing you want is your pet’s toes to be pinched inside the boot or for the boot to fit sloppy causing foot pain.  The shoe fit is no different than finding that perfect shoe for you.  There are several places locally that sell dogs boots where you can bring your pup to get the perfect fit.  And of course, it can be comical to watch them become comfortable in their boots because it takes them a bit to become accustomed to having something on their feet. Plenty of funny YouTube videos have been uploaded of dogs wearing boots for the first time!

Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and visits your home or Vet to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order.  For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: info@4theluvofdogz.com.

Deb D'Andrea

Deb D’Andrea a columnist for The Mountain-Ear. She is the founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz which provides mobile Canine Massage, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services. Her home-made dog treats are sold at local stores, and 4TheLuvOfDogz K9Birthday Cakes are available direct. Deb Petz Nanny’s for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, etc. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email. Online: 4TheLuvOfDogz