Protect Your Pet During Winter

The strangest thing happened when I was walking Charlie last week during the snow storm.  Soon after we walked down the steps and onto the snow-covered sidewalk, he started limping.  He didn’t slip or twist his leg, and I didn’t see him step on anything, but about 10 seconds after he started limping he rolled over onto his back.  It was like slow motion…  He slowly rolled over, laid flat on his back, and stuck all four paws straight up into the air.

IMG_5378 I immediately picked him up, cradled him, and checked to see if there was anything visibly wrong with his leg/paw.  I didn’t notice anything so I put him back down and he began to walk normally again – hopping through the snow, sniffing around, and acting like nothing happened.

A few minutes later, when we were walking back to go inside, he started limping again…  And rolled over onto his back, sticking his paws straight up into the air.  Since he already “took care of business” I called it quits and carried him the rest of the way back to our apartment.  Once we were inside I unhooked his collar, unzipped his vest, dried him off, and he immediately went into play mode – running around the apartment, grabbing his toys, acting like nothing had happened.  It was so strange.

Protect Your Pet During Winter Later that afternoon I called the vet and shared what happened on Facebook.  Both the vet and my Facebook friends suggested similar potential reasons:

  • It was too cold
  • The salt was getting stuck between his paw pads
  • The salt was burning/irritating his paw pads
  • Ice/snow was getting stuck between his paw pads

And suggested the following options:

  • Buy a pair of booties
  • Apply Vaseline or Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protector to his paw pads
  • Carry him and plop him directly into the snow
  • Wash his feet after he’s outside

It could have been any or all of the reasons above, we’ll probably never know.  Ryan and I took Charlie to PetSmart later that night for a pair of booties.  After trying on at least four different pairs (and laughing hysterically at Charlie’s hopeless hobble) we decided against buying him a pair of booties.  Charlie may be a poodle and have his diva dog moments, but he’d rather be bootie-less.

IMG_5436 So, what are we doing?  What’s been working for us?  It’s not ideal and Charlie would rather walk, but we’re carrying him down the steps, avoiding the salted sidewalks, and plopping him directly into the snow.  When we get back inside with a damp paper towel and/or dip them directly into a bowl of lukewarm water.  We haven’t had any problems since, so this probably will be our snow day routine…  Unless Charlie let’s us buy him a pair of snow boots.

P.S.  We didn’t see Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protector at PetSmart, otherwise we probably would have bought it to try.  Those who use it say that it’s great.  I found it available for purchase on their website and Amazon.

Question:  How do you protect your pet during winter?

Question:  Does your dog wear snow boots?  Do you use Musher’s?

— Allison


Whatcha Think?

  1. Were you walking anywhere where the sidewalk had been salted? I know Atticus will start limping a little and biting at his paws if he steps on it – it can really bother their feet. Otherwise, his feet might just be sensitive to cold! I’ve been trying to find our pup some of those little boots, but I’ve been having trouble finding his size.

    • Yup, it happened whenever he walked on a sidewalk that was salted. We only could find a couple of pairs in Charlie’s size too – tiny paws need tiny booties!

  2. I don’t have a dog, so can’t answer your questions, but he’s so cute! :)

  3. That is an adorable picture! I have seen several funny videos of dogs walking around funny in those booties. My lab loves the snow and ice but our little cocker spaniel mix doesn’t like it as much.

  4. My dog absolutely hates the cold weather! Then again he is a Chihuahua, so I’m not surprised. We have a winter coat that he wears when it gets cold out. As far as walking in the snow? He’s not a fan but will tolerate. I’m not so sure he would tolerate booties! Found your blog on the SITS Sharefest!

Whatcha Think?