Here in Maine, we are in the midst of winter. Which means cold, blustery weather and lots of snow. And oftentimes icy conditions. All potentially dangerous for my paws.
What is the weather like where you live? My mom has some friends who live in areas where the weather is cooler in the winter. But not snowy and cold like here.
My mom and I have wondered what it would be like to live in an area where there wasn’t snow and bitterly cold temps. We both think it sounds quite nice!
I think I would miss the snow!
Although we do enjoy the four distinct seasons we have here in Maine. But I’m sure we would like it better if the winters weren’t quite as snowy or long!
I walk on many different types of surfaces. Some are smooth while others are rough. Inside, the floors could be slippery or textured with carpeting. Outside it might be cold, icy, hot, or rainy.
Since I walk on a variety of surfaces, during all kinds of weather, my mom needs to monitor the condition of my paws. Especially in the winter.
I love playing in the snow with my sisters, Buffy and Roo!
So in our cold winter weather, what does my mom have to do to care for my paws? And keep me safe? A few things!
When we get storms, my mom and I try to not go out. But sometimes she has appointments that can’t be missed. So we have to venture out.
In our area, they use chemicals on the roads. And rock salt on the sidewalks and walkways. Especially near the entrances to stores, the hospital, and medical buildings.
The chemicals and rock salt can be very harmful to my paws. And also dangerous if I were to ingest some while licking my paws.
My favorite boots!
So if we go out during a storm, I most often will wear my boots. Especially if my mom knows we will be going places that are heavily treated with chemicals or rock salt.
But within a few days after a storm ends, the chemicals and rock salt somewhat disperse. So the parking lots, sidewalks, and walkways are a bit safer for me. Although we still need to take precautions.
For these times, my mom uses a product called Musher’s Secret. It is a protective wax that works well to keep the chemicals from irritating my paws.
This was originally developed for sled dogs to use during the winter. But over the years, it has become a year-round option for protecting various dogs’ paws. Not just sled dogs!
Before we leave home, my mom rubs the Musher’s Secret on the pads of my paws. She kind of massages my paws as she is applying the wax. Which feels good. But it sometimes tickles, too!
And just in case I need it reapplied while we are out, my mom always has a container of Musher’s Secret with us. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, she is always prepared for almost everything!
When we get home, my mom always wipes my paws with a fragrance-free wipe, similar to baby wipes. This gets off any chemical residue that may be on my paws.
This also gives her a chance to inspect my paws to make sure there aren’t any cuts or abrasions. Because if she missed an irritation that was present, it could quickly become a problem.
For me, the Musher’s Secret works well to protect my paws from the salt. But not so much when it is bitterly cold. So on these extra cold days, my mom has me wear the boots.
My fleece boots!
Usually not when I go out to potty. Since those times, I just rush out quickly and right back in. But occasionally, our temps are well below zero. So for these times, I wear some fleece boots that keep my paws warm.
My paws have always been quite sensitive when walking on rough surfaces. So my mom is using a cream to moisturize my paws. She gently rubs it onto the pads of my feet. And is pleased with how well it seems to be working.
As I’ve shared with you before, my mom uses a nail grinder to keep my nails short. And trims the fur on the underside of my paws. Although for some dogs, it is better to leave that fur longer in the winter to add more protection.
But my mom found that if it is left long on my paws, I slip too much when I put them up to reach the elevator buttons, automatic door buttons, and light switches. And I need to have good traction since I do these things often.
My mom takes good care of my paws!
If you ask me, I think my mom does a good job of protecting my paws. And making sure I am comfortable from the extreme temperatures. And safe from the effects of the rock salt and surface chemicals used for ice and snow.
I wear boots or use Musher’s Secret. And use moisturizing cream on my paws. My mom wipes my paws and inspects them after we get home from an outing. And she keeps my nails and paw fur well-trimmed.