How to protect and treat your dogs feet from salt damage this winter

Wintertime is a great opportunity to get out and about with our dogs but it can also be harsh on their feet. When the roads and paths are blasted with salt which contains harsh sodium chloride, our dog’s feet become prone to irritation and damage.

The salt can draw the moisture from their feet and cause their pads to crack. Cracked and damaged paw pads can be extremely painful, especially when coming in contact with salt again. It is also possible that contact with salt can cause burns on the feet.

How can you prevent salt damage?

  • Whilst it may not always be possible to avoid areas where salt has been spread, opting for a woodland or grassy walk may be a better choice at this time of year. The less exposure to the salt the better. If a busy road or footpath is free from snow and ice on an icy day, it’s likely that salt will have been used. It’s a good idea to avoid these routes. 
  • If you live near busy roads where salt is likely to be spread, try switching some of your dogs walks to indoor mental stimulation on the icier days. Offering puzzles and enrichment toys can help tire them out without the need to go outside. Try something like a Dog Comet Treat Locker to keep them entertained. Shop here >>
  • Prolonged contact with salt can cause even more damage. It’s a good idea to wash your dog’s feet and legs with a damp cloth to remove the salt after their walk. This will also prevent them licking and ingesting the salt from their feet. It may also be a good idea to take a towel along on longer walks to frequently wipe the salt away.

How can you treat salt damage?

  • Cracked and damaged paws need to be re-hydrated with a good, natural moisturiser. It is very important not to use human moisturisers on our dog’s feet as they can contain harmful chemicals and even alcohol which can dry them out further. The Dog and I natural paw balm will moisturise and soothe damaged paws. It’s a good idea to use this before and after walks. Shop here >>
  • Colloidal silver can be used to treat and prevent wounds and repair damaged tissue. It can safely be applied directly to the affected area. It is conveniently available as a spray, which is perfect for dogs that aren’t so keen on their paws being touched. Shop here >>
  • If your dog’s injuries are severe and the damage is inhibiting their ability to walk, always take them to a vet.

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