Wintertime can bring a host of new challenges for our furry friends, including itchy, dry paws. If you’ve noticed your dog scratching, biting or licking their paws more frequently during the colder months, it’s important to understand why this might be happening and what you can do to help.
It’s difficult to avoid these months but the cold weather can dry out your pet’s skin, leading to itching, flaking and sometimes even cracking. Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors are more likely to experience rough and dry skin on the paw pads because the harsh weather decreases the moisture in your pet’s paws, leaving them feeling sore and irritated. If it gets extremely cold, you might want to avoid excessive amounts of time outside. You should also trim the fur around your dog’s paws to prevent ice and snow from irritating the skin or making it difficult for your pet to walk.
You may consider investing in some soothing, hydrating skin care if you can tell your pet is struggling. Our Dog Gel especially is suitable for the sensitive paw pads, as it’s just so gentle and easy to apply. It’s perfectly safe if your dog accidentally ingests the Gel by licking, however, we do recommend trying to distract your pet for a few minutes after applying, to give the product some time to sink in and start working its magic.
Salt and de-icers
During the winter, many sidewalks and roads are treated with salt or de-icers to help melt snow and ice. These substances can be extremely harsh on your pet’s paws, causing skin irritation and dryness. On top of that, anti-freeze can be very dangerous when ingested by pets – so contact your vet immediately if you suspect this has happened.
Preventative measures to protect your dog’s paws include investing in some outdoor boots (though it may take some time for them to get used to) and trying to walk on the soft grass where salts and de-icers are less likely to be used. It is also important to wash your pet’s paws after you have been outside. You can use a special tool such as a Mudbuster along with some of our gentle Shampoo to wash any irritants away, but a soft cloth with some lukewarm water will also do the trick. Remember to apply some Gel afterwards to soothe and moisturise.
Other environmental factors
It’s not just your pet’s paw pads that could be causing trouble in winter – there are a number of environmental factors that could be causing dryness and irritation further up their legs. The central heating that many of us use during the winter can for instance make the air much drier, making it more difficult for the skin to retain its natural moisture. There are also environmental allergies that can be worse in winter, such as dust mite allergies – this is because we generally don’t open our windows as much. Keep an eye out for excessive biting or licking of the paws, and use our Dog Spray where necessary to stop the itchiness and cool the skin. The liquid of the Spray is so fine that it will sink in super quickly, and it feeds the skin healthy nutrients to make it stronger and more able to fend off flare ups in the future.
In conclusion, itchy, dry paws can be a common problem for pets during the winter. By understanding the reasons behind it and taking a few simple steps to help, you can keep your furry friend happy and comfortable throughout the colder months. Hopefully, these tips have been of help, and you can help your pet beat the itchiness that comes with the cold.
PS: if you’re keen to try both our Gel and our Spray (remember, they work best together)!