Our four-legged friends surprised scientists from Yamazaki Gakuen University (Tokyo, Japan). According to the research results, it turned out that, due to the peculiarities of the circulatory system, dogs can run in the snow for a long time without risking frostbite on their paws.
In canine paws, the veins and arteries are so close (and so closely intertwined) that hot arterial blood warms the cooled venous blood even before it rises higher. Thanks to the continuous internal heat exchange, the temperature of the paws remain practically unchanged – despite the fact that the bare skin of the pads is in direct contact with the snow. This also slows down the development of general hypothermia in dogs.
However, this finding does not suggest that all domestic dogs can live outdoors in winter. After all, pets may have individual characteristics and diseases that impede blood circulation and reduce resistance to cold. In addition, the paws come in contact with all kinds of chemical reagents, which are generously sprinkled on the streets in winter. In the cold season, it is the dog’s paws that are most vulnerable. Therefore, it is worth paying special attention to protecting the pet’s paws.
What to do to Keep The Paws Healthy?
To make winter walks enjoyable for both you and your pet, prepare in advance. To keep your pet healthy, you just need to adhere to a few simple rules.
1. Walk Duration
Winter walks can and should be limited in time. The walking time will be different for each breed. Dogs of miniature breeds quickly freeze even in a special suit and shoes, so a small, light dog can be held in your arms for most of the walk. But large dogs with a thick coat of wool will be happy for long walks. Pay attention to the pet’s behavior – if your little friend stopped running and tries to sit or lie down, then it is tired and it’s time to go home.
Snow and ice are fraught with additional dangers: the dog can slip and dislocate its paw, get hurt by something, and not notice it. Salt and chemicals, which people in the city like to sprinkle on ice on the roads, are also bad for dogs’ paws – and the snow between the toes can rub the skin into the blood.
Therefore, you need to walk the dog in a safe place, away from roads sprinkled with reagents. If there is a forested area near your home, it is better to go there. In parks, fewer reagents are poured, and you can let your pet run on fresh snow outside of the cleared paths. Also in the parks, there may be special areas for walking dogs with exercise equipment. You can walk your dog in public gardens or on special dog grounds.
If you go to the countryside and these are long distances, it is certainly worth transporting your dog by car. Plus, if the interior is leather, as, for example, in luxury car rental in Dubai, you should take care of the safety of the interior with the help of special bedspreads.
3. Shoes for Dogs
To protect your pet’s paws from salt and reagents, buy special dog shoes from the pet store. It consists of small covers made of leather or synthetic rubberized materials that will protect the animal’s paws from damage. The shoes must be the right size and the dog must get used to walking in them. It is best to train your pet to use shoes from a puppy’s age.
4. Paw Care Products
In winter, the streets of the city are sprinkled with reagents or salt. Walking bare paws on chemicals can cause significant harm to a dog’s health. Reagents corrode the skin, causing the dog a lot of inconveniences: pain, inflammation, cracks. The dog’s desire to lick wounds leads to digestive problems because the chemicals are very harmful.
If there are no special shoes, before the walk, you need to treat the pet’s paws with a fat cream or special wax for the paws. This cream or wax will form a thin protective film on the pads that will prevent chemicals from entering your skin. If the cream is not on hand, lubricate the dog’s paws with petroleum jelly.
5. Proper Washing of Paws After a Walk
Before washing your pet’s paws after a walk, wipe the pads with a soft cloth. It is best to let the dog sit and dry for a while before washing. During this time, ice that could have formed on the wool between the pads will melt. Rinse your dog’s paws with lukewarm water. Excessively hot water can increase irritation from reagents. Be sure to check the space between your fingers and remove any salt and small stones. Dry your paws with a towel after washing.
6. Treatment of Wounds
Take a daily close inspection of your dog’s soles for cracks or inflammation. If the dog does get hurt while walking, treat the wounds. First, rinse your paws with room temperature water, remove the dirt between your toes, and then treat with an antiseptic and lubricate with a healing cream.
It is not possible to completely protect your pet from the harmful effects of the environment, but measures can be taken to help maintain the health of the pet. Therefore, caring for your dog’s paws in winter is very important.
Winter walks have their own characteristics, but they also have their own charm. So do not deprive your pet of the pleasure of running, lying in the fresh snow, and leaving traces of its amazingly arranged paws on it. Enjoy your walks and your pets!.