- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Maybe a dumb question but... dogs & Canadian winters? Salt?

January 3rd, 2012, 06:57 PM
Okay, sorry, this may sound silly to many of you but I'm originally from Vancouver. This is my first winter here in Quebec and I've never seen -10C or more :eek: My dog loves the cold, he is a winter breed (Shiba Inu), but it seems like the salt on the road is hurting his feet! At least, I think that's the problem - because the cold doesn't seem to bother him at all in the backyard/snow/ice.

Do I buy booties for him? Where can I buy those? or is something else going on? My husband had to carry him home once he was in pain :cry: But on days where the salt truck hasn't been around, he's fine.

January 3rd, 2012, 07:32 PM
Hey shibamom -

Road salt can definitely make the pads of dogs feet raw and chapped. When I used to work at a pet store, we had a balm that you could buy to moisturize the pads and make them less irritated. My pups are little and wimpy, so the cold always gets to them before the salt, but I hate them licking it off their feet regardless - it's filled with chemicals and too much salt is bad for them anyways. Both of mine have boots. You can get them at pretty much any pet store, as far as I know. One of my dogs has the expensive "muttluks" and one has a cheaper brand. Honestly, the cheap kind work better. They're easier to get on. Plus, my littlest dog runs weird and flicks off her boots. The next time I get to the pet store, I'm going to try a disposable kind that looks like rubber balloons. They protect from the salt, but not really the cold. You get 12 in a pack and so it's not a big deal if you lose one. These run about $14, whereas the muttluks or other boots range from $30-$70.

That should be enough info! Sorry for rambling. Hahah.


Loki Love
January 3rd, 2012, 08:02 PM
Yup, salt is so hard on puppy's feet. We bought Loki muttluks (online) and have been very happy with them. We never tried anything else but I know there are lots of different brands/kinds available.

Welcome to Quebec - wait until we get the 'real' snow! So far it's only been a teaser :D

January 3rd, 2012, 08:18 PM
I live in Calgary and muttluks get my vote as well .... once you get the hang of it they are easy to put on ... Chum has no problem with them at all, now that he realizes he doesn't get those ucky snow balls between his toes either..just make sure to do them up tight enough, as I was afraid to do them up too tight at first and Chum sent them flying by the time we got to the end of the driveway! Oh and they do walk a little funny at first till they get used to them. :crazy:

January 3rd, 2012, 08:43 PM
we don't use booties or salve the only thing we do for our dogs is after their walks we wash their paws with a warm wet cloth and dry them, and they seem to be fine
they are both winter dogs

January 4th, 2012, 07:55 AM
we don't wear booties either, brina has such a coating of hair between her pads, I let it stay long for the winter and when we come in she usually wipes her feet, we try to stay off the roads and walk mostly on the bike path here and we have no sidewalks

January 5th, 2012, 03:03 AM
Actually that's a very good question and I'm glad you asked that because I've wondered the same myself about salt and the paws

January 5th, 2012, 08:08 PM
Leo can't stand booties so I'm washing his paws well after each walk; not just with a wascloth, I actually dip his paws in a small washbasin, then dry thoroughly

January 7th, 2012, 08:27 PM
It has been brutally cold recently and there were a few days in the last two weeks where many of the canine creed outrightly refused to venture out apart from "attending to business". As paw protection we have used 100% natural "invisible paws" in the past and just bought "Paw Protection"( a different version by DuSenza). Have also heard good things about the "Baloon boots" fit well and definitely cost efficient.

January 8th, 2012, 08:54 AM
I'm just going to chime in about the bootees. If you get them make sure they will not be slippery on the snow and ice. My friend has put some on all four of her dog's paws and the poor thing is losing her footing every time we go out. I'm afraid she will strain a ligament or tendon or muscle or something. Sometimes her feet slip out sideways from her body, not the direction a dog's legs are supposed to go.

Hers are smooth leather on the bottom. You try walking in hard packed snow with leather soled shoes on and you will know exactly what it's like for this poor dog.

January 8th, 2012, 02:14 PM
Another note of caution--make sure the balloon booties don't get eaten by a rambunctious pup. That stuff is the devil on the digestive tract. :eek:

January 10th, 2012, 08:53 AM
Thank you Longblades and Hazelrunpack for the warning on the balloon booties! Yet another person was praising them just today at the dog run. Knew about the choking hazard potential with all the stories of "party balloons" no longer being safe for children but was not aware of the potential for slip.

Floppy Dog
January 12th, 2012, 03:23 PM
My Cocker Spaniel has problems with salt so before we go out I use lanolin cream on her pads. It acts as a barrier without imparing her traction. The cream is actually meant for nursing mothers so it's ingestable and non-toxic. Any good pharmacy will have it, just ask at the counter.

January 13th, 2012, 07:42 PM
I am so grateful that you have posted this question. It is wonderful that you are concerned because YES your dog is definitely having pain and discomfort in the paws. Also, it is so dangerous because dogs will lick their paws and ingest those terrible poisonous chemicals. Please get your dog some booties. With regards to the other ideas - i.e. creams to apply to the paw pads - I personally do not like the idea of the dogs ingesting these creams, as some of them have diarrhea, as a result....... Thank you again - by your posting this question, hopefully more dog owners will realize, and care enough >>> to go and get their dogs some boots ASAP!

January 13th, 2012, 08:27 PM
Peewee has Muttluks! They are great. Peewee has tiny little feet, so it took me awhile to figure out a way to get them on easily and quickly as well as exactly how tight they have to be on to stay on.

Here's Peewee with his winter hoodie (he has 3 layers on!) and his Muttluks. He's good for -35C for about 10 minutes with this get up on. He has a homemade pook-like toque too because his ears get frostbite really quick. With the little ear pockets it stays on well. It's hard to be Mexican in Canada! ;)

January 13th, 2012, 09:02 PM
AWWWWWWWWW......PeeWee is absolutely the sweetest boy! I wish there were more dog owners, like you, who would take responsibility, and "winterize" their dogs!
And Hurray - you are so wonderful in your loving care.

January 18th, 2012, 01:10 PM
This thread really got me thinking. Todays time Newsfeed had an article on Dog Paws that claims that dogs have built in winterized protection for their paws. Worth reading though this does not apply to all conditions such as salt.

doggy lover
January 19th, 2012, 08:45 AM
Salt, snow and extreme cold have always bothered my dogs feet. I do put booties on Tucker when I walk him in the city due to the salt and if its really cold cause he will stand on three feet and try and hold different paws up that are cold or are hurting. Then at the cottage he has the problem of snow balls which collect in between his pads and hurt his feet. For this I keep the fur trimmed down between his toes which prevents the build up. I have tried booties up there but they seem to get lost in the snow as he is running. When he gets snow balls in his feet he lies on his back and waits for you to pull them out for him:D

January 19th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Smart Tucker! Letting you do the cold work of getting out those snowballs! :laughing: