Winter walks bring a lot of pleasure to the owner and the dog, but the cold period is fraught with great danger to the pet. For comfortable movement of people, sidewalks are sprinkled with reagents or road salt, which is absolutely safe for humans, but critical for unprotected pads of animals. The problem is relevant for residents of large cities. For owners with the first snow, the question of how to protect the dog’s paws from reagents comes first.
The danger of reagents on the roads
The list of aggressive reagents used by public utilities is growing every year. They become more effective for fighting ice but more dangerous for animals. Constant contact of open pads with substances has unpleasant consequences:
- the simplest and most popular mixture is salt and sand. Although it does not sound intimidating, the granules penetrate between the fingers, prevent the dog from bringing the paw, scratch the pads, forming small cracks. The salt mixture acts on damaged skin, threatens with severe depression, pain, tissue inflammation, as well as the formation of open ulcers that are difficult to treat;
- other deicing chemicals (including chlorides of calcium, magnesium, sodium) eat into the skin, provoke allergies, penetrate into minor lesions, cracks, causing itching, unpleasant burning sensation, with prolonged contact – serious inflammatory processes.
During a walk, the owners try to avoid sprinkled sidewalks to avoid injury, but the effectiveness of the measure is low – with shoes, the compositions are carried outside the treated areas. The practice of sprinkling steps near apartment buildings is widespread, due to which harmful components are brought into the entrances to the apartments themselves. Dogs have a high susceptibility, they immediately react to contact with aggressive compounds – they begin to draw their legs, sit on the ground for a long time, limp, or whine. Prolonged ignoring of the problem and going outside if the pads are injured can lead to blood poisoning, as well as the death of the animal.
Reagent protection for dogs
Chemicals on the streets are a common problem, with hazardous automotive fluids (antifreeze, gasoline) added to deicing agents. To protect the animal and protect its paws, without depriving the joy of walking, in really several ways: mechanical protection from contact with the help of shoes, or applying protective drugs to the pads before each exit.
Waxes, gels, aerosols for paw protection
Before walking in the snow or slush, it is necessary to prepare the paws of the animal; apply a special product in the form of an ointment or spray. The range of such drugs is extensive:
- protective wax “Let’s go for a walk!”. Creates a dense waterproof film on the surface of the pads, which provides protection against the negative effects of gasoline, antifreeze, fuel oil, and road reagents. The composition prevents frostbite, reduces slipping on ice, has a caring effect, softens the skin. The product consists of mineral, animal, and vegetable fats with the addition of tea tree essential oil, available in 70-gram cans;
- dog protection for pillows from VetExpert in the form of a paste. Provides protection in cold and frost conditions, guarantees neutralization of the negative effects of salt. Tea tree oil, chamomile extract, panthenol, and nanosilver in the composition nourish the dog’s skin, relieve inflammation, accelerate the healing of injuries;
- balsam Frontline Pet Care Protection of dogs from reagents and salt. The product with walnut and sunflower oils is recommended for daily use to protect against aggressive substances. Creates a greasy film on the skin that protects from injuries and cuts on ice, sand or gravel, from the negative effects of hypothermia. Produced in a tube of 100 ml, made in France;
- protective gel Menforsan with aloe vera for dogs paws based on oily petroleum jelly. It is used as a measure to prevent injuries during winter walks, as a remedy for healing existing injuries, softening skin tissues, and accelerating recovery;
- Excel Paw Wax (made in the USA), available in 49-gram packs. The wax is designed to protect the animal while walking, prevents injury from contact of pads with snow, salt, hot sidewalks. Prevents skin moisture loss, reduces the risk of cracking;
- Pet Head with shea butter, olive, aloe, jojoba, oatmeal, and coconut. This natural product prevents cracking, relieves dryness, protects against mechanical and thermal effects. The oils in the composition provide nutrition, as well as rapid tissue repair;
- “Guyana” wax from Api-San. Contains beeswax, propolis, calendula extract, paraffin, lanolin, petroleum jelly. The animal hygiene product forms a protective film, preventing damage and slipping. The components additionally have anti-inflammatory, emollient, regenerating, antibacterial, and analgesic effects. Packaged in jars of 90 grams, manufacturer Russia;
- Trixie Spray for protecting dog paws from reagents with beeswax. The product can be used all year round to prevent skin damage by reagents, gravel, hot asphalt, sand, snow, or ice. Sold in a 50 ml spray bottle;
- Biafra Balsam is specially formulated to protect against road salt, as well as other anti-icing agents, damage to hard or hot surfaces. It is used for hunting breeds, it is recommended to process it daily one week before the first hunting trip.
