Get in the habit of moisturizing. You know what bitter cold weather can do to your hands; it can also cause chapping and cracking on a dog’s paws. Ask your vet for a good pad moisturizer and use as directed. Don’t be tempted to use the same lotions and potions you use on yourself; this could soften the pads and lead to injury.
Slather on some Vaseline. It makes a great salt barrier—and right now my city sidewalks are loaded with the stuff. Apply a little to the foot pads before each walk—or make sure your dog wears doggie booties. Mine won’t, so we use Vaseline.
Wash off nasty “snow” chemicals. After outdoor walks, wash your dog’s paws, legs, and stomach in warm water to rinse away salt and ice-melting chemicals—you don’t want your pooch to ingest those nasty things when he licks his paws. And keep a fluffy towel on hand to dry them off when he’s finished. Mine usually gets a little treat after a paw rinse so he doesn’t put up a fuss.
Keep them out of drafts. Make sure your pet has a soft, cozy place to sleep that’s off the floor and away from drafts. A dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect. And a snazzy sweater won't hurt, either!