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Winter Paws!
  • Well for those of us who live in colder winter climates I figured we would start a thread for good things to use, look for and help treat winter paws.

    Winter Paw Care
    Winter can be especially hard on a dog's paws. Unprotected from ice, snow, and slush, and bitter cold, their paws need special care in winter. By taking a little extra time to keep your dogs' paws well-groomed, you can minimize problems with cracked, sore pads, blisters and infections.

    The products used to clear the ice and snow that accompany cold winter weather can be a real hazard for dogs. Rock salt and most chemical de-icers can irritate a dog's paws and turn a winter walk into a painful ordeal. Stay away from heavily salted areas as much as possible when walking your dog.

    Please feel free to post tips for other owners looking for helpful information for winter paw care!
  • I'm not posting until after Halloween.
  • LOL, I know how you feel Jen...Im not looking forward to it either!
  • We lube up the pads with Musher's Secret paw wax. I also smear it between the pads so it covers the whole bottom of the foot, and covers the rims of the black pads. The skin and webbing between Reilly' toes is sensitive, so I think this helps. Lots of chipping ice off the steps- we have a jug off paw-safe deicer, but I scrape and chip as much as I can.

    Reilly wears booties- MuttLuks yellow boots. We had tried to solve this cheaply by buying cheap ("Extreme") booties, but the soles wore through quickly and the seams ripped. So if you buy booties for pavement, its worth buying good ones. A Bootie Tip: Sage Thief will sometimes swipe things from my studio if I am not finishing my work fast enough to play with him- He likes to chew the plastic rectangles off the boots- the things the strap goes through before it doubles back and velcroes down on itself. I have stockpiled these- purchased at strapworks.com to repair any future destruction...

    All booties must be on tightly- Rei will throw off a boot when she scrapes up after a pee if I dont cinch them up. I hate looking for lost booties in snowbanks at night. We had to wait for after melting one time to find a boot.

    oh the weather outside is frightful!
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Mushers Secret and Muttluks are great. This will be Ike's first winter trying on the Muttluks, Beebe still high steps like a gazelle when she wears them-she needs more practice walking in them.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • Thank you so much for this thread! This will be Ki's (and my) first winter in a place that actually has seasons and weather lol (moving from California to Colorado) so this is something I'm not familiar with and am so happy to learn about before it's a problem. *sneaks off into the shadows to continue lurking and gathering information*
  • KaddyKaddy
    Posts: 1248
    I'm actually planning to knit some little doggy booties out of fishermen's wool and sew a leather sole on the bottom... should be really easy actually.
  • starrystarry
    Posts: 187
    is it better to buy booties or put on that cream? what size do you guys buy for the booties?
  • Good luck getting booties on a shiba!
  • Most of them have a measuring guide so you can figure it out.

    Jen - some shibas will wear them...even socks.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • KaddyKaddy
    Posts: 1248
    I recently knitting a mini Christmas stocking for the Salvation Army Operation Childrens Stockings and of course the monster thought it was for her. I actually let her try it on, and (despite it being WAAAAAY too big for her cute little paw) it stayed on while she walked around for about 10 minutes til it slipped itself off!
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    The Ruffwear booties looked cool, but they flip right off. Get booties that go up the leg and that you can secure. Their feet aren't really the best for booties-the paw wax works well too.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Jazz will wear socks, LJ! None of the 6 I've lived with would tolerate for winter walking in them, though!
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    I can't wait to get her boots in! I believe she'll be very happy with the ones I've selected. I guess "Jazz will wear socks" should go in the Normal vs. Not Normal thread, huh?
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Thought I'd bump this thread up so anyone new to this forum can see it.

    Yesterday we had our first snow it snowed nicely then it stopped the pups didn't seem to notice it when they went out. lol

