Snowy DogWell, we knew it was coming and it’s finally here: Winter, with a capital W. If your pup is anything like our Hazel, then snow is just about the best thing in the world. But winter presents challenges for pets, particularly dogs, and especially with the brutally low temperatures we experienced this week.

Salt and chemical deicers are dangerous for our four-legged friends (dogs and cats alike). Ingesting the salt (or chemical salt) can cause dehydration, vomiting and even death. Salt substances can irritate your pets paws, causing cracking and bleeding. Here are few things that can help prevent serious problems.

  • Be sure to keep all ice melts in a tightly sealed container.
  • Use pet-friendly ice-melt products.
  • Wash and dry your pet’s paws clean every time he or she comes back into the house. This will help prevent skin irritation from exposure to the chemicals themselves, and keep your cats and dogs from ingesting salt when licking their paws.
  • Clean ice balls from fur.

Click here for a list of Winter Skin and Paw Care Tips from the ASPCA.