5 Ways to Protect Dog Paws in Winter Weather

By EPiQ Animal Health | January 13th, 2020

Humans get all sorts of fun accessories when cold weather hits: Hats, mittens, scarves, earmuffs, and sweaters come out while pets look on with envy. But just because our pets can’t ski (except for this guy) doesn’t mean they can’t après-ski. Wouldn’t they like to try some Nordic fashion? We think so.

So, what if we told you there are ways to protect dog paws this winter that keep your pet looking stylish and safe? Many commercial de-icers contain harsh chemicals, salts, and chlorides that can burn paws and cause considerable pain. Combine these harsh chemicals with snow, ice, and the freezing cold, and you’ve got a recipe for the most uncomfortable paws of all time. (Not to be confused with the most uncomfortable pause of all time.)

Here are five paw protector options to protect your dog’s paws in winter weather, keeping them as stylish, warm, and cozy as you can throughout the season.

1. Paw Wax

There are thick, moisturizing balms with a similar consistency to petroleum jelly that protect your pet’s paws from salt, ice, and de-icing chemicals. Apply a small amount; it will dry quickly, forming a protective barrier against cracks and abrasions. Many paw waxes also work well in hot summer months to shield sensitive paws from hot asphalt or sand.

2. Suspended Waterproof Leggings

While these don’t offer extreme warmth, they will keep your dog’s paws dry. Traditional booties can be clunky and tight around pets’ ankles, but because some specific leggings are held up by suspenders, allowing a looser fit around a dog’s legs. The relaxed fit helps dogs feel the ground beneath their paws and provides all-day comfort for a variety of winter excursions.

3. Pet Socks

Socks keep your pet’s toes toasty and allow them to go all in on the latest winter fashion. Some come with rubber-soled paw protectors, which are great for when it’s both cold and wet. Dense sock material keeps paws warm, while rubber soles repel water and provide traction on slippery surfaces (and help your pets avoid embarrassing situations). As a bonus, many brands are machine-washable, making cleanup a cinch. They also come in a wide variety of styles, allowing your furry friends to express themselves however they want.

4. Disposable Booties

Although they aren’t particularly durable, disposable dog booties are simple, light, affordable, and hassle-free. These protectors are made from natural rubber, so they aren’t your warmest option, but they will protect dog paws in the winter from de-icers that often get scattered on roads and sidewalks.

5. Dog Boots

These are about as close as a dog can get to human footwear (besides this guy). If you opt for heavy-duty boots with Velcro closures; dense rubber soles; and insulated, water resistant uppers, your dog will have peak traction in cold conditions while warming your dog’s paws and protecting them from the elements.

Most pets probably prefer to be barefoot, but the right paw protectors will help them stay safe, comfortable, and (of course) fashionable all winter.

Find more pet-care resources here.

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