My puppy limps in the snow, why is he doing this?

I live in Wisconsin and we have a lot of snow on the ground right now. My dog doesn't mind going out in it and usually runs and plays without any problems... but sometimes he'll start to limp, and will often times just drop to the ground and lay there. Is the snow irritating his paws or is the snow getting stuck between his toes? Wondering if anyone can share some advice?!

Asked by Dewey on Jan 21st 2008 in Health & Wellness
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I would guess that either your puppy's little pads are getting cold and bothering him. OR maybe there is something like salt (used to thaw out sidewalks, etc) that is getting into his pads and causing an irritation. If this is really bothersome for him, you may want to consider purchasing a pair of "puppy boots" for him to wear in the snow. I know that they are not that expensive and could save him some discomfort out in the snow. (if you are able to keep them on him,lol!) Good luck!

Hunter answered on Jan 21st.

Other Answers



It could be that there's salt in the snow and it's hurting him. Puppies' paws are still very delicate and shouldn't be out in the cold nor should they walk on snow for an extended period of time. His paws may be starting to get too cold/numb when he starts to limp, so you may just want to warm him up a little bit before taking him out again. Other than that, I can't really think of anything else that could be causing his limping.

Bugsy answered on 1/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I'm assuming from your question that this happens when Dewey is out in the snow, not walking on the roads where there might be chemicals or salt on the sidewalk. Is that correct?

If that's the case, then the most likely option is that it's due to the snow and ice getting stuck between his pads. This usually affects dogs with a lot of hair between the pads more than dogs that have very short hair between their paws, but can be seen in both. What happens is that little snowballs form between the toes and turn to ice. This can be very uncomfortable if not painful for your dog and can cause the limping or just stopping and waiting for you to pick him up because walking hurts.

Have you considered using dog boots? I know a lot of people think they're silly, but if you have a dog that commonly has issues with the snow or the area where you live puts out chemical ice melt, it might be a good solution. If you get dog boots, make sure they are quality ones like Muttlucks, not fashion ones.

Abby answered on 1/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I (Dinky) always "limp" when there's snow or even rain water on the ground! I usually hobble around on 3 legs! For me, (my mom believes) it's because I hate getting my silky paws wet or cold. As long as you're not limping in the house, I think there's no prob. Then again, what others are saying about snow getting clumped between paw pads makes sense...that hair between the pads (really only long-haired dogs have this prob) can cause splaying of the toes if left un-trimmed.

Dinky answered on 1/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


This Past weekend in Wisconsin, it was in the single digits if not below! Ava could only be out for may be 2 min before starting to limp or freeze up. I thing your pup was just getting way too cold. Kinda like if you would go out side and put your hands in the snow. They would start to get really really cold. They may even start to burn, you wouldn't want to move them because they would hurt. Your skin (and water in it) would start to freeze. I think this is what is happening to your pup. I would suggest to take you pup out for shorter times, put a coat them and dog boots if you have them (baby socks). We had to take many trips out to do #1 and #2.

Member 499545 answered on 1/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


It could be both.My sisters dog is very short hair and if out on a very cold day or to long on the snow her feet start to hurt and she as well falls righ tot the ground and put her whole foot in her mouth which of course makes it worse because then her foot is wet.One of my dog feet will actually start to bleed when he doesn't have any sore or anything to make them bleed.So I think it depends on the dog.It's hard to say keep the hair trimmed on his feet because he may need it but then again hair on the feet will make him collect snow between his tootsies.Boots he needs boots LOL

Jesse answered on 1/28/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer