How to Care for Your Dog’s Paws
Are your dog’s paws neglected?
It’s true that the pads on your dog’s paws are made tough…they are intended to withstand running, jumping, playing indoors and out, absorbing shock to protect your dog’s bones and joints and to act as insulation during hot or cold weather. Because they are made for all these functions, they can take a real beating. So as responsible dog owners, and because we love our dogs, we need to care for them so they won’t be injured and cause your dog a great deal of pain.
Symptoms of an injured paw
Tough as they may be, paws should not be considered as armor, they are made of skin and bones, ligaments, tissue and they have a blood supply. You should check your dog’s paws frequently, especially after exercise or an outing. Watch for:
- Cracked Pads
- Cuts and abrasions
- Objects that may be stuck between the toes
Your dog may indicate injury by:
- Continually holding a paw up
- Discolored pads
- Continuous licking or biting on a paw
Dog Paw Care Tips:
Keep their nails trimmed: If a dog’s nails click as they walk, they’re too long! They could get caught or stuck in something. If you are new to nail trimming, you can ask a groomer or a veterinarian for tips and advice on how to do it properly…there is a right and a wrong way. If you’re nervous about doing it yourself, it’s a service that either of the above mentioned will be happy to do. At BowWow Fun Towne, we are experienced in cutting dog’s nails.
Keep the hair around their paws trimmed: When this hair gets too long, not only will it mat and become uncomfortable, but it can hold tiny rocks and thorns in it.
Massage: Just as you and I like a good foot or hand massage, your dog will appreciate a good paw massage. Not only is it relaxing, but it also encourages good blood flow. The more you handle the feet and pads, the easier it will be to cut the nails in the future. Use a good pad moisturizer during the massage to keep the pads from drying and cracking. Don’t use a moisturizer that you would use on yourself…it has a tendency to dry their paws out.
Exercise Precautions: If you’re starting something new, work into it gradually. Hiking and running can cause cracking or soreness if your dog is not used to it.
Seasons of the year: Avoid over exposing your dog to hot sidewalks and sand in the summertime, and very cold surfaces in the winter, especially those that have been treated with de-icer or salt. You wouldn’t enjoy these extreme conditions on your bare feet and neither would your dog. They can cause blistering, cracking or burning.
In a future post we’ll talk about what you can do if your dog’s paws become injured.
If it’s not possible to take your dog with you…Give us a Call!
BowWow Fun Towne is a dog daycare that takes the health and well-being of your dog seriously. We provide all types of exercise from playing with friends to swimming. We are experts at what we do and are dedicated to assisting you and providing the best care for your dog while you’re away.