Let’s be honest folks, Chicago winters are hard for everyone. If you’re not developing frost bite while waiting for the CTA in the frigid cold, then you’re probably in the middle of a gymnastic-like performance while attempting to remove all the snow and ice off your car. When it’s a battle between man and the Chicago winter, man never seems to come out on top.
Unfortunately, we’re not the only one ones that have to suffer a few months out of the year. Our four legged friends have a hard time in the winter as well. Their tiny paws have to endure a lot of torture during those daily walks. It is definitely time to put ourselves in their shoes (pun intended) and care for their little “feet” as much as we care for ours.
Here are three simple steps any dog owner can take in ensuring that your dog’s paws are taken care of during the city’s harshest season:
Trim the fur between your dog’s paws
If your dog has long fur between the paws, it is important to trim it often so that it stays short. While walking your dog outside, salt or snow can accumulate in the fur and form small balls of ice, which can hurt your dog’s paws. Be conscious of where you walk your dog and also make sure the area is clear of pebbles or other things that may be uncomfortable for your dog to walk on.
Coat paws with light film of oil based substance
Many owners found it helpful to spray a light coat of an oil based substance on their dog’s paws before taking them out on walks. Of course, you have to use something that is safe for the dog since they like to lick their paws, so light cooking spray often works well. There are also special commercial products such as PawPro, Musher’s Secret, or Paw De-icer, which are available for purchase online or in most pet stores. While this alternative works well in ensuring that salt or ice doesn’t stick to your dog’s paws, we still recommend that you always wash your dog’s paws when returning home from their daily walk.
A more conventional option is to purchase dog booties for your pet. As I’m sure many dog owners know, there are many options to choose from. The Velcro strap booties seem to always be a good option since owners claim that they stay better on the dog’s paws, but of course, just like you would for your shoes, shop around and choose the best option for your individual pet. Some great sites to browse through are SassyPup or HandsNPaws.
We hope you find these simple tips helpful this winter. At PPM we love our four legged residents just as much as our 2 legged ones, so return to our blog in the future for more pet-friendly posts and tips.