I Got Those Dog Walking Winter Blues
While almost every dog hates the rain, almost every dog LOVES the snow! And almost every New Yorker loves complaining about how "this is the worst (winter/summer/subway ride) yet." We're wishing for summer in the winter and vice versa, but the pups are just happy to be part of the team!
Just like we seem to lack hindsight in regards to seasons past, our furry friends don't really recall the last time they went out and blistered their feet on the salt, so it's up to us to lend a helping paw!
There's hardly a building in town that doesn't lay out front harsh chemical salts. It seems pretty common knowledge that these de-icers wreak havoc on the underside of cars, so it should come as no surprise that this corrosive also does a number on exposed skin!
Even so called "pet-friendly" products being advertised (often these are bright blue) should be approached with caution! While the mineral may not cause the same burning sensation as its white and brown cousins, it is still not considered safe by many. Ingested, even residually, the product can cause gastronomical upset leading to loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.
Some things you can do to help!
Use rubber or nylon dog boots! Companies such as Pawz make balloon-like boots to protect against the elements. Similarly, more durable waterproofed options exist. Some dogs will wear these no problem. Others, however, are more resistant, so...
Do your best to avoid salt in that case! I will, given no other route, walk in the street (usually against traffic). Oftentimes it is actively snowing when salt is laid fresh, so the roads are pretty quiet. This is obviously not always a safe option such as on avenues, so please use discretion. Snow banks on the edges of the sidewalks also make a good alternative. If Sophie does walk through some salt, I will immediately after walk her through some fresh snow.
After walks, no matter what, wipe paws clean! At the very least this will prevent the dreaded doggie-dust from getting in your bed, but it will also wipe any residual chemical salt from your dog's paws! Left in place, it can be licked and will lead to an upset stomach!