This winter is predicted to be one of the coldest in history. But whether there be snow, sleet, or shine, our dogs still need to spend time outside taking walks, exercising, and answering the call of nature. And with each arctic blast, their paws, elbows, and noses are in danger of becoming dangerously dry.
Don’t assume that because your dog is covered in fur that they are completely protected from cold weather! When a dog’s skin is exposed to the elements, it can cause painful issues. Walking on frozen ground or packed ice and snow can cause severe dryness in the paws, and can even cause burns. This time of year, some dogs even suffer from paw pad hyperkeratosis, which is severe dryness and cracking in the paw pads caused by an excessive amount of keratin in the body. Certain breeds also tend to suffer from severe skin issues. For example, French, American, and English bulldogs tend to suffer from extremely dry noses, while spaniels, Dobermans, and Labrador retrievers are prone to extra-dry paws.
Despite the dangers and your specific dog’s predisposition to dryness, his or her paws, nose, and elbows can stay healthy and supple with just a few small changes.
Introduce natural ingredients to help the skin
Dry paws, elbows, and noses need extra attention, but synthetic ingredients can dry out the skin even more. This is why natural ingredients are so important when treating any skin issue.
Coconut oil is a time-tested treatment for dry skin issues. The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain triglycerides/fatty acids (MCTs) found in coconut oil have been known to clear up eczema, heal skin allergies (including dermatitis and itchy skin), minimize odor, reduce allergic reactions, treat yeast and fungal infections, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings, and promote wound healing.
Vanilla extract is another incredibly helpful natural ingredient when dealing with skin issues. Vanilla beans have antioxidants that help prevent cell and tissue breakdown, stimulate the body’s natural regrowth, and eliminate free radicals.
Full spectrum hemp CBD extract applied topically to the skin is also proven for softening tough paw pads and repairing cracked or damaged skin. When combined with coconut oil and vanilla extract, full spectrum hemp CBD extract, like NOURISH Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Salve from CBD Dog Health packs an extra healing punch.
The science behind CBD for the skin
Full spectrum hemp CBD extract has several positive uses and can provide relief from virtually everything from joint pain to seizures. But one of the lesser known uses of CBD is for healing to the skin.
A dog’s skin has three layers, which includes the skin on their noses and paw pads. Each layer of the skin has endocannabinoid receptors – including the tough skin on the paw pads — which means that the medicine is able to be absorbed on every level. In fact, a study conducted by the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, found that dogs were found to have a substantial amount of receptors in their endocannabinoid system – even more than humans – which makes CBD even more effective.
In a recent study, researchers found that transdermal full spectrum hemp CBD extract (which means it was applied to the skin) reduces inflammation and pain. Another study found that when full spectrum hemp CBD extract is applied to the skin, it can treat skin issues like psoriasis. Full spectrum hemp CBD extract has also been found to reduce the size of tumors and growths, including skin tumors.
What does this mean for your dog? Relief for their paw pads and noses when nothing else seems to work.
Remain mindful of your pet’s paws and nose and take care to rest them
Another simple way to keep your dog’s nose and paws from becoming overly cracked and dry is to remain mindful of how long your dog has been outside. A long walk is wonderful getting out of the house and for exercise but spending too long walking on the snow can become painful for your pup. Just as a dog’s paws can burn on a hot sidewalk in the summer, they can burn on frozen ground in the winter. A simple way to keep the paws soft and warm is to soak your dog’s paws in warm water (not hot!) after each walk. This can help circulation return to the area and will moisten the paws before you apply any topical treatments.