The importance of paw care in cold weather: navigating grit hazards

Grit image on road

As winter blankets our surroundings in a chilly embrace, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential hazards our companions face during this season. One often overlooked danger is the impact of grit on our dogs’ paws and the risks associated with its ingestion.

Grit, commonly used to enhance traction and prevent slips on icy surfaces, can pose a threat to dogs. The abrasive texture of grit can cause irritation, cuts, and abrasions to the delicate pads of their paws. This becomes even more concerning when dogs attempt to lick their paws, potentially ingesting harmful substances along with the grit.

At NDSR, we understand the importance of ensuring a safe environment for both our human and canine clients. We utilise grit to maintain a secure space during icy conditions, prioritising the safety of everyone who walks through our doors. However, we are also aware of the potential implications for our patients.

To address this concern, our dedicated nursing and patient care assistant teams takes proactive measures to safeguard the well-being of our canine patients. After each outdoor excursion, we carefully wash and wipe their paws, removing any grit or harmful substances that may have accumulated. This practice not only protects their paw pads from irritation but also minimises the risk of ingestion.

Pet owners can further contribute to their dog’s safety by conducting regular paw checks at home. Inspecting for signs of redness, swelling, or discomfort can help identify potential issues early on. Additionally, wiping paws after walks and keeping the hair between the paw pads trimmed can reduce the likelihood of grit becoming lodged in sensitive areas.

While grit is a necessary safety measure in winter, it’s essential for pet owners to be aware of the associated hazards and take proactive steps to mitigate potential risks. At NDSR we remain committed to the well-being of both our human and animal clients, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, even in the frostiest of seasons.

Case Advice or Arranging a Referral

If you are a veterinary professional and would like to discuss a case with one of our team, or require pre-referral advice about a patient, please call 01883 741449Alternatively, to refer a case, please use the online referral form