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Winter in the PNW can be a blast, especially with your dog at your side. Even in the cold, ice, snow, or wet there is plenty of adventure to be had with your dog and these essentials will help you get it done! From moody hikes in the damp fog, to snowshoeing in the foothills, you want to make sure you’ve got your pup geared up properly. 

Paw Balm and Booties

It’s a little known fact that road salts and deicers are terrible for your dog’s paws. Prolonged or consistent repetitive contact can lead to painful chemical burns on your dogs paws. Which of course is not a good time for anyone. Take note of if you notice your dog limping or favoring their paws after a walk. Another issue with deicers is that your dog WILL lick their paws to clean them, and ingesting deicing products is not good. 

Luckily dog boots eliminate this issue entirely and ensure that your dog’s paws are protected from this particular winter hazard, no need to worry about cracked or painful paw pads. Paw balm (or wax) can also help with this, but it doesn’t offer as thorough protection as you would get from dog booties. To use either, simply put them on your dog before you plan to go for your walk or romp in the snow. 

Both paw balm and booties are great for the snow. Depending on your dog’s fur type, they may develop painful snow balls in between their toes. Trimming your dogs fur between their toes may help stop these ice balls, but the best way to totally eliminate them is by using paw balm or booties. 

Both can be used throughout the year too! Paw balm is good for your dog’s feet and helps maintain healthy pads. Booties are great for protecting your dog’s feet from all sorts of nasty things your dog may decide to get in to, like brambles or thorns, but are also great for summer on hot pavement.

Warm up Pup!

Not all dogs have thick winter adapted coats, but with an extra layer on, even these dogs can go out and have a fun filled snow day with you. Keeping warm is a matter of choosing the right gear for the weather you’re planning to be in, and is pretty much the same as shopping for a jacket for yourself. Ruffwear makes excellent dog gear, including a variety of dog coats for snowy or rainy weather. When you’ve got the right equipment it’s much easier to have year around fun with your dog, no matter what the weather is doing. 

Rain = Muddy paws

A fact of the PNW is the sheer amount of rain we get during the winter and spring. Muddy paws galore! One handy tool that I use is a Mud Buster. This is like a cup with soft rubber bristles on the inside of it. You put a little water into it, stick your dog’s paw into it, give it a swish, and presto, clean paws. Then you just give the paws a quick wipe with a towel and you’re all set. No more mud. This significantly simplifies keeping those paws clean, and is another great option for keeping you dog protected from deicing products. Not to mention a floor and car saver!