As a canine chiropractor I often see dogs that have been injured due to slips and falls on ice. I’ve observed my own dogs as they run outside, not knowing there is ice. So I decided to write this blog. Hopefully these tips will help.
1. Try to keep as much of the area where your dog goes out free from ice. Although this is very difficult at times, there are a few things you can do.
a) Breaking the ice with an ice scraper. At times it is impossible to remove all the ice, however crunched up ice is considerably less slippery than a sheet of ice.
b) Using sand can be helpful as ice salt is not recommend. Prolonged contact can lead to chemical burns on your dog’s feet.
c) Rubber mats are also an option especially if your dog is going out on a wooden deck in the backyard. They can be purchase at the local hardware store.
2. Keep the hair between your dog’s toe short. This is especially import for long hair dogs. Ice can accumulate in the hair making it twice as slippery.
3. Trim their nails just enough. In the summer, dog’s nail are almost always trimmer just right because they grind on the street. But ice and snow do not provide enough grinding effect. Dogs use their nail for traction so it is important to have appropriate length.
4. Keeping your dog close to you as you walk and teaching her not to pull can help her stay away from icy patches.
5. During freezing rain weather your dog still needs to go outside. I recommend going out with her as you can control the length of her leash and where she goes. Be sure to get crampons for your own boots!
Spring is right around the corner. In the meantime enjoy the rest of the winder safely for you and your dog!