Outside view of VIDA Building

Caring for Your Dog’s Paws in Winter

Black and white dog standing in the snow. Photo credit: Aloïs Moubax

January 2021

If you regularly walk or give your dog outside time during the winter, their paws can take a beating from snow, ice, and salt. VIDA is pet-friendly because we think pets do a lot to enrich our lives. And because we think it’s important to care for them as much as they care for us, here are five helpful tips on protecting your dog’s paws this winter.


Keep the hair between your dog’s toes trimmed short to minimize the clinging of ice balls and salt crystals, as well as prevent de-icing chemicals from saturating your dog’s skin.


Bring a small towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals. This is also a good time to check for cracks in paw pads or redness between your dog’s toes.

Paw Covers

Booties help minimize contact with salt crystals and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation. If you use paw covers, be patient and take “baby steps.” Dogs that have never worn them before will need frequent, short periods wearing them to get used to the feeling of having their paws covered.


Using paw balm or petroleum jelly helps not just after walks, but before them, too. It will protect your dog’s paws from salt and chemical agents on their walk and moisturize their pads afterword.


Remember, if the weather is too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Acceptable temperatures will vary by breed. A Siberian Husky can easily handle cold that a Chihuahua can’t. A good strategy for cold days is to take shorter walks. Your dog will still get the benefit of outside time but won’t be at risk.

If you’re thinking of getting a dog, reach out to our leasing office at 585-400-8432 or info@vidarochester.com to learn more about our pet-friendly policies.