This is shaping up to be one brutal winter with multiple snowfalls and bitterly cold days. In a pedestrian city like New York that means dressing to keep warm is your best line of defense on the streets. And for dog owners that means dressing your canine companion to offer protection from freezing temperatures and streets full of chemical deicers that can damage and irritate paw pads.
Pet safe deicers are an ideal solution but seldom are these the deicer of choice in most urban areas (something to add on to your building’s wish list if possible). The next step is barrier protection, which simply means putting something between paw pads and sidewalk. There are waxes formulated specifically for this purpose. In order for these waxes to be effective a thick enough layer needs to be applied. Booties are another option. To work with booties know that you have to acclimate your dog to them and make sure they are properly fitted and put on. Treats, treats and more treats are your best friend in getting your dog to accept even the idea of booties. Make it a gradual process offering treats just when the booties are in site and when you are trying them on. Never, ever force your pup into wearing booties or display negative emotion in putting them on. And remember that dew claw, be extra careful not to catch it when putting booties on (I place the dewclaw under my finger and slide the booties over my finger first to insure it does not catch). With a bit of patience and practice booties can be a set part of your dog’s winter wardrobe.
Want more on weatherproofing your city pooch? Read all about it.