I always marvel at how robust our furry friends are but cold weather can and has really affected their paws. Not necessarily because it’s cold, but more because of the grit and ice we put on roads, walkways and pavements. In the same way as grass seeds in the spring and summer can get lodged between pads, grit can get stuck and cause rubs and sores. Salt can be dangerous if ingested through licking, potentially causing high blood pressure, thirst, sickness and lethargy. Convulsions and kidney damage are rare but still possible. In general, because our pets are barefoot, their paws suffer a lot of wear and tear.
As responsible and kind pet owners, we need to ensure their pads are hydrated, moisturised and the skin is kept supple. You will know if your pet is in discomfort because, well, you just will; you know them. If unsure it’s likely they will be limping or licking incessantly or perhaps favouring one paw or leg over another.
To guard against discomforts, use warm water to wash away any grit or residue and dry the area thoroughly. Then, apply a balm such as ‘BeSoft’ from the BeLoved range for pets to soothe and heal cracks or sores. BeSoft is packed full of goodness containing vitamin E and Manuka honey which will help heal wounds and discourage bacteria from building up. Before you go out, you could also apply balm which will act as a natural barrier, a semipermeable protective layer to grit and salt. Protect, prevent and heal, that’s our mantra.
In summary, those that spend a good deal of time outdoors in all seasons (most pet owners) will know how painful cuts and cracks to our fingers are when they are exposed to the cold and the elements, it’s the same for our pets of course. Regular use of paw balm will also protect against bacterial and fungal diseases so it’s an all round win win situation in terms of protection.