Caring for your dog’s paw pads should be as routine to every pet owner as caring for our own skin. We are so used to our dogs being such wonderfully resilient animals that we forget just how sensitive and delicate certain parts of their bodies can be. As Fido frolics around outside his paw pads undergo a certain amount of stress. It is normal to start noticing that the surface of the paw pad becomes less smooth – dry and rough even, as cuts and abrasions develop and heal.
Most dogs have a pretty high tolerance for pain and can endure certain paw pad injuries without complaint. They’ll still walk, run and jump, but secretly they’re hurting. By consistently checking out the pads of your dogs paws, you can ensure that Fido isn’t ambling along with any hidden injuries.
Another indicator is how often your dog sits licking his paws. Prolonged licking usually indicates discomfort and the area being licked should be examined.
With that in mind, you should be responsible in caring for your dog’s paw pads, because a little infection can go a long way. Here are some tips on how to help your dog survive a day without getting paw pad injuries:
Avoid walking on anything black (asphalt): asphalt is usually hotter than a concrete sidewalk when exposed to the sun. However, if walking on asphalt is unavoidable, then try to limit the time that your dog walks on this surface and always keep them moving. Think of it as running your fingers through a candle and not getting burned – the same is true for dogs as they cross the blazing sidewalks. In short – do not make them stand still or their paw pads will be toasted.
Walking on sand, especially darker sand can also be excruciating for dogs and their paw pads. This does not mean avoid all beaches. Let your dog walk alongside the shoreline instead, where the cool temperature of the water can heal their sore paw pads. You can also try letting your dog walk along lighter sand.
Many sharp objects like broken glass and sharp rocks can be at the beach or even in the streets, so it is important that you check your dog’s paw pads from time to time for any cuts or damage to his paws.
Treat any paw pad injury by washing it first, and then drying with a clean towel. Use antiseptic such as betadine, or even natural remedies like Neem Oil or Coconut Oil. Then, wrap it in rolled gauze and bandage it. Rewrap as necessary.
Caring for your dog’s paw pads is your responsibility as a pet parent/owner. It ranks right up there with proper feeding, regular walks and copious amounts of affection. Include checking up on your dog’s paw pads in Fido’s regular care routine. Believe me, your pooch will love you all the more for doing so.
(Inspired by a post by The Dogington Post)
How do you care for your dog’s pads? Let us know – share your ideas and care tips!
Keep your tails wagging