Your four-legged friend needs special care once cold weather hits.

Updated December 23, 2020
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Little girl is playing with her dog in the snowy forest
Credit: praetorianphoto / Getty Images

No matter when winter rolls around, it's never too early to prepare for snowy conditions that can wear on the paws of our four-legged friends. "As loving pet owners, it's very important to beware of the dangers that snow and cold weather present to our pets' paws," says Martha. Salt, freezing temperatures, and dry skin can all contribute to discomfort and even some serious issues that might warrant a trip to the vet. Follow these simple tips to ensure your dog's paws stay healthy despite the cold weather.

Invest in Protective Footwear

The salt and ice-melting chemicals used to maintain city sidewalks can irritate the pads of your dog's feet. To help prevent salt burn from any salt-chemical concoction they might've stepped in during a walk, protect them with a pair of winter dog shoes, such as Pawz Dog Boots ($14, amazon.com). Like a sock, these boots should move with your dog, allowing full paw motion while protecting your dog's feet from the elements.

Use Pet-Friendly Products

Use a salt-free, non-toxic snow-melting product, like Safe Paw Ice Melter ($19.95, amazon.com), on your lawn and any concrete surfaces to remove snow and ice from your pet's path without spreading around dangerous chemicals, our founder recommends. "I use it on my stairs because my dogs go in and out—who knows how many times a day," she quips.

Pamper the Paws and Coat

To sooth your puppy's weather-worn paws, try applying a natural protective wax, like Musher's Secret ($32.99, amazon.com), it's important to give your furry friend a warm foot bath when you return home from a walk in cold weather. Simply fill a container with warm water, briefly dunk each paw, and dry off with a soft towel. If your dog's skin is starting to feel a bit dry, give them allover comfort with an itch-relief shampoo, like Martha Stewart for Pets Itch Relief Shampoo ($7.99, amazon.com).

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