What can happen in the winter:
Any surface that a dog walks over is going to have an affect on the paws. It can be a good thing, such as a gradually
toughening them, but
in the winter it can cause immediate or cumulative damage:
Sharp ice shards can cause small cuts. These may range from very small (but will build up over time to something more serious) or moderate in which the Boxer puppy or dog may favor the paw and/or lick at it.
Small pieces of snow and ice can become wedged between the toes or pads. This is known as ‘snowballing’ and can be quite painful. Skin is stretched and it can cause rips that lead to bleeding (and thus opening the area up to infection).
One of the biggest winter concerns is chemical burn from ice melt products and damage due to salt. Even if you don’t use these treatments yourself, most city municipal services do and are tracked in by vehicles traveling from treated roads into your neighborhood.
How to protect the paws:
The best thing you can do for your Boxer in the winter is to prevent paw issues before they start by using a quality paw wax.
Paw wax at any time of the year will help keep them healthy. However, a good one will add a breathable layer of protection that prevents snowballing and offers a barrier from winter chemicals and even the cold. Another great element is that wax helps a dog with traction (this product is a vital element of caring for sled dogs) and finally, if your Boxer does have some skin issues
there (dryness, peeling, irritation), a good canine paw wax will aid in allowing those things to heal.
You'll want to look for a paw wax that is non-oily, absorbs fast and is durable. Our go-to, top recommended product is the well-known, top-notch Musher's Secret. It helps with dryness too.
For paws that are cracked and need some more help (and not just prevention), we love Pet Head Oatmeal Paw Butter. It's super effective with all natural ingredients like shea butter, oatmeal (of course), mango, aloe vera and coconut oil.