How To Protect Dog’s Paws In The Winter

Are you wondering how to protect your dog’s paws in the winter? or if you should be protecting them at all?

I’m thinking you probably are or else you wouldn’t have found this post. Right?

How to Protect your dogs paws in the winter holding your dog paw up.
How To Protect Your Dog’s Paws In The Winter

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Ok let’s get into it:

The answer is YES you should.

As dog owners – we all should know how to protect our dog’s paws in the winter.

I know and understand that most of our dogs aren’t out in the cold climates for a considerable amount of times like Togo; the sled dog was (by the way that is a must-see movie on the new Disney plus channel be sure to check it out).

But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take steps to care for our dog’s paws in the winter months.

So, in this post, I’ll go over how to care for them and also show you ways to protect your dog’s paws as well.

This way, you know what to do before you head out on your next walk outside in the cold weather or that last falling snow.

But first:

I think it would make sense to go over some facts about a dog’s paws – so you will have a better understanding of them.

This way, it will be apparent to you why we should be protecting our dog’s paws in the first place.

Interesting Facts about Dogs Paws:

  • While walking, a dog’s paw pad act’s as a cushion for them.
  • There are different parts to a dog’s pad – The three main parts are; digital pads, the four pads located under the toes, the Metacarpal pad, which is the large pad, and the carpal pad that’s the tiny pad near the wrist. Plus, you have the claw and also the declaw.
  • The paws have a lot of fatty tissue, so, in turn, will keep them warm in the cold and snow.
  • With cold temperatures, the arteries in your dog’s pads circulate the cold back to the body to warm up. 
  • The pads can get irritated, dried out, and cracked from the different chemicals put on the ground. One example would be from the ice melt we put down during the winter. (Note: Always use a Pet Safe Ice Melt)
  • In the summer months, it’s the opposite since they have all that fatty tissue; it makes it easy for them to feel the heat when they’re walking out on hot surfaces, so be very careful that your dog’s paws don’t get burned.
  • Dogs sweat through their paws so sometimes they can develop a smell known as “Frito Feet” It caused by a mixture of bacteria and moisture.
  • Dogs that spend more time outside have rougher and thicker pads on their paws, and dogs who spend more time inside tend to have softer thinner paw pads.
  • Some breeds of dogs have webbed paws, and these breeds make excellent swimmers.
  • Dogs carry most of their weight on their toes, while humans carry it through their heels.

 [Tweet ” Dog paws have a lot of fatty tissue, so, in turn, will keep the paws warm in the cold and snow. “]

How to Care for Your Dog’s Paws in The Winter:

What’s the bottom line?

So – from reading the facts above, you can see that their paws can handle the cold weather climates.

But, the cold winter weather can cause their paws to get dried out and cracked from the cold elements and harsh chemicals used on outdoor surfaces.

That’s why we still need to care for them.

When I had my first dog years ago, I only thought about if they felt cold from the temperature outside.

Not about how the cold temperature could affect the paw pads itself, and I certainly never thought about all the hazards of the outdoor surfaces.

Over the years, I have educated myself. And I learned that all the information had shown me that by taking some simple steps.

I would be protecting my dog from the cold weather – the right way. 

Now you too – can take these steps.

dog's paws showing walking on ice
Dog walking on thin ice.

Here are some steps you can take to care for your dog’s paws to keep them clean and healthy:

1. Keep nails trimmed, so they have a good grip when out walking in winter.

2. Trim fur between pads to keep hair from getting matted from water turning to ice. (Note: not all breeds will have fur in between pads)

3. Wash your dog’s paws with warm water and antibacterial soap when they come in from being outside.  Be sure to dry them off good to prevent extra moisture.

4. Use a safe and natural lubricate on paws to protect them from drying out and getting cracked. (Note: Dogs will lick anything you put on them, so please make sure it is free of harmful chemicals; that’s why I suggest going with a natural and safe product.)

5. And as mentioned above, use only a Pet Safe Ice Melt when needed. 

Pro Tip: If it is too cold outside (usually under 20 degrees), don’t take your dog outside. Just like for people, it could be dangerous to your dog’s health, and they could get frostbite. Take them out for a bathroom break and bring them right back in on those days. Find some fun indoor activities for them to do instead of their daily walk.

The Protection For Dog’s Paws In The Extreme Winter Weather:

So now you can see – that we do need to protect our dog’s paws in winter.

And only by taking the above action steps will help keep your pup’s paws in great shape during those chilly weather months.

Also, one of the most critical steps from above, I think you can take is by using a safe, natural lubricant on the paws – it will help protect and moisturize them against the cold elements.

Another route you can take is to buy booties for them. But honestly, most dogs don’t like to keep things on their feet, but it won’t hurt to try. Don’t you agree?  🙂 They come in many colors and sizes for all breeds.


Don't forget to care for your dog's paws this winter.
Don’t forget to care for your dog’s paws this winter

I hope you have found this post about how to protect your dog’s paws in the winter to be helpful.

If you have any other steps you know of that I can add to the list. Please let me know in the comments.

Knowledge is power.

It’s so crucial as dog parents that we take all the necessary steps in caring for our dogs so they can live a long healthy life.

Until next time,

Have a pawsome day

One thought on “How To Protect Dog’s Paws In The Winter

  1. Our dog is between grooming appointments right now and the hair between her paws is just a bit longer than normal – as a result extra dirt and debris is getting trapped in her paws and we’re having to wash her paws more than normal. Thank you for the tips!! We will need to go get her some type of dog-friendly paw cream so her paws don’t dry out!

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