dachshund coats

Protect Your Dachshund’s Paws This Winter

Last Updated on June 9, 2020 by Ava Jaine

The winter cold weather can be hazardous to your dachshund’s paws.  It is important as a Dachshund parent to be aware of the winter dangers and learn how to protect our doxie’s feet this season.   All dachshunds enjoy being in a warm and cozy home, so we also have some suggestions on indoor activities to keep them busy and exercised when it is too cold outside.

Our dachshund puppy, Eko, is experiencing his very first cold winter this year.  I will share with you how I am protecting his little soft doxie paws.

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Do Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?

Most Dachshunds have thin fur, which doesn’t provide much protection or warmth in the cold winter weather.  As doxies get older, they actually can have more trouble regulating their body temperature.  So, Yes, they do need some extra warmth and protection when going outside for their daily walks.
protect your dachshund's paws this winter

Do Dogs Feet Get Cold in the Winter?

Yes, Small and Medium sized dogs could get frostbite or hypothermia when cold weather temperatures go below 40°F.  If you take your dog for daily walks, make sure to always dress your dachshund in a warm winter coat, some paw protectors, and keep your walks brief (15-20 minutes max).

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Dogs Feet?

Personally, I don’t take my pups for a walk if it is below 30°F.  My dachshunds love walks, but if they are fighting cold and wind,  I am sure they prefer to stay warm and dry inside.   If the outside temperature is below zero, Do Not take your dog for a walk.  I doubt it would be a fun walk for you and not worth the risk for your pup.

Is it Safe to Walk Dogs in Snow?

Does the funny phrase “Dachshund Through The Snow” come to mind?  It is OK to walk your Dachshund in the snow as long as they are wrapped up nice a warm in a sweater or coat and have protective footwear, and aren’t standing on the snow for too long.

Avoid letting your pup get cold paws in the winter to prevent splitting pads or frostbite.

Our Doxies are low to the ground, so stay cautious and be conscious of their comfort level.

Winter Hazards for Dog Paws:

1. Hypothermia:

Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat.  This can cause a severely low body temperature due to cold exposure.

Symptoms Of Hypothermia In Dogs:

  • Strong Shivering
  • Sleepy and Weak
  • Cold Fur
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blue or Pale Gums
  • Walking Issues
  • Breathing Complications
  • Confusion

2. Frostbite:

A dog’s paws, legs, and ears are the most vulnerable body parts to frostbite, especially when wet.  Frostbite occurs when the tissue below the skin freezes. Remove any ice balls between your dogs toes or on any long fur if you have a long hair dachshund.

3. Toxic Salt:

Often, during cold winter months, people add rock salt or ice melt to their driveways and sidewalks.  This is toxic to dogs!  These substances can cause cracking, dryness, and even chemical burn to your pups paws if not cleaned off or protected properly.

The salt can also get stuck in between your doxie’s toes, causing irritation. If your dachshund licks the rock salt or ice melt on the bottom of their feet, it could cause mouth sores and issues with their GI Tract.  If your dog accidentally consumes large amounts of rock salt or ice melt, take them to the vet ASAP.

Don’t risk it, keep your pup warm and keep outside visits for potty breaks and walks limited.

protect your dachshund's paws this winter

5 Reliable Ways to Protect Your Dachshund’s Paws This Winter:

Here are some tips to help you protect your Dog’s Paws this Winter:

  • Dry Off

When your dachshund comes in from going potty outside or a walk, dry them off.  Especially their paws and legs.  Check for ice balls between the toes.  Keep your home humidified, dry heat can cause dry skin in your dog.

protect your dachshund's paws this winter
  • Clean Paws

After your chilly walk, wash and dry your dog’s paws to remove any ice and salt chemicals to prevent irritation.

  • Dog Boots

If your Dachshund is willing to wear a dog shoe or boot, here are the highest recommended dog boots out there.

