Adventure is everything. For adventurous folks, winter can seem like a humdrum of limitations in a world full of possibilities. Being cooped up inside during the monotonous months of cold temps and swirling snowfalls is no good for humans or canines alike.
Similar to humans, our furry friends are not meant to hibernate inside. Dogs are descendants of ancient wolves, warm-blooded creatures synonymous with romping through snowy backdrops.
Social activity in the great outdoors is innate to your dog’s DNA. Nevertheless, not all domesticated doggos are suited to be exposed to the elements. Dogs need protective gear when they are exposed to the conditions this bitter season provides.
To aid in cold weather hazard prevention, here are a few top tips for protecting your dog’s paws during winter hikes.
Misconceptions About Paw Protection
Paw pads are remarkably designed appendages that enable your dog’s balance, also providing wonderful protection, traction, and stability. As layers of fatty tissue and tough skin, paw pads have the ability to insulate the inner foot from extreme temps. However, not all canine footpads are exactly alike.
Despite the fascinating study of their anatomy, certain dogs have more sensitive paws than others. The toughness of their footpads varies. Cold snow, ice, and salt are common hazards to pets during these days, but the terrain may affect your own pup’s paws differently. This is why dog trotters need special attention and monitoring during the winter.
Booties: Not Just Fashion Statements
A winter wardrobe initially seems like a chuckle-worthy idea, but dog boots are essential protective gear against the brutal winter elements. UGGs and beanies won't make the cut here. Booties serve a distinct purpose and keep your dog’s paws directly off the frigid surface.
Salt, ice balls, and sharp objects can be hidden underneath paws and cause pain and irritation. Remember to ensure a proper bootie fit and let your dog get used to the feel before heading out to a trail. Lingering exposure to ice, chemicals, or unsteady, rocky terrain can otherwise lead to cracked and bleeding paw pads.
Soothe and Rs, Waxes, and Balms
A dog might not often need to wear booties, but a thick wax or balm later is a must for paw protection. Having such resources on hand is one of the top tips for protecting your dog’s paws during winter hikes.
Paw creams are like human lotions and lip balms, meant to soothe and heal dry, cracked skin. Thoroughly rub some on your pup’s paws after cleaning and drying their feet.
With a little prep work, investment in good adventure dog gear, and special care after exposure, you can keep your dog happy and healthy in the great outdoors all year long. Here at Rocky Mountain Dog, we encourage people to be different, be wild, and join in the adventure that life freely gives. Browse our outdoor gear products today to plan your next adventure with your beloved canine companion.