Pantops Pet Salon
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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
Fax: (434) 293-8231
504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Watch those Paws

Thursday, November 27th, 2008 by Mike Cronk

I woke up this morning and was greeted by the first snow dusting of the season. I do a three mile walk most mornings with Lizzie, my Golden Retriever and Salon receptionist. The snow this morning got me to thinking about her paws. Poor girl was barefoot! The way she runs through the woods, on gravel roads and asphalt parking lots leaves me amazed at the toughness of her pads. But as with everything, there are limits. Pavement can be way too hot, rocks too sharp, and ice too cold. This summer when we left the salon and crossed the parking lot on our way to the river for our mid-day walk, I made it a point to avoid as much pavement as possible. Yes, it could fry an egg.

This winter, we need to avoid walking where rock salt and chemical de-icers have been used. If your dog does walk across this material, make sure to wash her paws afterward. Not only will the chemicals burn open sores or cracks in the pads, it is toxic if ingested–and you know dogs will lick their feet. The best bet for your own home use is a bag of play sand or cat litter for the driveway.

The other safety measure for paws is to keep them well-trimmed. Hair between the pads collects burrs, mud, and small rocks in summer. In winter–ice and snow. Imagine walking with icicles stuck to your bare feet! I keep the hair between Lizzie’s pads short. At the salon, when we are asked to trim the feet of most breeds, the bottom of the pads is included as well.

I guess the bottom line with paw care is fairly simple-responsible pet ownership. Happy hiking!

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