Does your dog head out on a winter adventure looking like a furry winter voyager and come back looking like Frosty the Snowdog?
Owners of long-haired dogs often contact us with their winter weather woes. One common problem is the snow that sticks to, and balls up on the fur surrounding a dog’s paws, legs and belly. Here are some tips for preventing and removing “snowballs” from dog fur.
· Trim the fur around and between the dog’s paws with scissors or shears to prevent large snowballs from forming.
· Trim dog’s toenails. Long toenails cause the dog’s toes to spread, giving snow more surface area to collect.
· Spray the paws and fur around the legs with cooking spray before an adventure. This will create a slick surface to help prevent snow from sticking to the fur.
· Mushers wax or Vaseline is another option to create a slick surface along the paw.
· Remove snow from areas frequented by your dog at your home (such as driveways and patios) with a pet-safe salt or de-icer.
· Treat paws immediately to avoid frostbite. If the potential for frostbite exists, remember to warm up the dog slowly by bringing them inside, wrapping them up and placing them in a warm area.
· Use a bowl of warm water and soak their feet in it. The warmth melts the snow from their feet, and will also remove any potentially hazardous de-icers on the paws.
· Follow up with a soothing paw balm to moisturize sore, cracked pads.
· Check in with your vet if you notice any problem areas on the pads.