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Protect your pet’s paws from ice-melting salt

(Source: Rajat Sharma, KTVT via CNN)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 4:53 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Protect your pet from seasonal salt damage! That’s the message from a local pet spa owner who says walking across ice-melting salt rocks can be unpleasant and even excruciating for dogs.

“It’s really important that pet owners help protect their pet’s paw pads in the wintertime,” says Lis De Souza, owner of both Serenity Pet Salon & Spas in Madison. “Ice, snow, dry air, and especially salt can be very hard on their paws.

Fortunately, there are options available for dog owners looking to protect their furry friend’s paws this winter.

De Souza suggests booties for dog paws. She says not only do they protect paws from the elements, they are also warm. However, some dogs aren’t keen on the idea of wearing shoes, so De Souza also suggests paw balm, or petroleum jelly, to help minimize skin damage.

Wipe your dog’s paws with a clean towel and then apply the balm to your dog’s paw pads before and after walking on snow and ice, De Souza says. She also says the wipe your dog’s paws off after walks, too, so your dog doesn’t lick off the residual salt from its paws as the salt used for melting snow and ice contains chemicals that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and nausea if ingested by your pet.

In addition to the above methods of keeping your dog’s paws healthy during the winter, De Souza also recommends the following:

  • Have the hair between your dog’s toes trimmed; you may want to consult a groomer.
  • Alter your usual path to stay clear of areas where salt is in abundance. Try a park or field covered in snow.
  • Use a dog-safe ice melter on your own sidewalks and driveway.
  • Use a doormat.
  • Prevent your dog from lapping puddles of melted snow or eating salt off the ground.

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