1.  PAWZ Water-Proof Dog:   The Pawz dog boot is a lot like a flat balloon that fits over your dog’s feet. They do protect from ice, snow, salt, lawn chemicals and hot surfaces and are waterproof.

2.  Xanday Dog Boots: This is a more rugged Dog Boot for Winter Hikes or longer walks in the snow and ice or hot pavement.  They are waterproof, washable and are made for rain, snow, or hot pavement.

  • Dog Paw Balm

During the cold winter months, your doxie will be more comfortable going outside in the frigid air with a warm dog coat and something to protect their precious paws.

I recommend Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax to protect dog paws when it’s cold outside.  I know that my dachshunds won’t wear boots, socks, or shoes for dogs, so this paw balm was the only thing I could apply to keep them safe.  The Paw Wax not only protects from ice and salt, but also from sand and hot pavement. Musher’s formula contains vitamin E to keep paws moisturized and help heal wounds.    This paw wax is Non-toxic, non-allergenic, and non-staining.

FYI: If your doggie gets a little too slippery inside the house after applying the product, he has too much on!   It is better to start small and work the wax into the pad, between the toes, and wipe off excess wax with a paper towel.

Note:  Some dog owners use Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly to protect their dog’s paws.  I would not recommend putting this on a dog’s paws.  We all know that dog’s lick their paws, and it is not safe to eat Petroleum Jelly.  Using the Paw Wax is a Safer Alternative.

  • Bathing

Dogs should be bathed less frequently during the winter.  Bathing too often can strip away their natural oils and cause itchy, dry skin and paws.  If your dog needs a bath, use a moisturizing shampoo for dogs.

Inside Activities For Your Dog:

Ok, so it’s too cold to go outside for a walk or playtime and now your pup is getting cabin fever.  Here are some tips to help your dog stay active and exercised this winter.

  • Mental Motivation:

Solving puzzles develops your dog’s intellectual skills.  Using a dog puzzle or IQ dog treat toy will increase their excitement to learn by including yummy treats with playtime.  We have a whole list of recommended mind motivating dog toys in our gift list postHelp keep your dog occupied for longer periods of time and reduce destructive behavior or Separation Anxiety.

  • Command Training:

How long has it been since you taught your dog a new trick or command?  It doesn’t matter how young or old they are, it is a great opportunity to have some individual time with your dog.

You could teach them how to sit, come, lay down, rollover, shake hands, or play dead.  If your pup knows all of the tricks, then learn some more advanced commands.

If you have more than one dog, try the “two dogs photo pose” training video from McCann Dog Training.  It’s an advanced trick to teach your pup for some super cute photos.  Keep the training sessions short and fun, your dog will love it.

protect your dachshund's paws this winter
  • Play Dates & Agility Training:

Play Dates: Set up some doggie play dates with your friends.  This will give you a chance to visit and allow your dog some doggie social time as well.  Also, check on your local doggie daycare to see if you can do a drop off for the afternoon once a week to help your dog socialize and play.  This could give your dog a pretty needed workout during those long winter months.

Dog Agility:  Look for an indoor Dog Park with Agility Courses or a Dog Gym.  I admit, they are hard to find.  A Dog Agility park provides ramps, tunnels, and other obstacles to help burn off your dog’s pent up energy. Here is an example called BarkPark! on YouTube.

Or, you could just build your own Agility Play Center! Here are some easy Dog Agility Ideas  from Zak George’s YouTube Channel.

They also have small dog treadmill machines on Amazon that you can have in the comfort of your own home to keep your doggie moving and grooving through the winter months.

Why Do Dachshund’s Feet Smell like Popcorn?

While we are on the subject of Dachshund’s Feet.. I’m sure you have noticed that their little paws have a popcorn or corn chip smell.  Why is that?  This smell is due to yeast or bacteria. No real reason to be alarmed, unless the smell is over powering.

Reminder:  If the temperature is too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dachshund.

What do you use to protect your Dachshund’s Feet in the Winter?  Let us know in the comments below.