One of the biggest risks to healthy paw pads is the salt (deicer) used to melt ice on streets, sidewalks and driveways. Salt can cause your dog to get chemical burns on their paw pads which can result in a lot of irritation.
The signs of a dog having salt irritation on the paw pads are stopping in their tracks on a walk, starting to limp or chewing at their paws. It can be dangerous for your dog to chew at his paws because many deicers are toxic to dogs and can make them ill.
To help your dogs avoid getting chemical burns or becoming sick from ingesting salt, it is important to stay off of heavily salted sidewalks and roads. If you want to use salt on your driveway or sidewalk, there are dog-safe deicers that will not harm your dog. One way to keep your dog’s paw pads healthy is to have them wear dog boots. Many dogs take time to get used to wearing boots but once they do it can be a paw saver. Also, if you come back from a walk on a salted sidewalk it is a good idea to wipe down your dog’s paws with warm water.
Salt can be a danger to your dog, but if you take the right steps to keep your dog’s paws healthy they can still enjoy exercise during the winter.