Protecting paws in winter

Vet Roberta Baxter advises: Firstly, clipping paw hair short helps to prevent ice balling in the feet, which can contribute to cold damage to the paws. Secondly the skin of the paws can be hardened up by wiping them with surgical spirit daily for several weeks, and finally petroleum jelly may be used to help to maintain flexibility and suppleness of the skin, thus helping to avoid cracking. Boots can also be helpful if they are needed but bear in mind that using them frequently can actually make paws softer and more susceptible to damage when they aren't worn.