Winter weather is hard on all of us – your pets included! Exposure to dry, cold air, freezing rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin at the very least. Winter walks can become dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather tragedies, your friends in the One Upland leasing office have compiled the following tips from our favorite pet experts, including Elizabeth at Doggy Dates!
Humidity is Your Friend
Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin – for you and your pet! Try these ideas from Apartment Therapy to keep the air in your apartment humidified. Be sure to towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes and remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
Keep Your Coat On
No need for a trip to the mall… your pet has a natural coat designed to keep him cozy! Never shave your dog’s down to the skin in winter. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, go ahead and splurge on a cute coat or sweater with a high collar.
If You Like Long Walks on the Beach…
You don’t have to wait for Spring to get your routine back. Be sure to bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
Say No to Baths!
Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
Try a Foot Massage
Massaging Vaseline into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation.
Embrace That Holiday Weight Gain
Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.