Should I Be Concerned if a Dog's Paws Are Really Cold?

by Pamela Miller
    Monitor Max's time outdoors during cold weather.

    Monitor Max's time outdoors during cold weather.

    Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Frigid temperatures can leave your best buddy shivering -- and his paws may pay the price as well. It's important to keep a watchful eye on your dog while he goes outside during cold weather. Cold temperatures have the potential to be dangerous when your buddy is outside too long.

    Use Caution and Common Sense

    If your dog's cold paws are accompanied with shivering, anxiety or he is reluctant or sluggish at walking or moving, a visit to the vet is necessary. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reminds pet owners that if the weather outside feels to cold for you, it's also too cold for Max. Just because dogs are covered in a coat of fur doesn't mean they're winter-proof. Dog's paws can be sensitive to cold weather, so exercise caution when letting your dog outside during the cold months.

    Winter-Ready Paws

    There are a few helpful products on the market that may prevent your dog's precious paws from getting chapped or frostbitten. Balms for dogs are available at many veterinary clinics and pet supply stores. Before applying a balm, make sure that your dog's nails are clipped and hair in between the paw pads is trimmed. Trimming this hair helps to keep ice balls that can get stuck on paw pad hair at bay. Balm should be applied in a thin layer before your dog steps outside. Dog booties are another protective paw product and can be found online as well as in pet supply stores. Some dogs may not like the way booties feel at first and they may take some getting used to.

    Photo Credits

    • Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.

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