- Walking on gravelly surfaces on the streets
- Walking on over heated roads
- Rubbing the paw pads on rough surfaces
- Development of mats between the toes.
|Caring for dog paw pads|
There is a lot to be taken into consideration besides just trimming your dog’s nails when it comes to caring for their paw pads.
DIY DOG GROOMING: LEARN TO DO IT THE CORRECT WAY
What are paw pads?
HOW TO TRIM YOUR DOG’S NAILS SAFELY?
- If your dog is young and hyperactive, goes on daily walks or hikes on rough surfaces, chances are that they will have rough paws.
- On the other hand, if you have an older dog who does not go for walks much or if your dogs mostly spend time running on grass, they are more likely to have smooth paw pads.
- If you regularly maintain the paw pads by cleaning them and use lotions and creams meant for the paw pads, chances are the paw pads will be smooth.
What can damage your dogs paw pads?
In most cases, the damage to the paw pads of dogs can occur due to various conditions. However, in most cases the causes involve winter environmental conditions, regular walks on hot pavement, chemical exposure and finally, allergic conditions.
Hot pavement and weather
Dogs have to go on walks, whether it is winter or summer. However, the temperature outside is not in our hands. It may be too hot and your dog needs to go potty. You do not have much option to let your dog out later. You will have to either take your dog out for a walk or let them in the backyard. If the surface is devoid of grass, chances are the pavement surface will burn the paw pads of your dog.
Alternatively you take your dog to the beach on a hot and sunny day to cool down. However, the sand on the beach and the salt water of the sea are two environmental elements that can cause damage to the paw pads.
Paw pad exposure to chemicals
If you live in a snowy region, chances are that the sidewalks and roads will be covered with chemicals meant for ice melting and se-icing salts. On the other hand, during the months of summer, people spray their gardens and yards with pesticides and fertilizers. Even the house cleaning chemicals contain several ingredients that may harm the paw pad of your dogs. These chemicals can not only hurt the paw pads of your dog, they can cause serious health condition if your dog ingests them.
Dogs suffer from allergies too as has been observed in the case of humans. If your dog has allergies, it can cause itchy and dry paws. This can also lead to the paws splitting open and bleeding. If your dog continues to lick and chew the paw pads, it will cause further damage to the skin of the paw pad.
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Maintenance of your dog’s paw pads:
Form a habit of regularly checking your dog’s paws:
Gently spread the toes apart and check the sides of the paw pads for the presence of any abrasions, injuries or any foreign objects which may have got lodged between the paw pads. Make sure to also check for the presence of any discoloration or swelling. Furthermore, watch your dog closely to see if they show any sign of being in pain while you are inspecting the paw pads.
18 SIGNS, A DOG IS IN PAIN
How to check if a surface is okay for your dog to walk on?
Put the back of your hand on the hot pavement or the hike trail you want to take your dog on. Hold it there for 7 seconds. If you can maintain your hand on that surface for 7 seconds, then it is okay for your dog to walk on. If you cannot keep your hand on the surface, then it is not fit for your dog to walk on either.
On the other hand, snow ice or salt can also be detrimental to your dogs paws. The ice melt products are not dog safe. They can even cause drying out, cracking or burning of the paws. Furthermore, it can turn out to be toxic if ingested by licking the paws.
Keeping the paw pads healthy
Get your dog used to wearing dog booties
Dog booties are not always meant for making funny videos. Granted, when dogs wear booties for the first time, they have some pretty hilarious responses. But jokes aside, if you can get your dog used to wearing boots, nothing better than that. Look for boots which are well fitted, sturdy and of the non-slippery kind.
|How to care for dog paw pads?|
Moisturize your dog’s paws pads
Always use the paw balms before taking your dog for a walk. You can also use some coconut oil for an everyday paw massage. It will keep the pads healthy and prevent any microbial infection. Regular massaging your dog’s paw pads will let him or her relax after a long day of constantly being active on the paws. Check out the the other amazing benefits of coconut oil for dogs.
Keep the fur in paw pads trimmed and mat free
Always make sure to keep the fur between your dog’s paw pads trimmed and short. This helps to provide increased traction on slippery surfaces and helps prevent matting. It also makes it easier to inspect their paw for any injury or abrasion.
Dealing with toe tangles and matted fur
If your dog has matted fur between the toes, use olive oil to loosen the mat and then very gently try to comb it out. However, it’s best recommended to leave it to the groomers to remove the matted fur as it can be a pretty painful process for your dog.
Take your dog on the walk when it is cool outside
Dogs are creatures of habit. If you take them to poop outside at a specific time daily, they will have the urge to go for pooping at the same time regularly. Thus, make sure that during summers, you take your dog out during the early phases of the morning, when it is cooler outside and the pavement would not be very hot.
TRAIN YOUR DOG TO WALK ON LEASH
Wash the paw pads and dry them after walk time
Always wash the paw pads of your dog and dry them the moment you finish walk time. Whether it is dirt, grime, snow or sand, washing the paw pads will remove all the unnecessary elements from the paw pads. Once the paw pads have been cleaned and dried, apply a good quality dog paw pad balm to trap the moisture in and keep the paw pads healthy and dirt free.
Dog paw pad cut/injury/wound care:
- First, clean the wound with warm water.
- Do a second clean with Betadine.
- Clean out particles which might be stuck in the foot with tweezers.
- Dry out the paw pad with light motions and a soft towel. Be careful to not hurt the paw any further.
- Apply a ‘dog specific’ antibiotic ointment.
- Apply a bandage so that your dog does not lick off the antibiotic.
- Consult your veterinarian.
If you notice your dog’s paw pads developing blisters due to walking on hot surfaces, reduce the walk time to allow the blisters to heal. Another option is to not take your dog out when it is too sunny. Meanwhile, keep the blisters clean by washing with water. Do not use peroxide on the blister, it will slow down the healing process. Only apply Neosporin to the blisters twice daily until the sores heal up. Call your vet in case a pain medication is needed.
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Other dog paw issues
Dog’s feet possess sweat glands which enable them to cool down during hot conditions. They also have scent glands which leave behind pheromones which indicate to other dogs of their presence. Most people complain of their dog’s feet smelling like corn chips. This is due to the growth of yeast or bacteria under your dog’s feet. However, if the smell is too strong, it is time to pay a visit to the vet. Your dog’s paw pad might be suffering from some infection caused by environmental and food allergies.
Hyperkeratosis Canine hyperkeratosis can either be genetic or an underlying medical condition. Under this condition, the paw pads of the dogs look crusty, thick, rough and it may seem like they have fur growing out of their paw pads. Take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice any such symptoms. In the meanwhile, keep the paws protected and moisturized with paw pad balm to reduce the discomfort of your dog.
Other grooming articles you may find interesting:
I always prefer to know the ingredients of what I am putting on Delta. Thus, I prefer to make a paw balm for him.
For this DIY paw balm recipe you will need:
- A double boiler or a small pot
- Lip balm tubes or lip balm tins
- A kitchen scale (completely optional)
- 2 oz. (approx. 2 tbsp.) olive, sweet almond or sunflower oil
- 1 oz. (approx. 1 tbsp.) shea butter
- 4 tsp. beeswax
- 2 oz. (approx. 2 tbsp.) coconut oil
- In a double boiler or a small pot, melt the shea butter, oil and beeswax on low heat. Stir the concoction continuously until it is melted and well mixed. pour the mixture carefully into the lip balm tins or tubes
- Let them cool on the counter until they become hard.
- Store them away from extreme heat
- Apply the balm to soften your dog’s paws or nose or as a preventive treatment. Use it within 1 to 2 years of making.
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