How to Protect Dog Paws in Winter Against Frostbite and Other Harmful Substances

Frostbites are extremely painful and can develop on the paw pads of animals in extremely cold temperatures and on frozen surfaces. In addition, the sharp edges of snow and ice can puncture their sensitive paw skin, causing tiny yet excruciating wounds that make every stride a struggle. The risk of chemical burns and intoxication for your dog increases when you include the salt and hazardous chemicals that society pours onto its sidewalks and streets. You’ll find advice on how to protect dog paws in winter right here, so you can take full advantage of the season with your four-legged buddy.

What You Should Know

How to protect dog paws in winter?

  1. Examine their paws for any signs of cracking or bleeding after each walk.
  2. Scrub the paws with the washcloth, paying special attention to the pads and between the toes.
  3. Use boots to protect the paw of your dog.
  4. Always make sure you moisturize your dog’s paws.
  5. Apply a barrier against the chemicals used to melt the snow.

The harsh winter climate isn’t the only factor that might cause paw injury in dogs. Ice, chemical de-icers, and salts like calcium chloride or magnesium chloride may all wreak havoc on your dog’s paws in the winter. Drying, cracking, chemical burns, and frostbite are just some of the ways these irritants can damage paws. Keep reading to learn how to protect dog paws from salt in winter and other harm.

Does snow hurt dog paws?

Having snowballs up into their paw pads can be quite painful for your pet. Is snow too cold for dogs’ paws? The pads of a dog’s paws are made up of a thin layer of fat covered by a leathery covering. It’s not a very good defense against the snow and cold. Your pet’s paws are susceptible to discomfort and even frostbite when exposed to high temperatures. It’s not just the dry air of winter that may harm pet’s paws. There are plenty of additional hazards from which your pet needs protection for dog paws in winter. The ice, salt, and other chemicals used to melt the snow present serious dangers to dogs.

Ways to protect dog paws in winter

Dogs’ paws might get hurt if they have to walk on icy surfaces. Your loyal friend’s four paws require specific care over the winter to prevent uncomfortable issues from developing so you can both enjoy your walks.

After taking your dog for a walk in the snow or cold, especially if you live in an area where the sidewalks are salted, inspect and clean each paw pad. After ensuring nothing is stuck in their paws or irritating them, you may bring out the warm, moist washcloth. Scrub the paws with the washcloth, paying special attention to the pads and between the toes.

Boots are the best way to protect your dog’s paws

Paw butter can help with dry, chapped skin, and boots can prevent dog feet in snow from frostbite and chemical burns in the winter. The paws of every dog should be maintained, especially under harsh conditions. You can keep your dog dry and comfortable in wet conditions like rain, sleet, and snow if you choose boots with a waterproof or water-resistant outsole.

Dog boots are a great way to prevent your dog from getting frostbite on its paws. Sadly, not all dogs will willingly put them on. You may be able to provide them with some additional safety measures, though, if you are patient and persistent. New footwear for your dog should be roomy and made of a soft material.

Moisturize dog paws

To avoid painful cracking, drying, and peeling of your dog’s pads, it’s important to keep their paws moisturized. Cracked and dry dog paws can also be effectively treated using hydrating lotions and salves.

Make sure your dog’s paws are protected from the cold by applying paw balm before going outside. This will reduce the potential for dry skin and other problems caused by rock salt. To maintain the softness of your pet’s paws after a walk, be sure to reapply the balm after washing them when you get home.

In contrast to paw balm, which really softens the pad, paw wax only acts as a protective barrier between your dog’s sensitive skin and the outdoors. If you take your pet outside regularly in the winter, this wax will protect its paws well. It was originally designed for sled dogs to treat a dog paw in cold weather.

If you were wondering, “Can I put vaseline on my dog’s paws?” ― the answer is yes, but take caution while applying it. Extra consumption of this product has laxative effects. Regular use of the product increases the danger of diarrhea and vomiting in your dog since it is readily licked off the paws and swallowed. There are alternatives to vaseline that are safer for your dog. Several paw balms are available, including natural oils and butter that are hydrating, relaxing, and therapeutic for your pet’s paws.

Homemade dog paw balm recipe

In the colder months, you may get a variety of over-the-counter products designed to protect the paw. Check out this simple recipe to make a balm to protect dog paws in winter with home products!


  • 2 oz. (approx. 2 tbsp.) olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil;
  • 2 oz. (approx. 2 tbsp.) coconut oil;
  • 1 oz. (approx. 1 tbsp.) shea butter;
  • 4 tsp. beeswax.


  1. Melt the oils, shea butter, and beeswax in a small saucepan or double boiler over low heat. Keep stirring until everything is melted and combined.
  2. Carefully transfer the mixture into lip balm containers.
  3. Put them on the counter to cool and harden.
  4. Label and seal.
  5. Keep away from really hot environments.
  6. Apply within two years at the most.

How to protect dog paws from salt in winter?

When your dog licks his paws after a walk can contain hazardous compounds that can lead to skin irritation, infection, and even blistering. Putting boots on your dog’s paws is a smart idea if you live in a region where salt is frequently used to melt snow and ice.

What to put on dogs paws in winter? In addition to using booties, you may also use vaseline as a salt barrier by applying it to your pet’s paw pads before each walk. If your dog has long hair yet hates wearing booties, try trimming the fur between his or her toes and applying paw balm. If possible, steer clear of walking him on sidewalks and streets that have recently been treated with salts and chemicals. In the snow, you may have him stroll by you. After a walk in the park, owners should clean their dog’s paws with warm water to remove salt and pesticides.

FAQ About Protecting Dog Paws in Winter

Here are a few questions you may be wondering to find an answer to. Hopefully, it will be useful.

What can you put on dog paws to protect them in winter?

Try vaseline or a paw balm if your dog has trouble adjusting to boots. Before going for walks, apply the balm on your dog’s paws.

At what temperature do dogs need paw protection?

As the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, a dog’s paws get painfully chilly. Dogs with thin coats or smaller breeds should be brought indoors when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, they are at risk for hypothermia.

Are dog booties a good idea?

Dog boots can be a good option, providing a reliable barrier against the elements for dogs (if they’ll keep them on their feet!). They’re especially good for active dogs and older dogs.

Protect the Paws

Dog booties are the best way to limit contact with roadside chemicals and cold concrete. They come in physical and ‘invisible’ boots, wax-based substances applied directly to the paws. Applying petroleum jelly to paws will work as well.

Booties or not, make sure to regularly check your pet’s paws for cracks, redness, or other signs of irritation.

A lot of balms protect paws from ice, salt, and other wintery walking hazards. Apply a thin layer of balm before your walk and when you get home, de-ice and clean your dog’s paws with a warm washcloth. One more coat of balm to moisturize and prevent irritation after the walk, and your dog’s paws will probably feel healthy.

Have any tips for keeping your dog’s paws toasty and healthy? Leave them in the comments below!

Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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