    We got Bella a nice warm jacket to wear for when it gets too cold and I plan to buy some booties for the pups too I know they will hate them, but hopefully they'll get used to them.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Sorry Double post.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2009-12-04 18:09:27
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    Umm... LJ - We need Jazz with boots pictures. (I had forgotten about that!)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • santuzzasantuzza
    Posts: 572
    I don't know if Tosca would tolerate booties, but I need to get some of that Musher's Secret stuff. Is it available in stores or is it an online thing? Tosca has a nice warm coat which she loves and it's about time to start using it.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Mylo was yelping and crying this morning and last night on our walks. I used vaseline last winter and it helped somewhat, but not completely. I think my parents are going to get him booties for Christmas this year. Muttlucks are the best? I know mylo is going to bite at them and try to pull them off, but I'm hoping he and I can work together to make it happen. Any tips for getting him to cooperate? he tends to be a wuss. Also, does anyone have a price range in Canadian dollars for Muttlucks?
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Oh, and is Musher's secret better than vaseline? How/why?
  • MUCH better than vaseline. Thick wax. Less slippery. Won't damage your rugs or floors. Safe for your dogs to lick. And works smashingly.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Iiiiinteresting. Ok, I'm sold... So I put it on before walks? or after? Could I do Mushers secret before walks, and then treat with vaseline after walks?

    I figured vaseline wouldn't be bad for him if he licked it off his paws... I mean i put it on my lips (but yes, I know that things that arent toxic to me, could be very bad for mylo). Is vaseline bad for dogs?
  • As a makeup artist and skin care expert by profession I have a lot of issues with Vaseline. The primary one being it is a lubricant not a moisturizer so it has no therapeutic properties (this applies to humans and animals). If you are looking for a great inexpensive lip balm, whole foods has a lot that work. I like the badger balm for a really effective inexpensive one.

    If you use the mushers secret you won't need to put anything on his paws after the walk. You may just want to take a damp cloth to them to remove and salt, so he doesn't lick that off.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    I was just on the Muttluks website.. do they last long? I feel like a rubber bottom boot would last longer than a leather bottom. They also don't look like they would stay on too well. Ah! lol

    (sorry... i'm going to be VERY active in this convo, because Mylo cries every walk, and i feel horrible. I've resorted to picking him up to cross busy/salted roads so he doesnt hurt his paws. He's not a fan)
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Oh! Thanks Jessica! I used vaseline because I didn't know better. I figured it would have reflecting properties so that the salt wouldn't soak into his paws. His pads did get softer from using the vaseline.
  • I bought booties for Piglet two years ago. She would NOT walk in them. Although they were worth the money just to watch her response to them..

    The softening one may experience when using a petroleum based product on skin is just the buffering effect. Meaning the skin is less inclined to get roughed up from the friction against the pavement. It is why even some higher end products still contain petroleum or petrolatum. Other companies have switched to dimethicone. Less complications. Safer for the body to absorb. Other companies use beeswax or fruit and vegetable waxes.dimethicone and the other waxes are much much better for us.
  • Rei wears Muttluks- the winter kind. The sole is leather and has not worn much (she is a 75 lb dog and a scraper- after she pees or sometimes just to mark.) this is her second or third season. but I only have her wear them on salty/sandy roads for the duration of her leash walk. She prances around funny when you first put them on, but you must just say Let's Go! and get walking, then she forgets about them. Its good if you keep the nails trimmed to not degrade the boots too much. I am happy with the sole's durability.

    For summer boot wear (Rei is very tough on her feet) I have RuffWear Griptrex, which have a rubber sole. Because they are heavier than muttluks, she finds these weirder. PLus her feet go clonk clonk clonk clonk. We havent worn them much, I am afraid to lose a $15 boot, so it was leash walks only, and I did not make it routine to wear them, so it always seems like a hassle. (file under Purchases I Probably Regret- but oh well._) They are a good product, its just too easy to not bother in the summer.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    o0o0o All very good information.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    By the way, I read somewhere that keeping the nails nice and trimmed helps, as does trimming the fur between the pads. Is this true?
  • Trimming the fur between the toes keeps that fur from icing up painfully.
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 3105
    I believe trimming the furs keeps the snow & ice from attaching to it on the bottom of the feet, but I could be wrong.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
    CSC_0144
  • Dogs I know such as spaniels, goldens, an irish setter, a long coat St bernard and curly guys like certain terriers, schnauzers, poodles and all doodles will get snow packed in between their pads forming iceballs on the fur between the toes, which hurts a lot. They try to bite the ice balls but the moisture from their mouth can harden them and make it worse. Neither Reilly nor Sage have that long silky fur and have never had that problem despite being barefoot on the same walks in the field and forest. I think its a fur type/length issue, and I suspect these northern type dogs have all weather fur and not a problem. Our pit mix-, hound mix- and labby-friends dont get them either.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    So, I shouldn't bother trimming between his pads? I find if we go on walks and he starts to whine and lift his paw, if i hold the paw, the pain goes away. Is it that my hand melts whatever is in there, or is it psychosomatic for mylo and he just likes the attention?
  • You would see the iceballs. They dont melt away easy. They are like mothballs, and tighten/pull hair. When the dogs get snowballs in their pads, they usually lie down and bite at their paws. Are his pads chapped, cracked, dry? Maybe the salt burns chapped pads? When the deck is hot in summer and Reilly wants to stand by the door and tell me she wants to go inside, she will whine and pick up alternating paws because the deck burns.

