VCA Animal Hospitals

Protect those paws this winter

Published: Dec 19, 2012

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As winter approaches and snow starts to fall, you might be pulling your boots and heavy socks out of storage to protect your feet from the elements - but what about your dog? Cold isn't usually an issue for dogs' paws, but salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice on sidewalks can be brutal on the pads of the paws.

You can prevent dog injuries on your own turf by using sand instead of chemical deicers on your sidewalk and driveway, but you might still encounter these substances if you walk around the neighborhood or city with your canine companion. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your pet's paws all winter long.

Cover them up
Dog booties may seem like a fashion statement, but they are actually designed to keep your pets' paws safe, dry and free of chemicals. Whether you buy booties or make your own, they can be beneficial in preventing dog wounds from sharp ice or items hidden under the snow and ice.

If your canine does not like wearing booties, there are several balms you can use to seal up the surface of the pads, creating a protective barrier so chemicals cannot damage this skin. Try to reapply this product before each walk for the best results.

Give a little extra care
Another way to keep your pet's paws in tip-top shape is to pay a little more attention to them during the winter. After walks, it may help to soak your dog's feet in a dish of warm water to remove chemicals and salt. This can be an effective way of treating pain in dogs, especially if your pooch has open cuts or sores that may have been exposed to salt or chemicals during a walk.

Soaking your pet's paws is especially important if your dog has been licking his pads after a walk. Chemical deicers and other substances on winter streets can be toxic to canines and cause dog vomiting or diarrhea. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.