So yesterday’s Snowmageddon turned everything you used to know as your backyard into one soft white playground for your dog. Of course, your four legged friend cannot wait to get out there and roll around the fresh snow for a while and maybe play a round or two of fetch the snowball.
That’s all fine and good, but when Fluffy comes back inside, you’ve got yourself an abominable snow-dog. Little frozen orbs of ice cling to your dog's fur which will not only create a wet mess in your house, but can make your pup pretty uncomfortable too. How much would you enjoy walking with little ice rocks under your feet?
Dogs that have longer fur tend to be much more susceptible to getting ice matted into their fur. And if you have ever tried yanking the ice balls out of the fur after the outdoor fun, you know how much your dog likes it. (Hint: your dog doesn’t like it!)
So, here are some tips to prepare your dog for snow BEFORE leaving the house:
- Keeping your dog’s toenails trimmed will help by allowing your dog to keep their toes closer together. Long, untrimmed nails will force the toes to spread apart, creating a perfect space for ice balls to get stuck.
- Applying a small amount of petroleum jelly around your dogs paws and in between the toes will help prevent any build up. There are some products out there specifically for this, but petroleum jelly will work just fine.
- While your dog is playing outside, stop every once in a while to brush them off as best as you can to prevent ice balls from forming.
- Of course, covering up your dog with a favorite four legged sweater or boots will be the most effective method of preventing ice.
- It’s always good to keep your dog well groomed, and this is one more reason to do so. Shorter fur is less susceptible to problems with ice.
Perhaps it’s the excitement of a snow day, but most of us are only human, and we will be dealing with the ice balls in an “uh-oh moment” just moments after coming inside.
Here’s What to Do AFTER the ice balls have formed.
- Soak those itty bitty puppy paws in a bowl of warm, not hot, water. Don’t make the water too hot as you don’t want to shock the paws after their romp around the winter wonderland. This method will melt the snow pretty quickly if Max isn’t too amped up.
- With the snow on the rest of your dog’s body, you can use a warm towel or a hair dryer on a low setting to melt off the ice.
- After removing the snow, those paws will be nice and dry. They need a high quality balm or coconut oil to bring some moisture and life back into the pads. If you’re not too familiar with how to use it, we posted a neat article on everything you need to know about coconut oil for dogs that should help.
So that’s it, now you know how to deal with snow and ice on your abominable snow dog, and you can enjoy the wonderful winter playground without having to bring home a yeti.