Is Snow Sticking to Your Dogs Coat and Paws? How to Prevent and Remove Snowballs from Your Dogs’ Fur

Aaaah snow! While I love watching it from inside a cosy home with hot choc in hand and even out playing catch with Millie, there is one downside – snowballs on her fur!

While I am super lucky that Millie has quite light/thinner hair than her brother Harley, she still had snow clumps in her paws after this morning playtime. And of course, as soon as she was home, started to lick them!

So, I really shouldn’t have been surprised that one of our grooming customers reached out this morning as snow is sticking to their dogs’ coat and paws.  They reached out to specifically ask advice about removing snowballs from their dog’s coat, so we thought it woudl be helpful to share with you too!

 

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Why Does Snow to Stick to a Dogs’ Coat?

While out on those dog walks, your dog’s body is still generating body heat. As the fur moves through snow, it will pick up little balls, which in turn melt from the heat forming small ice balls.

These will grow larger as they collect more snow on their fur forming into larger snowballs – we’ve all seen those cute pics!

However, it’s not just long-haired dogs that suffer from this on their coat and/or ears, lots of dogs have fur between their toes, so they can form just in the paw pads and sometimes remain unseen.

Yep, those ice balls can form underneath the paw pads which they will then be walking on, compacting the snow even more into their fur.

Does Snow Sticking to a Dog’s Coat Hurt Them?

Ice cold snowballs, with the with weight pulling down on your fur?

Snowballs in your feet, that you can feel every time you put a paw down?

These can also be pushing toes apart due to the size of them too which could result in the skin and/or paw pads being split open.

While they may get some pain respite by licking these areas after playtime, this isn’t the most pain-free way to remove and they licking and biting of an area over and over again can cause issues. The licking itself adds moisture to the area and you may find that due to licking and biting they can easily break the skin.

Particularly when we are talking about the area between paw pads and toes where the skin can be thinner.

 

How to Prevent Snow From Sticking to Your Dog’s Fur

Well, they do say that prevention is better than cure but more importantly, it means that your friend can have more playtime out in the snow pain-free.

There are a few ways that you can help before heading out:

#1 Apply Paw Balm to Those Paws and Toes!

Super easy to apply and will help keep that snow off those sensitive paw pads.  We love Be:Safe- Dog Paw and Nose Balm and Be:Soft- Dog Paw and Nose Balm from the Be:Loved range.

If you don’t have paw balm, is there any coconut oil in your cupboard? Rub this in as an alternative.

 

 

#2 Trim Your Dogs Nails and Any Overhanging Hair on and Around Paws Pads

The less fur there is to attach to, then the lower the risk of snowballs forming. Please do only attempt this if you are confident in trimming fur and we’d always suggest using bulldog scissors too.

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#3 Make the Most of Dog Coats/Suits or Jumpers

Not only will it keep them warm but it will ensure that there is less surface area for those snowballs to stay attached to.

If you have a jumper coat that has legs and arms then make sure you pop it on before heading out for walkies.

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  • Check out dog coats and jumpers range here via our line SHOP.

 

#4 Grab a Snood

If your furiend has super furry ears then you may have already invested in one of the Dogrobes Snoods. But don’t worry if not – if you have your own snood, then why not try popping this on too!

 

#5 Rub Coconut Oil Onto their Fur

Coconut oil is generally safe for dogs to eat in small amounts or have applied to their skin or fur. But make sure you use it sparingly or you’ll have to pop them into the bath after!

Just rub a very small amount onto your hands and run your fingers through their coat. Don’t be afraid to massage into their skin as it can help with conditioning their skin too.

 

But what if all the above doesn’t stop that snow forming? How do you safely remove snowballs from your dogs’ coat?

 

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How to Remove Snowballs From Your Dogs Fur

So I’m going to address once of those quick fixes that a few pawrents have mentioned to me over the last few days first.

Couldn’t I just use a whisk?

Well, personally I believe in using the right tools for any job. A bit like not using tomato ketchup on fox poo rollers when there are perfectly good dog shampoos out there that remove the smell safely.

But when it comes to whisks and removing snowballs, while it will break down the snow, you will be pulling on the fur in some way to do so and thus could be painful. But there is a risk of catching parts of your dogs body, claws etc when dealing with the areas that typically form snowballs – paws, legs, ears and tails.

There are lots of safe and simple ways to remove without resorting to the ‘whisk’ hack and the most important thing to note is that you need to act quickly.

As soon as you return home, start to work on removing these before your furiend starts licking:

 

#1 Pop Paws Into a Bowl of Lukewarm Water

The important part here is to make sure the water is tepid and not hot! Their paws will be cold so the temperature is super important – not too cold or hot.

Super simple and quick way to melt away that snow and ensure that you get into those toes and paw pads. A gentle pat dry and you are all done.

 

#2 Bath (or Shower) Time!

I know, I know. Spare time isn’t exactly easy to come by right now but if your dog has snowballs over more than just their paws, then a bath with some calming dog shampoo may just be what they need.

Again check the water is cool to lukewarm.

This is also the perfect opportunity to check them over and if you’ve had your grooming routine disrupted due to covid, then you can make sure matts aren’t forming too.

 

#3 Pop the Hairdryer On

This is my preferred method with Millie as soon as we return from a snowy walk. As she doesn’t get snowballs in many places, we settle down with a warm hairdryer and target those areas that have built up.

This is great for puppies and dogs who may not enjoy that drying time at the groomers – you would be doing a short session and help desensitise them to the sound and feel of dryers so that when it comes to their full groom, it’s all a little scary.

Grab some treats and/or their favourite toy to make it a little more enjoyable!

 

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Over To You…. 

Have you been out in the snow yet with your furiend?

We’d love to know if you try any of these tips or have some of your own to share with us.

Jump into the comments below and we’d love to see your snow dog pics too – just tag us on social so that we can share!!

 

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