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With the winter weather upon us, there a few things to keep in mind in regards to your pets.  I’ll mainly focus on their paws.   First, avoid using traditional ice melting salt on your driveway.  Traditional ice salts can cause chemical burns on your dog’s paw pads.  Look for ones that are safe for pets.  If you are taking your dogs on walks, try to get the dog to walk in the grass or snow or consider getting booties.  Other people may not use pet friendly salts which the dog would then walk through on their sidewalks.   Some dogs who are not used to the cold weather may need booties every time they go out just to protect them from the cold.  Another purpose for booties would be to protect the dog’s feet from pieces of sharp ice that may cut their paws.  When your dog comes in from being outside in the snow, check their paws for ice crammed into crevices.   The ice could rub blisters or the dog may scrape their paws while trying to gnaw the ice out on their own.  Of course the most obvious thing to watch would be frostbite.  Dogs left outside for extended periods are certainly more prone to frostbite, but be sure and check your dog frequently whether or not they are out for multiple hours.   Finally, be cognizant of the dry air.  Dogs’ paws can dry out and crack leaving them prone to infection.  So, just a few things to watch out for this winter but keep in mind its all about fun and enjoying your dog!