Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Salty Paws

          Winter is just about here, and for those of us in the northern half of the U.S. that means snow and sometimes a lot of it. I love the snow, my dogs, especially Frankie, love the snow. It is a great time for all. we go out back and play. I toss snow balls and the lab tries to retrieve them, and the husky usually busies herself by trying to burrow into the snow. If its deep she will often times disappear in one area and pop up in another, it is an amazing thing to watch. When the snow falls it is not all fun however.

          Usually people will shovel their walks and then throw down a layer of salt to keep ice from forming. I can't say I blame them, salt is cheap and very effective, but salt can do very bad things to your dogs paws. It is very corrosive and can lead to infections, also if there is salt on their paws, dogs will often lick their paws till it is clean. That may seem like a good thing but it is not. After a few days of walking on salty side walks and liking their paws clean salt can start to build up in a dogs system, it can lead to low blood pressure, muscle weakness, cramping, and all kinds of stuff that is just down right nasty.

          Thankfully it is not to hard to keep all the bad things salty paws can cause from happening. It can be as simple as a damp cloth. If you walk your dog and it has been snowing, simply wipe your dogs paws thoroughly with a damp cloth. Some people will invest in little booties for their dogs. I tend to stick to the back yard or other snowy areas for my dogs. If there is snow, there is usually no salt. I will still wipe my dogs paws if I am coming from an area I am not sure of. Better safe than sorry.

          If you do come across an infection on the paws of your dog, don't hesitate to get them to the vet. Most likely they will need antibiotics to help fight off whatever infection there may be. Your vet will be able to provide the proper treatment for this. If you notice your dog having trouble sanding or sitting, or moving around, this may be a sign that they have ingested to much salt and you should get them to the vet immediately.

          Thanks for reading, I know this one was short, but I thought it important to write. A few minutes with a damp cloth wiping your dogs paws, after a good walk, can save a lot of pain for your dog. It will definitely keep your furry family members healthy and happy.

Nick C

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