Dog Paw Care Tips: How to Take Care of Your Dog’s Paw Pads

Without any doubt, dogs are loved by a vast percentage of the world population mostly because of their ability to serve a wide array of purposes and their very expressive physical features like eyes, ears, and tail. However, one important feature about dogs that are often passed on is the paws which, besides being fascinating, are very germane for movement to take place. To truly appreciate the beauty of a dog’s paw you have to possess a basic knowledge of its anatomy and functions. Additionally, equipping yourself with dog paw care tips is the best way to take care of your canine companion very well.

What Exactly Are Paw Pads and What Purpose do They Serve?

Simply put, paw pads are hairless pigmented skin that serves as a cover for several bones, tissues, and fat. They can be found in animals like dogs, cats, tigers, foxes, and many more. Since fats are good insulators, they offer some sort of protection to the paws of animals during harsh weather conditions. In the case of dogs, paw pads serve a variety of functions, the most important being – movement, balance, shock absorption, traction, and stamina.

The texture of paw pads from one dog to another varies and this is a result of several factors. Some of these factors that influence the texture of a dog’s paw pads are breed, how often it walks, hiking, and the terrain on which it walks. That being said, a dog that walks on grass or an indoor wooden floor most of the time is expected to have a smoother paw than a dog that walks on stony terrain. Hence, it can be induced that the texture of a paw is proportionally related to the terrain on which it walks and how often it walks. On that note, dog paw care tips will differ with consideration to the kind of environment the dog was raised in.

Dog Paw Care Tips: How To Care For Your Dog’s Paw Pads

Dog Paw Care Tips

Carry out paw checks regularly

It is imperative that you as a dog owner take it upon yourself to regularly examine your dog’s paw pads right after playing with it or having a long walk with the pet. Apparently, it is most likely that during such activities, something can get stuck in their paws. As a result, you should look out for injuries and clear any foreign particles stuck in between the paws as this is the only way you can guarantee the safety of your pooch’s paw pads.

Be very mindful of the terrain

Whenever you are taking your dog out for a walk, it is very important as a dog owner to be very vigilant and watch out for broken glass, nails, or anything sharp capable of inflicting damage to your dog’s paws. While sharp debris is a usual sight on asphalt roads, some can be found around the house and as such, you should endeavor to keep your environment clean and free from these wreckages at all times. This is important because your dog may not know the materials that will be harmful to its paw pads while enjoying a quick run.

Use dog boots during winter

Winter is a season plagued by a huge amount of snowfall capable of restricting the movement of people and vehicles; as a result, salt is used by snowblowers to melt the ice. That being said, salt (a mixture of acid and base), when mixed with ice, creates a reaction that is capable of burning a dog’s paws. Hence it is always advisable to cover your dog’s paws with the right boots during winter to protect it from burning. This is one of the dog paw care tips that most people are often ignorant of but must be paid heed to.


Regular pedicure is required, even for a dog

A proper pedicure is as important to your dog’s paws as it is to your feet. Besides making the paws look clean, it is always advisable that your dog’s claws remain short as long nails tend to injure the paws when snapped, impeding the movement of your dog. The probability of a dog snapping its claws is always high, most especially if it’s very active and young. Another good reason to groom your dog’s claws regularly is to curb the kind of scratches you as the owner would receive while playing with the pooch.

Veterinary recommended moisturizers

Since the paws are always in use whenever a dog walks, it is most likely to crack and bleed, especially when it gets too dry. Hence it’s always good to apply moisturizers on the paws so as to reduce friction and prevent cracking. While applying the moisturizer, you can use the opportunity to gently massage your dog’s paws to stimulate the area. Generally, taking good care of these paw pads helps in the overall well-being of your pet.

Common Dog Paw Problems and Their Causes

Cuts and Abrasions – This occurs when a dog steps on sharp objects like broken glass, concrete nails, and tiny sharp-edged rocks. The paws may look tough but they can also get injured.

Burns – This is a result of your dog walking on really hot asphalt which in turn leads to burns and blisters on its paws.

Parasites – Ticks and lice are known for hiding in the most unlikely places and as such, it is not impossible for them to be found in between the paws. They can be feeding off your pooch from there without being spotted, as such, regular checks are recommended.

Cracked paw pads – This is caused when paws are dry as a result of a lack of moisturizer.

Read Also: What Does It Mean When A Dog Keeps Gagging?

Other Facts You Didn’t Know About Dog Paws

  • Dog paws are made up of 5 components which are claws, dewclaw, digital pads, metacarpal, and carpal pad
  • The dewclaw of a dog is the human equivalent of a thumb and it doesn’t touch the ground when the animal is in a standing position
  • Dogs chew on their paws whenever they are excessively stressed
  • The paws are highly weatherproof
  • Dog paws are very sensitive to heat
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