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D2011-04

Dear Daisy Dog

When I walk my dog, Princess, she sometimes holds up a paw and refuses to move further. If I coax her off the road onto the snow, she walks fine. Indoors and elsewhere she has no trouble. What’s going on, and what can I do to keep her moving?

Daisy Responds

I have the same problem, because the roads around my house are treated with rock salt.

It’s a great deicer, but it burns my feet, particularly if my pads have small cuts or abrasions. I’d rather walk on snow, despite the little ice balls that stick to the hair between my toes and freeze the delicate skin.

Even if she isn’t royalty, I’m sure Princess would prefer to amble along shoveled sidewalks than snow-covered grass or roads treated with rock salt. You may have to drive her to a suitable location.

If you must walk across a salted road, rinse Princess’ feet in fresh water as soon as you return home. Rock salt corrodes metal, so you can imagine how it would irritate her toes if it’s not washed away.

An alternative is to invest in a comfortable set of dog boots. You’ll find them in stores that cater to hunters and their dogs, in some pet supply stores and on the Internet.

On the walkways and steps around your own home, use a deicer that’s labeled as pet-safe.

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