Salt + Paws


Flying Hound is based in Canada's capital city – Ottawa – and it is one the coldest capital cities in the world.  With our ice storms, snow storms, blizzards, arctic winds, and extreme cold alerts, Ottawa needs to keep us safe, but their use of rock salt is not so great for our dogs.   It actually causes them pain.

The salt can hurt your dog’s paws

Sure, dogs have hardy paws, and while their paws are definitely tougher than the soles of our feet, paws aren't indestructible. A blast of industrial grade road salt means small, jagged, and hard crystals are “underpaw” during a morning stroll. Granules can become stuck in their paws, causing cuts, and soreness with every single step. The chemicals can also damage the paw, and the after walk licking is something to be avoided since it will irritate their gastrointestinal system. 

closeup of black paw

Maybe dog booties?

Make a shopping date. Dog booties are a great way to protect paws from that nasty salt. Your dog will need a little time to adjust, if he does, to his new footwear.  But be prepared, you may experience something like this funny video. Wearing them around the house is certainly a place to start. And providing loads of praise, and some special treats from Flying Hound, Bison Liver + Blueberries training treats, may keep those boots on!   All is not lost if the fashionable booties are not a hit, check out Paw & Elbow Rescue Balm from Legendary Canine.

The path less travelled

If possible, adjust your walking route in winter to avoid sidewalks and other places that have been heavily salted. Finding a park or field where all you and your dog will enjoy is pure, soft snow sounds like a great morning routine, but you will still need to protect those paws from the cold.  And according to UBC Professor Stanley Coren, Why Dogs Love Snow, an opportunity to provide a fun, interactive, stimulating environment for your dog.  

dog paw prints in snow

Wash off those paws while walking and again as soon as you’re home. A good idea to carry a towel along during winter walks so you can wipe snow, ice and salt off your dog’s paws if necessary. As soon as you get in from a walk, wash your pet’s feet with warm water and dry them thoroughly or you can use a disposable paw wipe.

We all know how rough winter can be, so do your best friend a favour and look after their paws. Flying Hound has a genuine interest in your dog’s health and happiness. We love dogs!