Winters are rough on your Yorkie’s paws
Winter brings visions of snowmen, warm clothes and snuggling before a fire with your special pup. But the dry air, sleet, and snow can be especially hard on your Yorkie’s paws. Not only can pads become chapped and cracked, but the harsh salts and de-icing chemicals used to clear streets and sidewalks may play havoc with his feet. A few special steps for winter protection for your Yorkie’s paws.
Winter Protection Tip: Before Taking your Yorkie out:
Special grooming is important for happy winter feet. Carefully trim your Yorkie’s paw hair, keeping the hair between the paw pads short and even with the pads. This will keep ice balls from clinging to the hair between the toes and hurting the feet. Keep toenails trimmed to prevent long nails from splaying the paw and opening areas between the pads to ice accumulation. Then apply an even layer of a quality balm to your pup’s paw pads. The balm moisturizes the pads while protecting them from salt and chemicals. Bag Balm, Mushers, and Vaseline are some easily available ointments.
Winter Protection Tip: While you are Outside
During the winter months, cold air sinks towards the ground. This means the temperature at your pup’s walking level is actually colder than it is for you! So functional winter clothing is essential to keep your pet warm – and to prevent him from resisting outdoor visits. Sweaters that cover the torso and shoulders help retain body heat. And sock-like boots with Velcro straps keep paws dry and safe from irritating salt and toxic de-icers. Look for boots online or at local pet stores, choosing ones that hug the ankle without rotating. The boots should be snug enough to stay on but also not tight enough to constrict blood flow to the paws. Get your pup used to wearing her new boots by strapping them on indoors – when you give her lots of praise and compliments, she’ll love wearing them.
Although your Yorkie may love the snow, chewing or lapping at it may expose your pup to toxins. Steer clear of slush and melting puddles, especially near roadways, sidewalks and plowed snow piles.
Winter Protection Tip: After Returning Inside
Wash your pet’s paws and legs in the warm water and towel dry – this will prevent your Yorkie from licking off any chemicals clinging to his hair. Check his pads for cracks or redness between the toes. Massaging more balm into his paw pads helps his feet stay healthy and smooth. Keep your home humidified to prevent itchy dry skin for pet and owner alike; and just like humans, pets need plenty of water in the winter to keep bodies hydrated and skin moist.
Here are more tips on keeping your Yorkie your Yorkie healthy, happy and safe.