We don’t often think about feet whether it be our own or our pets’. This is interesting because they carry a lot of weight— literally, especially for dogs.
Paws, like feet, carry our dogs from place to place but they’ re also a bit more complex. The bottom of a dog’s paw has a thick leathery part, often black or pink, that is called the pad. You may notice that some paw pads look different than others, though and that has a lot to do with environment and lifestyle. More adventurous dogs who experience all sorts of rough terrains will most likely have calloused pads; whereas dogs who experience mostly grass and concrete tend to have smoother paw pads.
The pad of paws are super important because they protect the fatty tissue that insulate and protect dogs’ paws from extreme weather and harsh surfaces. Additionally, paw pads give our dogs more traction and help their balance. So, with that being said, it’s important to take care of them. A simply trick to stay on top of paw pad care is to check ‘em out everyday. You’ll want to look at the bottom, sides, and in-between the toes and take not of any color changes, cuts, or discomfort. Typically, if a dog’s paw is hurting they limp or lick at the injury— be sure to look out for those indicators and be gentle. Common paw injuries include cuts and burns.
To avoid them try to avoid walking your dogs in extreme climates. You can easily check the to see if the ground is too hot or cold by holding your own hand on it. If you can’t keep your hand there for longer than 5 seconds without discomfort, than neither can your dog! In the winter, try using doggie booties as to avoid street salts that can lead to chemical burns and other discomforts if consumed. You can also use traction booties for hikes. Another tip is to wipe your dogs’ paws after every trip outside in order to avoid the former issues.
Because paw pads are so important, they need and deserve a lot of attention. As mentioned earlier a good indicator that your doggos have an injury is if they’re favoring one of their paws.
How to Take Care of an Injured Paw:
Pads with cuts tend not to hold stitches well due to the texture; so, if you stitch up a cut, it may take longer to heal. And, walking on an injured foot typically leads to infection. Follow these steps in order to quickly alleviate some of your dogs discomfort and then consult your vet.
1.) You’re going to want to clean the wound. Remove any glass or debris that you can. Soak the paw in lukewarm water to loosen any foreign particles. If the debris is impounded too deeply, do not try to remove it. Instead, inform your vet.
2.) Disinfect the wound.
3.) Try to stop the bleeding by using pressure on it with a clean cloth. If bleeding doesn’t slow down after 10 minutes, take your dogs to an emergency room!
4.) Finally, you’ll need to wrap the wound to protect it from further irritation. The most effective way to wrap a wound, regardless of its size, is to wrap the whole foot from the toes up to the ankle. Be sure not to make the wrap too tight or too loose, though (you should fit your index finger between the wrap and the dogs’ leg). After all this, remember to change the bandage regularly and keep it dry. Also, be sure to be in constant contact with your vet regarding any changes in your dogs’ behavior or the state of the wound.
Now, if your dogs’ paws are burned the steps for care and prevention vary. Your dogs can burn their paws on surfaces with extreme temperatures or chemical treatments. Severe burns need to be professionally treated, but soothing discomfort until you can get to the vet is easy. First, soak the injured paw in lukewarm water and wash the burn with a gentle soap and then wrap the injury.
Feet are important. Not only do they allow our friends to accompany us, but also they protect them. We all know how uncomfortable and inconvenient foot injuries can be; so, let’s try to take the precautions to ensure their comfort. Trimming nails isn’t enough; checking their paws and cleaning them regularly is best! For further care try our doggie booties. There are different options for different circumstances— instated for the cold, high traction for wet environments, ect. Also, consider a paw pad moisturizer. Musher’s Secret has high reviews and is even veterinarian-approved. This pawmade (pun intended) is essentially dual-action. It moisturizes the paws while also creating a barrier between the bottom of the feet and the ground. This protects your dogs’ paws from rocks, ice, and more.
As always, consult your vets.