I know I already posted about the rock salt used on the walkways where I live but I am stumped again. We have 3+ feet of snow now and it is due to snow for the next four days so we are both limited to walking on the treated areas since the snow is over Sully's head and I have a physical disability that makes it hard to walk in deep snow. The combination of ice, extreme cold and rock salt on the plowed and shoveled areas burns the foot pads. Other dog owners here have resorted to carrying their dogs (who weigh less than Sully) or they use puppy pads in the house -YUCK! I tried the booties but Sully wouldn't hear of it. For now I drag her out to an untreated packed snow area in a plastic bin, (Don't judge :-D) then she jumps out to go and jumps back in to be dragged back to the hallway, away from the salt. Before resorting to the plastic bin I tried to get her to just hurry and power through, but this weekend she went from limping to whining, to moaning, to actually screaming, LOUDLY while we were hurrying to get back inside. Surely a dismemberment would have been quieter. The neighbors came running, no doubt assuming she had been shot. I know the ice/salt combo burns puppy pads so I believe she was in real pain, despite her tendency to overreact. As for the snow, ice, and cold, we have no end in sight. The neighbors are amused by the bucket transport and I am sure we are both a bit humiliated but it is an okay interim solution. The snow itself is never a problem unless it is this deep, but the rock-salt is killer. We have tried some pet-safe ice treatments but the snowplow company will continue to use the power stuff which is probably necessary since this is housing for people with disabilities. Sully peed on the floor once today while I was out for a couple of hours. I'm sure it is related since I took her out just before I went out. I was actually wondering if having her walk on recycled newspaper might be easier. I'm sure there are plenty of dog owners with better problem solving skills than I in this area. Thanks if you can think of anything better than my crazy attempts. I love snow, hate rock salt.

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Comment by Holly on February 8, 2015 at 4:24pm

Ooh! Great idea about the runner Chris! I have to drag her several feet to get past the most heavily salted areas but the bin is working surprisingly well so far. I haven't had to treat her paws with much yet Marcie since she carried on long before they were actually injured. I'll have to hit Amazon to see what might work best. In the meantime I have created a monster. She went from never asking to go out, to almost refusing to go out, to asking to go out all the time. She hops into that plastic bin as if it were her personal limo. She even remembers when to get in and out to stay off the salt. The snow is growing firmer now too so she can climb on top of the untreated mounds now which adds to her enjoyment of the "bucket trips." I feel like the woman with the dog in "Rear Window."

Comment by Marcie on February 8, 2015 at 12:27pm
Would mushers secret help? It seems like it would at least help her paws heal up. Becca still has more of a problem with the cold than the salt. I haven't found booties that I can get on her by myself, so I just try to make quick trips.

One of my neighbors found booties that work for her terrier. They velcro around the legs to keep them on. The dog seems to love them. Her dog has a problem with this powdery snow balling up in her feet. With 12-18 more inches forecast for today and tomorrow it will continue to be a problem.
Comment by Chris Payerl on February 8, 2015 at 10:28am
How far is it to the safe area on the rock salt? Might a length or two of that plastic hallway runner or a cheap carpet runner work if you lay it over the salt when you take Sully out and then roll it back up again when you go in? It would protect her paws from the salt. The plastic is available at hardware stores and home improvement places. We lay that down inside when we are working in the garden so we don't track dirt into the house when we come in for drinks/bathroom.
We have little rubber booties for Sophie. The brand is Paws. They look like deflated balloons and fit quite snugly. They can be a little tricky to get on, at least for me. I usually hold Sophie and hubby puts them on her. She walks funny but tolerates them okay. They are supposed to be disposable, but we reuse them several times. They come several (12?) to a pack and come in different color coded sizes. We have the red ones. Measure the bottom of Sully's foot from longest toe to the back of the sole to get the right size - the package or display will tell you which size is which.
I think your plastic bin idea is great! Doggy sleigh ride! Might a little kid's plastic sled make it easier to drag her to her bathroom spot? Good luck.
Comment by Holly on February 8, 2015 at 2:17am

I tried the booties last year but we made it through last winter somehow without incident. I think it was because the snow was so frozen last year we could walk on top of it and avoid the salted areas altogether. This year brought new challenges so we may have to give the booties another try. I think the fit was off last year as well and they were hard to walk in so a bit more research may help. Also, since having just come from a shelter Sully was much less open to new things than she may be now. Are all booties created equal?

Comment by susan on February 8, 2015 at 12:16am
You gave the booties a really good try? I would put them on inside and let her get used to them. Hold her dinner and feed it to her only when she wears the booties. Something extreme to get her to tolerate them?

And if that didn't work, could you take her to 'the spot' in a wagon, then pull her back home afterwards?

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