The pads on a dog’s paws are basically fatty tissue wrapped up in a durable skin. That’s why it’s easier for a pup to walk around barefoot, so to speak. It is important to remember that just because their paws are tougher doesn’t mean they’re invincible in the extreme heat in the summer or winter’s cold bite.
Dogs with furrier/broader paws, like Bernese Mountain Dogs or Malamutes, are naturally designed to be in the snow. It’s like being born wearing snowshoes, but not all pups are that lucky. Leaner paws, like the ones that belong to smaller dogs or dogs built for speed are more susceptible to extreme temps. Typically these dogs also have shorter fur and may require a jacket or sweater as well, so why not give them a little help on those pads?
Let’s be real, the ratio of dogs who ‘like’ wearing booties vs the ones who toss them like a bad habit is not great. If they enjoyed wearing them winter wouldn’t be a problem. There are options for keeping your best friend happy and safe in the cold though. Musher’s Secret is a blend of organic waxes you can rub on your dog’s paw pads that helps protect them from extreme temps. There are other brands you can chose from, most of which are relatively cheap and can be found easily online or in local pet stores.
Another way to help is by wiping your dog’s paws once you return home from walks. Chemicals and other harmful ingredients are used in ice melt to treat sidewalks and streets. These can be picked up on paws and can hurt or worse be consumed. When your pet licks their paws these chemicals could be ingested. It’s best to keep a clean rag near the door and do a quick wipe off once your pet is home. Additionally, you can help yourself, and others, by using ice melt that is “pet safe” at your own home.
+ Colin Carlton,