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The winter season can take a toll on your dogs’ sensitive paws. Constant exposure to snow, ice, and salt can result in dry, cracked, and even painful paw pads. Keep his or her feet safe all season long with these helpful tips from Animal Wellness Magazine.

1. Apply a Protective Paw Balm

Before walks, apply a protective balm or spray to your dog’s paws. The Barkery has a variety of all-natural paw balms which work by shielding the paw pads from harmful elements and keeping them moisturized. Best of all, these balms are quick and easy to apply.

2. Avoid Salt

Avoid sidewalks with excess amounts of salt. The harsh chemicals found in many de-icing products can cause your dog’s pads to dry and crack, and they are toxic if ingested. We recommend using a pet-safe salt around your home, or do your best to walk in the snow alongside the sidewalk to prevent any damage to the paws.

3. Invest in Doggie Booties!

Boots are one of the most efficient ways to protect your dog’s paws from winter’s wrath. Avoid cheap boots, as they are likely to fall off the moment you step outside. Opt for a quality brand that will stay on your dog’s feet and last through the elements. Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t respond well to the boots right away – once your pup gets used to them, she’ll be much more comfortable walking outside in the winter months.

4. Wipe His Paws

Always wipe your dog’s paws thoroughly after walks to remove any leftover snow, ice, or salt that may remain. Be sure to check between the paw pads, and carefully remove any ice balls that have formed. This final step will prevent further injury from occurring after visits outside.