What this does
- As the skin of a Poodle's paws is exposed to freezing or near-freezing surfaces over the course of days, weeks and months, they can become dry and cracked. Without treatment and with continued exposure, this can worsen, possibly with cracked paws becoming infected.
Ice melt chemicals & salt
- These are perhaps one of the biggest contributors of winter paw damage for Poodles. Even if you refrain from using these sorts of products or buy a pet safe brand, strong chemical melt products and salt are often dragged in from larger roads. City municipal services and even your neighbors can spread this and it is then tracked to other areas via vehicle tires and other means.
What this does
- Contact of a Poodle's paws onto ice melt can cause chemical burn. Salt can be just as bad, its gritty texture grinding into paw pads. Depending on how much is present and the frequency of the contact, a Poodle may develop issues to the paws rather quickly or it may be a gradual injury that does not present itself until winter is almost done.
- Walking on snow can do a number on a Poodle's paws in the winter. Tiny ice balls can get stuck between the dog's toes and pads. Some find walking on icy snow to be painful and will avoid heading out to designated bathroom areas.
- Due to discomfort induced by the above elements and/or due to dry skin issues, which are prevalent in the winter, a Poodle may lick and fuss with his paws much more often. This exasperates issues such as drying and peeling.