Snow and Ice Caught in Your Dog's Fur? Here's What Vets Say You Should Do

Snow and winter may seem like a lot of fun for your dog, but clumps of snow and ice balls that get caught in their fur can make it quite the opposite.

"As the dog moves through the snow while walking, its fur catches snowflakes. Since their body emits heat, snowflakes melt, become wet, build up, and gradually turn into bigger snowballs. Ice and snow clumps get stuck in fur easily and cannot be removed by simply pulling," Claudine Sievert, DVM, a veterinary consultant at told POPSUGAR.

"It can be very difficult to remove ice balls from your dog's fur, especially if it involves many hairs, and they are all tangled together," said Albert Ahn, DVM, veterinary advisory at Myos Pet. Here's how to remove them safely.

How Do I Remove Snow and Ice From My Dog's Fur?

Dr. Ahn suggested using a hair dryer. "You may use a canine brush with the blow dryer to gently melt and de-tangle the snow, ice, and hair mats that have formed in your dog's fur. But use the brush with extreme caution, as you don't want to accidentally rip the hair off of the dog's skin, which can lead to an infection," he warned.

Alternatively, Dr. Sievert recommends a warm shower as the easiest way to rid your pup of snow and ice. "[Snow and ice] will melt under warm water and disappear without a trace," explained Dr. Sievert. If you don't have time to give your dog a shower, Dr. Sievert suggested letting your dog soak its paws in a bowel with warm water.

Can I Use a Whisk to Remove Snow from My Dog's Fur?

Dr. Sievert said that some dog owners recommend using a kitchen whisk along the legs and belly to eliminate small ice clumps, but she cautioned that a whisk is not always a safe option. "It might be an unpleasant procedure, especially for long-haired pups," she explained.

Dr. Ahn agreed, noting that a whisk is especially dangerous if large ice balls have formed. "You want to be careful not to yank on [iceballs] because they may have hundreds of hairs trapped, and pulling on them with a whisk or other instrument risks creating additional issues associated with your dog's skin such as an infection. It can also be quite painful for your pup!" he emphasized.