January 03, 2008

Winter Dog Care Tip #1

Paw care is essential during the winter months, even if your dog doesn't go outdoors much. Snow and ice can quickly become crusted between their toes and cause serious chapping or even frostbite. If you walk your dog on public sidewalks, salt and other chemicals can also harm them, and can be very dangerous if your dog licks their paws after coming inside. You should always clean your dog's paws and belly thoroughly when they come in from the snow to help avoid this.
You may also want to consider getting a pair of dog boots for maximum protection, or at least some dog paw balm to soothe any chapping.

Check your dog's extremities frequently for signs of frost bite. The skin will redden initially and may be painful, then will exhibit pale whitish or grayish color changes. Eventually the skin or foot pad surfaces will begin to slough off. If you notice these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately for help. First aid measures involve warming the affected area with warm water-soaked towels (not hot), but do NOT rub or massage the area or it may cause further damage. Other areas that are also commonly affected by frostbite include the ears, tail, and scrotum.

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