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I need some help/advice about what to do about ice melt on my dogs' feet. I live in an apartment complex, and two nights ago we got our first really big snow. Naturally, the maintenance men put ice melt EVERYWHERE so the sidewalks, stairs, and even the road weren't slippery. The problem is, there is absolutely no way for me to avoid it while walking my dogs, but it is hurting their feet! They both start limping and holding their feet up as much as possible almost right away after going outside. I walk them through the snow and not on the sidewalks as much as I can, but it isn't enough. As soon as we get inside, I wipe their feet off with a warm washcloth to try to get as much off as I can, but when I inspected their feet a few minutes ago, I saw they they are now red and raw! I know it is the ice melt because when we get straight in the car and drive somewhere (like to a park), they run in the snow for a long time without any limping or lifting of feet.

Any advice on what to do? I've never had this issue with my golden before, and she is almost six now. I just got my German shepherd puppy two weeks ago, and I'm really nervous about their feet. We have tried booties with our golden in the past, and she absolutely will not wear them, so that isn't an option. I can carry the puppy across the sidewalks to the grass for now, but soon he will be way too big for me to be able to pick him up. What should I do? Is there even anything I can do?
 

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Try boots they make for dogs who have to walk on stuff like that. It will take a while for your dogs to get used to wearing them.
 

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you can try something like Musher's Secret but boots would be best IF you can get your guys to learn to walk in them. Otherwise you might just want to carry around a sheet of cardboard to cover the dicey spots, although that could get awkward since you have two leashes as well.
 

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I have had luck covering my dogs paws in vaseline, pack it up between the toes, coat the entire underside of the foot.

I was mostly walking in snow, but did walk on some roads with ice melt. I tried to avoid anywhere that looked "treated" as much as possible.
 

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I think their feet will toughen up over time, but I also use vaseline, more to keep the ice balls from forming, but it does work, and it's pretty much gone by the end of a walk, so no mess at the end.
 

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The disposable rubber booties that look like deflated baloons are perfect for this. I used to go in and out of Boston with my dog and the salt burned her paws. She never liked wearing them but she tolerated it, and no painful paws. She started crying on the commuter train one time and I realized the salt from the platform was burning her and I had to do emergency footy wiping in the train bathroom. No fun.

You can get multiple uses out of those boots until a toenail pokes through if you take them off carefully so you dont get salt inside. They really stay on.
 

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I can try the vaseline! That's a good idea. Is there a good brand for the boots anyone can suggest? When we got them in the past for our golden, they kept falling off, even if she was walking semi-normally. No matter how tightly we put them on, they would just come off again. It seems like a good long-term investment to just get the boots if we can find some that work.
 

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seems to me both bag balm and Vaseline would be a mess once the dog started walking around. If you want to put something on the pads use Mushers Secret
 

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I've not used the "mushers secret" myself ... but if your dog is having an apparent issue?? That would be the simplest easiest solution. Obviously the boots if properly sized and fitted would work also but more of a "process" involved there.
 

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Bag Balm -- what's your take on this? I used it to soften up his pads but do I want to do that?
Musher's Secret works pretty well, one tub lasts quite a while. The trick is to spread only a thin coat, and use your fingers to make sure it actually covers the bottoms AND sides of their toe pads where the ice and stuff balls up. Depending on how your dog's paws are put together (how much fur between the toes, how tough the pads are, how "tight" the feet are) you may not need anything at all. If it's only the salt right outside your door that's a problem, you could just keep a shallow pan of warm clean water by the door to rinse paws when you come back inside. Rinse, pat dry, dump the salty water, all done.

I'd be leery of Bag Balm for this type of use. Its purpose is to keep the skin surface supple and prevent toughening/callusing, which isn't really the goal for outdoorsy dog paws.
 

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It's been solid ice here for a few days and we have to keep the "ice melt" on our sidewalk in front. I make homemade feet wipes for the winter and wipe the dogs feet when they come in.
Here's my recipe:

Dog Wipes

Items Needed:
*1 Roll of Bounty Paper Towels (NOT the select a sheet type). Trust me, other brands of paper towels are not strong enough and will fall apart.

*2 Plastic container’s with lid’s about 5” tall. (once paper towel is wet, it will shrink down a little)

*DISTILLED Water

*1 small bottle Witch Hazel (you can also use this to clean out your dogs ears)

*1 small bottle of NOW 100% Pure Moisturizing Oil (your choice of oil) It is Hexane Free.

*1 small bottle (8 ounces) Bronner’s Castile Soap. Your choice of scents or the Baby Castile soap has no scent. (You can also use the Castile Soap mixed with a small amount of the NOW Moisturizing Oil to use as shampoo for your dog!).

*1 small tube or bottle of 99% Aloe Vera that is used for soothing skin.

*Fresh or bottled lemon

Directions:
1. Cut the roll of paper towels in half using a sharp serrated knife. Brush off loose jagged ends.

2. In one of the plastic containers, mix:
· 2 Cups DISTILLED water (not tap water)
· 2 Tablespoons 99% Aloe
· 1 Tablespoon Witchhazel
· 1 teaspoon Bronner’s CASTILE soap (or if using Dawn Dish Washing Soap, use only 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon)
· 1 teaspoon NOW Oil 100% Pure Moisturizing Oil
· 1 Tablespoon bottled or fresh lemon
· Add a few drops of essential oils IF desired

Mix well

3. Divide mixture evenly between the two plastic containers.

4. Place the half rolls of paper towels in each container and let absorb- this takes about 5-10 minutes.
5. Put lid tightly on the container’s, turn over and let set for a while to make sure that the paper towel is well soaked all the way thru.
6. Once soaked, open container’s, pinch/fold the cardboard tube in middle and gently wiggle out of the center. It is easier to do this when wet rather than dry. This should pull out the innermost wipe to start the pull out mode. If not, find the end of the first wipe inside the roll and pull.

This allows you to pull out as many as you need ….. one or two at a time.

You can keep one container by your front door and one by your back door. Or if you only use one container, place the 2nd one in the refrigerator or freezer until needed to keep fresh.

NOTE: If you choose to use a different brand of paper towel, you may have to experiment with the amount of water used.


Moms :)
 

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The disposable rubber booties that look like deflated baloons are perfect for this. I used to go in and out of Boston with my dog and the salt burned her paws. She never liked wearing them but she tolerated it, and no painful paws. She started crying on the commuter train one time and I realized the salt from the platform was burning her and I had to do emergency footy wiping in the train bathroom. No fun.

You can get multiple uses out of those boots until a toenail pokes through if you take them off carefully so you dont get salt inside. They really stay on.
What size do you get? I noticed the only pet store in my area carriers them but they are the red ones for the small dogs. I could get them to order in some if I knew what size I should be getting.
 
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