Bark City


Ally Horowitz, Reporter

Park City is notorious for its cold weather, winter sports, and a significant dog population, earning it the nickname Bark City. Although many in Park City take special care of their furry friends during the cold seasons, there are special precautions that should be taken to ensure dogs are the healthiest and happiest they can be through the snowy season.


During the winter, it is  common to see dogs’ dry and cracked pads under their paws. Road and sidewalk salt is the cause of cracking and dry pads. Dog owners can prevent this by taking dogs on walks without heavily salted sidewalks or roads. Owners should also avoid walking areas with chemical de-icers that are not pet-friendly and could be poisonous for dogs.


However, to prevent dogs paws from cracking all together, it is recommended to invest in dog booties. Although they look funny, dog booties can be found at most pet stores and are made of silicone, rubber, and are even modeled to represent winter gloves. Dog booties can be put on dogs paws and will protect them from snow, salt, and the ground temperature in general. Although, this may seem excessive,   keep do’s paws healthy and protected from cracks and dryness. They are also useful during hot walks in the summer.


Along with the cracking of dog’s pads, many dogs can be found with itchy and flaking skin during the winter. This problem is mainly caused by coming out of the cold weather and into dry temperatures indoors. To prevent this, owners can keep their home humidified to prevent dog’s skin from flaking and towel dry them when they come inside if they are wet from the snow.


Another tool that is strongly recommended by vets is Paw Balm. If owners are willing to put in extra effort to care for their furry friends, paw balm can be bought at almost any pet store and keeps pet’s paws hydrated and rejuvenated.


However, winter isn’t the only season when dogs’ health could potentially be in danger; summer is also a huge safety threat to dog’s health. There have been many reports of dogs’ paws getting burned due to the intense heat of the roads and sidewalks during the summer temperatures. The best way to evaluate the appropriate temperature of roads and sidewalks is for owners to hold their hand to the pavement for 10 seconds. If it is too hot to keep a hand on the pavement then it is too hot for a dog to be walking on the road and sidewalk.


Along with this, it is recommended to avoid the hottest parts of the day for walking dogs. Early morning or late evening is the best time for walks because it allows the pavement to cool down. When possible, it is also highly recommended to walk dogs on grassy surfaces if they are available outside instead of the bare ground.


Overall, it is good pet ownership to keep a close eye on the dog’s paws in the winter and summer.


Obviously, dogs are loved in the Park City community. Dog owners should make sure they are taking care of them every time of the year and keeping them as healthy as possible so they can enjoy many more winters and summers to come.