From preventative care to addressing and treating existing ailments and issues, there are a number of ways in which you should care for your best furry friend's paws. Caring for your own feet is probably a no-brainer and something that you likely have to put very little thought into. You slip on boots before heading out in the snow or rain and you quickly move off of or avoid hot pavement in the summer months if you're frolicking around barefoot. Applying lotion to your feet to prevent or treat dryness may even already be a part of your daily routine. Keeping all of this in mind, have you put much thought into what you do to protect your dog's paws and pads?
Your pooch's paw pads can be very sensitive and are not immune to being impacted by adverse conditions. Exposure to snow, sleet, rain, debris and hot surfaces can pack a punch and cause pain, but they aren't the only hazards threatening your dog's paw and pad health. Protect your dog and treat paw pad issues by doing the following:
providing maintenance care
providing protection against the elements
treating existing issues
This guide covers and explores these areas of care and provides advice on how to keep your dog comfy and safe both at home and while out and about. Read on to keep your dog's paws feeling their absolute best.
You regularly wash your hands and trim your fingernails and toenails to keep them looking and feeling great. Your dog's nails and paws sometimes require this same level of attention to ensure he can continue walking free of pain. Whether your pup regularly receives nail trims at the vet, while being pampered by your groomer or you prefer to do it yourself at home, having quality dog nail clippers on hand is a must. Even if nail trimming is something you don't regularly take on yourself, being prepared to handle small in-between trims is important.
Your pup's nails should only be long enough to almost touch the floor. If you've noticed an uptick in nails clicking and clacking against the ground or floor, it's time for a trim. If allowed to continue to grow untrimmed, your dog's long nails could push their paws up and away from the ground while walking, causing pressure, strain and sometimes extreme discomfort. Sometimes accidents happen, even when you're being careful. It's also a good idea to have styptic powder nearby for clotting blood and bringing bleeding to a halt in the event you accidentally hit the quick during a trim.
Nothing feels more relaxing and rejuvenating than a massage and your pet is likely to enjoy one just as much as you do. Regularly take the time to moisturize and massage your pup's paws and pads. This is a great opportunity to gently inspect the paws and in between your dog's toes for small pieces of debris that can cause irritation or pain. Making this part of your routine also provides the perfect time for rubbing a conditioning balm over your pooch's pads to keep them moisturized and soft.
Ensuring your pet's paws are protected against harmful weather elements when he ventures outside is an important key to keeping paws healthy and well-cared for. Depending on how sensitive your pup's paws and pads are, any number of outdoor conditions can pose a threat to paw health, including snow, sleet, ice, rain or hot asphalt and surfaces. You wouldn't want to head out in the snow, rain or out onto hot asphalt without first outfitting yourself in the appropriate footwear. You have many choices for preparing or suiting up your dog before heading out in the elements.
Smoothing a protective and moisturizing balm over your pup's pads before leaving the house is a great way to create a barrier between snow, sleet, ice and accumulated salt. You can also outfit your dog in his own pair of booties, which are not only adorable but serve to protect those sensitive paws. A pair of fitted all-weather boots will keep paws safe from frigid winter weather conditions. It's not only the cold that threatens to wreak havoc on puppy paw pads. Bright summer sun rays beating down can often make outdoor surfaces too hot for your pup to comfortably handle. Heat-resistant dog booties can help your pup keep his cool while traversing hot summer surfaces.
If you notice your dog's pads seem sensitive to touch, are cracked or feel extremely rough, it's important to take action as soon as possible to alleviate any discomfort and to keep the situation from worsening. A paw repair treatment can condition, soothe and help cracked, sore pads to begin to heal. Apply these treatments by gently massaging them over and into your pup's paw pads. Allow them to soak in for a few minutes to ensure maximum saturation and benefits. Watch your dog to make sure he isn't licking at his paws, as not only will this remove the healing balm but can also cause increased irritation.
Preventative measures and quickly addressing minor paw pad issues can go a long way in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. While many minor irritations can be treated comfortably at home, if problems persist, the pads are severely cracked and bleeding or your pup is in pain, a trip to the vet may be in order to get your dog back on his feet.