black and white dog wearing paw protectors on asphalt road

Seasonal Safety Tips for Dogs: Paw Protection, Hydration & More!

 

Do you love protecting your feet from extreme conditions like hot and cold and rough terrains? So does your dog! Paw protection for dogs prevents injuries, keeps their paws healthy, provides additional stability, and helps to keep them warm and comfy, among other benefits. 

And since a significant amount of a dog's 319 bones are located in the feet area, protecting these parts is essential for keeping your dog safe. In addition, paw protection products can help prevent or minimize damage caused by slipping on ice, snow, mud, etc.

Below we have compiled a list of the best seasonal safety tips and paw protection ideas for different conditions: winter, summer, and rough pavements. So let's go!

Paw Protection for Dogs in Winter

small dog wearing protective winter booties in the snow

Winter is one of those seasons that brings about many changes - from temperature to weather patterns. The most obvious one is that temperatures drop drastically. However, this also means that there will be less room for movement.

As such, it becomes imperative that you protect your dog's paws against the elements.

Here are a few ideas to keep your pup safe and healthy during such extreme conditions:
  • Provide Adequate Shelter

The first thing you should do is ensure you provide your dog with adequate shelter. If possible, try to find a place where they can stay dry and sheltered from windy conditions. For example, you can use an old blanket or tarp as extra padding under your dog's bed.

You can also consider using a heated mat or pad to keep your dog warm and comfortable while at home. These pads come in various sizes, so you can choose the right size depending on your dog.

  • Consider Foot Wax or Boots

If you plan to take your dog for routine walks during snowy or icy days, you may want to consider purchasing some booties or foot waxes. Booties are easy to slip into and remove, offering your dog more support than regular shoes. They are usually made of rubber or plastic and feature a non-skid bottom.

On the other hand, if you plan to walk your dog in muddy or slippery areas, you may want to invest in boots. Boots are designed specifically for walking through deep snow and mud, and hunters often use them.

  • Be Mindful of the Time the Dog is Out in Cold Weather Conditions

Cold weather poses a threat to your dog's health. It can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and even death. To avoid these things happening while still giving your pup playtime outside, ensure you don't leave them running around in the snow for long periods.

Instead, you want to keep an eye on the clock and give your dog enough time to rest after each outing. Also, you must monitor your dog closely when exposed to freezing temperatures. Make sure they wear proper footwear and clothing, and check their paws regularly.

Paw Protection for Dogs in Summer

close up of blue dog paw protector booties

Summer is another season that brings about many changes. And just like winter, it can pose a serious risk to your pet's paws. Below are some tips to keep your dog safe and protected during such hot and humid conditions:

  • Keep Your Pet Hydrated

Summer heat makes dogs thirsty. That's why keeping your dog hydrated throughout the day is crucial. If possible, you can add water to their food and/or feed them twice daily. In addition, if you have pool access, you can let your dog swim to cool off. Just be sure to stick around to supervise! 

  • Use Sunscreen Properly

Sunscreen is a must for pets in the summer. However, you need to be careful not to apply too much sunscreen because it could burn your dog's skin. Instead, only use a small amount on your dog's paws. But if you don't fancy sunscreen, you can moisturize your dog's feet with a water- or oil-based moisturizer. This helps prevent cracks, cuts, or peels on the paws. 

  • Avoid Excessive Heat

Your dog might enjoy playing in the backyard or going for a stroll down the street, but excessive heat can be dangerous. You should always pay close attention to your dog's body temperature and watch for signs of heatstroke. Immediately get your dog indoors and call your vet immediately if you notice excessive drooling, which is typically the first sign of canine heatstroke. 

  • Consider Paw Covers for Dogs

If your dog spends most of their time outdoors, you may want to purchase paw covers. These products are similar to booties, except they come in different colors and designs. Some of them are made out of neoprene material, which is waterproof and breathable. Others are made out of cotton and nylon. You can use them as protection against excessive heat and potential injuries. In addition, they help keep your dog's paws clean and dry, so you won't have to worry about dirt getting into their nails.

Paw Protection for Dogs in Hot Pavements and Terrains

Bernese Moutain Dog wearing colorful paw protector booties
In this last section, let's explore how to protect dog paws from hot pavement and dangerous terrains. Here are some tips to follow:
  • Stay on the Grass

If you must walk your dog when the sun is hot and blazing, you should do so in grassy areas. You can take your pup outside during the daytime, but avoid walking along paved roads or rough terrains. Asphalt absorbs more heat than grass does. So, by staying away from pavements, you'll reduce the chances of your dog suffering from heat stroke or burnt paw pads.

  • Wear Protective Shoes

You shouldn't let your dog run around barefoot in the scorching heat. Instead, wear protective shoes. You can pick ones that offer good traction, cushioning, and ventilation. The best option would be those made out of rubber or leather.

  • Use Paw Wax

Dog paw protection wax is another excellent tool to protect your pet's paws. It can effortlessly be smeared into your dog's paw pads to ensure maximum protection against hot surfaces and potentially harmful chemicals like road salts. If you don't have one now, you can apply vaseline instead; it works nearly as well. Just make sure to rub the product gently into your dog's paws.

  • Use Peel and Stick Pads

Peel and stick pads are valuable tools that you can use to protect dog paws from potential burns and injuries on hot pavement. They can also reduce the risk of your pup slipping and sliding on unstable surfaces. Plus, they're available in various sizes, shapes, and materials. For instance, you can choose from hard plastic, foam, and vinyl. You can also pick ones with different textures such as smooth, rough, and textured. And the best part is that they're 100% reusable!

Now You’re The Expert!

These are some of the best paw protection tips for dogs in all seasons and potentially dangerous terrains. Hopefully, these tips will help you better care for your furry friend's paws, so the two of you can live fully, play confidently, and of course, stay healthy.

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