    This is our friend Fitz- she has snowballs all in her coat and between her toes. Check out her left rear toes- the snowballs are even on the TOP side of her toes, because she has feathery hair tufts there. We needed to all gather round and break up the snowballs on the bottoms of her feet and in her armpits and stuff. Not a snowdog.
    Photobucket

    Post edited by Wryly Brindle at 2009-12-09 22:00:19
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Omg. I cringed when I saw her paws! NOW I get what you mean. Poor girl. I think Mylo's paws are chapped. So I'm hoping/guessing that Musher's secret will help with that as well?
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Went to the store today. Got MUTTLUKS!!!!! He was NOT a fan at first, but as soon as I got him outside (the second time we had them on) he was fine! No crying, no nothing! He walked a little faster than usual, but other than that he was totally cool with it. I'm SOOOOO excited! Yay!!!!

    Now, if I could just train boyfriend on how to put them on properly, we should be fine. =0D


    Oh, and apparently everywhere in Canada (or at least Ottawa) has decided not to carry Musher's secret anymore. The story goes like this: although Musher's secret is manufactured in Canada, it's distributed by an American company, and therefore costs ridiculous amounts of money to ship to Canada. Logic? I'm not quite sure lol. But apparently people in the boutique shops around here have found a "comparable" product called Invisible Boots. It's said to be almost the exact same thing as Musher's Secret, except it's manufactured and distributed in Canada, and therefore much more affordable to us Northerners. Now, unfortunately this discovery has lead to a mass back-order on Invisible Boots, but my usual boutique is supposed to receive a bunch of them next Wednesday. And I'll be there buying it for $14.99 (Canadian). =0)
  • Good Job! All business- the boots go on and we're out the door, on to the next adventure! Isn't it funny to hear the swish swish swish of the boots? What color did you get?

    I have heard of invisible boot, but I haven't used it. Let us know!
  • Awesome so glad the footies are working for you Mylo!
    Snf

    Adding comment here from "Frost Bite" thread.

    ************

    I have noticed that each dog has a different fur growth rate around and between the toe pads. There are a few that have really really long fur at the pads although their coat is a normal Shiba coat. Also I think the shape of the foot and how the weight is distributed plays a factor in the icicle build up too. This is just from observation over time looking at different dogs. You will see what I call a larger sphinx or lion foot (wide round w-big knuckles), a hare foot (slim and slightly oblong) and regular cat paw (small and round) . Oddly enough it appears the hare/oblong paw seems to have the least problem in the snow if hairs are short.

    It seems dogs with the long toe fuzzy also have a tougher time when they age since they have more trouble keeping their feet under them as slide across the floor with less traction. Trimming of excess fuzz and use of wax (mushers wax) can help. We have used mushers wax and tacky wax. I also like burts bees products for the pads if they start getting tattered. However, if it smells good some dogs will lick at it, particularly if you have a dog that likes to eat soap (LOL). Oh I forgot to mention, keeping the nails trimmed short is a big help with traction and also preventing pockets where snow can build under.

    Snf
  • This thread is interesting. After trying booties (which Triton promptly WHIPPED off in the store, even when tied tightly), I have resorted to not walking him at all on the days that they salt my neighborhood. The salt hurts his feet and he cries, it's heartbreaking. One time I carried him all the way home for about 1/2 mile (and he is a beastly shiba, at 32 lbs). Instead we run with him in our fenced backyard until he is tired out. Today it snowed here (Upstate NY) and the plows hadn't come around yet, so he was the happiest doggie ever. Practically ran the entire way. And he also has a coat, which he wears when it's cold. The wax stuff may warrant a try.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Hey Lepercann (and everyone else), just a quick update on my experience:
    I never thought Mylo would ever wear the boots, but I swear something magical happens when you bring them outside. Mylo was a mess when I had them on in the house, but he was fine once we got him outside.

