Trail Dogs

Important Winter Prep for Trail Dogs

Special care is needed for dogs who take to the trails in winter.
Special care is needed for dogs who take to the trails in winter.

Special care is needed for dogs who take to the trails in winter.

I was out for a run the other day and met a couple whose two chocolate labradors absolutely love the snow and enjoy running the trails with their owners. We were talking about how important it is to prep the dogs before exposing them to icy, snowy trails.

Now I’m watching the snow falling as I work on this post and I’m hoping you’ve already finished winterizing your dog, but just in case you’ve been busy I’ve found some great tips from Kev Roberts who lives up in Winnipeg, Canada, that will give your dogs a lot to be happy about.

Important Winter Prep For Trail Dogs

In the winter, dogs feet need special attention and care. First, check your dog’s foot pads for cracks or splits. Just like people’s hands, a dog’s pads can dry out in the winter time. The splits and cracks, if left on their own, can grow painful and infected. If you see cracks or tears in the pad, and they are superficial, as in no blood, then you can use a paw wax, to moisturize and treat the paw pad. Mushers Secret is one such product. Apply it a few times a day, and only enough to ensure that the foot pad becomes soft and can heal. Most of the wax products on the market are not going to cause any harm to your dog if it happens to be ingested. But read the label to be sure!

Keep your dog off the furniture as well once you have applied the wax, as it can stain fabrics.

If your dog has more serious or deeper cracks, you can use Derma Gel, which is available from your veterinarian. Derma Gel will give the crack a protective barrier, as well as promote quick healing.

To Read More Tips on Preparing Your Dog for Winter go to

Both you and your dog will be safer and have a much better time in the snow if you take the time to properly care for, dress and groom in advance. Trust me, it makes all the difference. Don’t forget to bring food and clean drinking water for your furry friends on every excursion into remote areas because you never know what to expect whether it’s a change in the weather that can force you to take cover or an unexpected injury that becomes a  safety issue you must always be prepared.





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  1. Pingback: How Much Fun is Snow Shoe Running? Watch This! | Trail Run Crazy!

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