Hundepfoten im Winter: Tipps für gesunde Pfoten bei Salz und Streusplitter

Dog paws in winter: Tips for healthy paws in salt and splinters

This blog contains product recommendations for @PetsDeli. With the discount code "Vitomalia" you get a 20% discount for new customers.

As soon as winter sets in and the first snow falls, the busy spreading of salt begins at the same time. On the one hand, salt and grit are necessary for safety on sidewalks and streets and at the same time it is painful for dogs' paws. Road salt and grit attack the dog's paws and, in the worst case, can lead to inflammation and snow gastritis. 

Snow gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining caused by excessive snow eating from unclean snow. Snow gastritis can also be caused by dirt, grit and road salt if the dog licks its paws after a walk. Special care should be taken with road salt with antifreeze because dogs find it particularly tasty, but the antifreeze contains toxic chemicals. 

The problem with the salt and splinters

Depending on where you live, it cannot be prevented that dogs run over grit paths. Due to its function, litter fragments have sharp edges and can lead to superficial injuries, i.e. tiny wounds or cracks on the paws. If road salt also gets into the wounds, the moisture that serves as protection is withdrawn. This dries out the dog's paws and burns. So "sprinkle salt in the wound" is painful in the truest sense of the word. The injuries get bigger and become infected, which in turn allows more salt and dirt to get into the wound. A painful vicious circle for your dog begins. Antifreeze is particularly dangerous for dogs. Some people also mix antifreeze into road salt to prevent ice. Not only is this bad for the environment, but life-threatening for your dog once he licks the antifreeze off his paws. 

For older dogs, dogs that are unsteady on their feet and dogs with joint problems, walking on safe and gravel paths is more comfortable because slipping on ice is uncomfortable and stressful. As always, pay attention to your dog and observe possible signs.

Signs of irritation on the paws:

  • quick raising of the paws
  • Humpeln
  • standing still
  • Licking the paws

Tips for healthy dog paws in winter

Healthy dog ​​paws are strong enough to walk barefoot in our Central European cold. As with us humans, dogs react sensitively to changes in room temperature and cold. The likelihood that the dog will suffer from cracked paws and develop dry, itchy skin increases in winter. With a few recommendations you can support your dog in winter to make walks pleasant for him.

Several small walks instead of long winter hikes

Although healthy dog ​​paws can generally deal well with the cold, it is still advisable to take several short walks with your dog instead of starting long and extensive winter hikes. The paws can regenerate better and get used to the temperatures.

If possible, choose walking paths that are little scattered

Depending on where you live, you have the option of choosing specific walking paths that have not been heavily strewn with salt or splinters. Forest paths and dirt roads are not strewn and are therefore recommended. This makes it easier for you and your dog to go for a walk and is a promising way to relieve the dog's paws in the long term. It is intensively spread on main traffic routes, on stairs and inclines.

Wipe paws with a damp, lukewarm cloth after each walk

To get the chemicals and salt off your dog's paws and to prevent your dog from licking the salt off his paws, you should clean his paws after the walk. You can prepare a bowl of lukewarm water and a damp cloth in your entrance area before the walk. After the walk, dip each paw in the bowl of water and clean your dog's paws with the damp cloth. 

Tip: A microfiber cloth in the entrance area, which you use to clean your paws after the walk, is a great tip for a clean dog apartment. In our blog to a clean dog household you learn more about it. 


Apply paw protection ointment before and after the walk

Well-groomed paws are healthy paws and healthy paws are strong enough to keep your dog safe through the winter. With well-groomed paws, walking over litter and salt is half the trouble for your dog because the pads don't crack and provide an adequate protective barrier. A rich paw protection ointment protects against the salt during the walk and cares for irritated areas after the walk. Paw wax before a walk in winter is particularly suitable. 

We use that @PetsDeli Paw Balm. With our discount code "Vitomalia" you get a 20% discount as a new customer.

Trim long fur between the toes to prevent clumps of ice from forming on the paws

Long fur around the pads and toes can encourage clumps of ice to form. The ice lumps will hurt your dog and allow the grit to stick to their paws longer. 

Dogs with problem paws should wear dog shoes

Dog shoes are very unpopular among dogs. Try many different variations until you find a suitable fit for your dog. Patiently get your dog used to the new accessory so that it doesn't get unnecessarily angry when you go for a walk.