    I also bought Invisible Boot (the wax stuff), and it works very well, but Mylo's cold-tolerance on his feet is pretty low. So we only get to use the Invisible Boot when it's super mild out. It definitely protects from the salt though, so if Triton has a decent cold-tolerance, go with that.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    *Bump*

    Just thought I'd bump up this topic since people seem to be getting snow now =0)
    I think I asked just about every question there was, here lol.
  • I just checked out the muttluks website...the best boots for winter are the fleece lined ones?

    For anyone looking to get these, I found a pair on ebay for 35 which was the cheapest I've seen them so far.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Yep, the fleece lined ones are great. That's what I have.
  • I was going to just order a pair of Muttluks, but I'm not too sure which size to get. Sam's paws hit right on the line between small and x-small. I'm leaning on sizing down to the x-small to make sure they are nice and snug. Any suggestions?
  • Do you guys think coconut oil is OK for the paws? This is what I have in the fridge.
  • It didn't occur to me when I purchased Muttluks that I'd have to put them on 4 shiba feet. Does it take anyone less than 30 minutes to put these boots on (at least 3x per foot, since he'd try and run away and I'd end up pulling one off each time)? What's your secret?
  • Musher's Secret is the best! I have 2 adult labrador retrievers and 1 3 year old Shiba Inu. All three of them benefit greatly from the Musher's Secret. Don't have to put any boots on any one of them. The pads stay nice and soft, no snow/ice build up and my Shiba (Skippy) doesn't "scream" when he's outside in the snow. He loves playing around with the labs in the yard through the drifts, etc. I put Musher's Secret on once a week and all the pads are soft and supple!!!!! Boots - NO WAY FOR Skippy - he won't hear of it, nor a sweater!
  • hanaluluhanalulu
    Posts: 195
    I am definitely going to invest in some Musher's secret. Also - I'm guessing probably not...but is there any kind of paw/dog friendly de-icer available? The sidewalk to our front door is ridiculously icy and I want to try to find the friendliest de-icer I can.
  • MyloMylo
    Posts: 879
    Hey everyone who has posted in here over December! Sorry no one has answered your questions yet. I hope it's not too late, but I'll answer as best I can!

    Downright:
    You're right to go with the XS. That's the size that Mylo has, and they're not too snug at all. They're a good fit. If you go too big you'll encounter two issues: 1) They might come off too easily, and 2) they'll sustain more damage, as Sam might drag his/her feet if they're too big.

    Hachi:
    I have no idea. It's probably best to go with a product that is formulated for the job of protecting the paws though. In terms of cost for Musher's Secret or Invisible Boot, the pot lasts a pretty long time, and is well worth the $15.

    jtoyama:
    I get the boots on by rolling the top portion down (like a nylon), to make the opening bigger. Once you've got it rolled down, stick your thumbs in each side of the opening to pull it open, and then slide the paw in using your inner wrists/palms of your hands as a guide to lightly press the nails together.

    Hanalulu:
    I'm fairly certain there are pet-safe de-icing products you can buy. Check out your local pet-supply shops. If they don't carry it, they'll know where you can find it. Another option is to use good old fashioned sand, or (as my parents used to do) if you have a fire place, you can use wood ashes. Regardless, it's important to wipe down your pup's paws with a damp cloth when you come in from walks. Some places even sell pet-safe, pre-moistened paw wipes, which are great for the winter time.

    Good luck with your winter paws, everyone!
  • hanaluluhanalulu
    Posts: 195
    Fantastic! Thank you!! Sand sounds like a good, natural way to go. And I do have a fireplace that I need to clean the ashes out of...so I may just do that! Thank you so much.
  • Ok so i need some help. We live in phoenix and obviously dont get snow, it has gotten down to 32 degrees a few times this year. Dino has lately been licking the pads of his paws, this is a brand new thing. During the summers his allergies cause him to chew his paws and we have to bath them almost daily but during the winter he has no allergy issues. The last couple of nights on walks and at the dog park dino has been limping and unable to walk, he avoids any rocky area, he wont play fetch which he normally loves he literally can barely move around his pads are bother him so much. I've checked his paws each night and they look and feel raw, I pulled a pebble from between the pads the other night. So i guess im asking if his paws issues are related to the cold (for us) weather? should i try the Musher's? he has a tendency to lick off anything we smear on him, i'm willing to try anything including investing in the booties. I'm just not sure what is causing his issues. PS it seems to be mainly his front feets

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