Winter's dry, cold air and precipitation can cause dry and cracked paws and itchy, flaking skin. To help prevent cold weather from affecting your pet's health, be sure to keep your home humidified. You can also towel dry your pet as soon as they come inside, paying particular attention to his feet and in-between the toes.
- Remove any snow balls from between his footpads.
- Don't have their fur cut too short in winter. A longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, trim them to cut down on the clinging ice chunk and, sidewalk salt and don't neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, you can pick them up a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. If you must bathe your pup, try to use a moisturizing shampoo or rinse.
- Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect against sidewalk salt. Boots offer even more coverage and can prevent things from getting lodged between bare toes.
- Remember, if it's too cold for you, it's probably too chilly for your pet, so keep your animals inside. Pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured, or killed if left outdoors. In addition, don't leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.