The preparations are applied according to the same principle – on clean paws in an even layer over the surface of the pads. Upon returning home after a walk, the remains must be removed with water, paying special attention to the space between the fingers. You also need to thoroughly clean the coat.
Shoes for dogs
Comfortable shoes for dogs are a simple, practical way out of the situation. It is widely believed that the accessory is produced exclusively for decorative small breeds. In fact, footwear for protection from reagents and cold is made for all dogs, including large Labradors, shepherds, etc.
Shoes are not accepted by every pet at once, they are gradually taught to them, first putting them on at home for a few minutes, and then constantly increasing the wearing time. So that safety shoes do not damage the animal, they are selected taking into account the recommendations:
- right size. To determine, you need to put the pet’s paw on a sheet of paper and circle it with a pencil. The foot is measured in length and width, after which the data obtained is compared with the size table. Remember – when measuring the length, it is necessary to take into account and add about half a centimeter to the length of the claws;
- shoes should not be uncomfortable, strongly constrain movement;
- do not choose overly loose shoes – there is a high risk that the pet will twist its foot;
- the model needs to be changed if there is an obvious lameness in it;
- inside there are no rough seams and strongly protruding areas, they can rub;
- the shoe should be high enough, so it keeps better;
- preferred fasteners – strong Velcro (2-4 pieces) and zipper, firmly fixing the shoes;
- it is better to find a model with a grooved rubber anti-slip sole. An ordinary, smooth surface is not durable and “rides” on ice; the animal is often injured (twists its leg). An alternative is rubber socks with a textured bottom;
- from above, the material must be waterproof, otherwise salt and other reagents with snow will soak the shoes and still have a negative effect on the skin.
When wearing special safety shoes, you must regularly trim your nails, as they will not rub off on the asphalt and create discomfort when walking.
Processing paws after a walk
After a walk, it is important to follow a number of care recommendations to keep your pet safe:
- wash the dog’s paws from salt and dirt with warm water, and if the pet is undersized, then the tummy. Hot water cannot be used, due to the temperature difference, the skin is likely to crack;
- rubbing the paws with a towel without washing is not enough, this will allow the reagent to penetrate deeper into the skin;
- in no case should the animal be allowed to lick its lips before washing, the chemical compounds on the paws can cause poisoning;
- for processing, special shampoos are used to remove salt regents and street dirt:
- liquid soap Slipper with clove oil (to neutralize salts and repel insects on a walk) and a silicone component (fills in small cracks and damage);
- liquid soap Elite with extracts of medicinal plants. The product softens the skin, accelerates the processes of tissue regeneration when damaged;
- cream-soap Pchelodar with royal jelly (disinfects integuments, prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria, effectively removes dirt and deicing agents);
- pet shampoo Four paws for daily use with extracts of flowers and chamomile leaves;
- shampoo for Gulen pillows with calendula extract and propolis.
Liquid soap is applied to the moistened paw, foaming with light movements, then rubbed over the wool and pads, and then thoroughly washed off with warm water.
- after washing, the limbs are wiped with a dry towel, and must also be examined at least once a day. If there is damage, so they will be noticed and repaired in time;
- if a puppy lives in the house, then after visiting the street, shoes must be washed or hidden so that he does not lick harmful components from the shoes.