Here are some top tips when walking your dog in the snow:
Trim the hair on your dog’s paws. This is especially relevant if your dog has longer hair. Excess hair on a dog’s paws—especially between the pads on its feet—will freeze and become clogged with ice. This is painful for your dog, and will take away much of their traction when walking on ice.
Once you have trimmed the hair, you can apply a thin layer of protective balm to your dog’s feet. This will protect your dog’s paws and prevent the fur from freezing. Protective balms are available from all pet retail stores.
Buy a set of booties for your dog. There are many retailers which sell dog booties; a reliable set can be found inexpensively. Dog booties will prevent your dog’s sensitive paws from being cut or scratched, which can easily happen when your dog is walking on top of coarse ice. A good set of booties will also improve your dog’s traction on ice and give them better traction in slick areas.
Consider buying a sweater or coat for your dog. Although this will not help protect their feet, it will keep them from getting cold or, worse, experiencing hypothermia. Certain breeds of dogs are more adapted to live in the snow (e.g. huskies and other long-haired breeds); these breeds are less likely to need a coat.
Avoid chemicals on the ice. If you’re walking your dog on a road (even in a rural location) or sidewalk, there will likely be chemicals on the path. These are sprayed to melt the ice more quickly, but are poisonous to your dog
Clean your dog’s paws after the walk. If you applied any substances to your dog’s feet, you’ll need to wash the paws off after the walk
Even if you didn’t apply anything to the paws directly, they could still use a cleaning. The salt and chemicals commonly sprayed on sidewalks and roads are harmful to dogs’ feet, and need to be cleaned off