Healthy dog paws are very important for your furry friend’s well-being. They use it to walk, play, fetch, and run towards you when you arrive home after a long day at work. At the same time, their paws absorb shock; provide traction, balance, and insulation to keep them warm. Letting their paws come in contact with different surfaces is a sign that they are happy enough, however, with those great experiences, comes the natural wear and tear to your pet’s paws.
As a responsive dog parent, you want your pooch to feel their best every day. Paw care routine ensures comfort for your best bud in their adventures and prevents injuries. Pampering your pet’s paw pads doesn’t take up much time and increases considerably their quality of life as they’ll have stronger and moisturized paws.
In this article, I will highlight the best practices and some key products to take care of your dog’s paw pads.
Check paws regularly
Do paw checks after walking or playing outside with your dog. Gently apply pressure to the paw pad to spread the toes apart and check for any injury or unknown object. Pay attention to the aspect, texture, and coloration of the paw. It’s easier and better to prevent than facing the consequences of neglect.
Dogs usually lick their paws as part of their self-grooming, but if you notice your pet is licking them excessively, it may be a red flag that something is wrong with their paws and you should check them.
Keep your pet’s nails in shape by trimming them regularly. Overgrown nails can press into your pup’s paws and be painful. If your pet’s nails are touching the floor when they walk, it’s a sign that you need to trim them.
You can easily and safely trim your pooch’s nails at home. My favorite equipment – and the most pet-friendly to use – is a nail grinder. It gently grinds and smooths the dog’s nails in a stress-free process, resulting in smooth and tidy nails. I recommend using the LuckyTail Nail Grinder as it’s whisper-quiet and vibration-free. The tool also comes with protective caps and two-speed modes that ensure fast and safe trimming.
Paw pads tend to crack and bleed if they get too dry, causing discomfort for your pooch. To prevent dryness, you can apply specialized paw pad moisturizers. I use Paw Soother as it protects and provides a thicker barrier between my dog’s paws and the ground. It’s very important to mention that you should never use lotions made for humans on your pet.
Avoid walking on hot pavements
A hot surface can burn your dog’s paw pads. Always check the pavement that has been exposed to sunlight before bringing your pet for a stroll. If it’s too hot for you, it’s also hot for your dog. During summertime, try to walk your dog on grass or in the shade and limit walking time.
In case you notice any blistering or burning due to exposure on a hot surface, wash their paws with antibacterial soap and carefully wrap them with gauze.
Avoid walking on ice
The same occurs when you want to go for a walk during winter: if it’s too cold for your feet, it’s also for your pet’s paws.
Winter can be even tougher for dogs because of the salt used to melt ice on the street. Not only can the salt can burn their paws, but also can be toxic if your dog licks his paws after the walk, possibly resulting in sickness. Moreover, it’s the prime season for dry skin, so you should consider moisturizing their paws often.
The ideal solution is to put on your dog booties and limit outdoor exposure. If they dislike using the boots, you can also apply paw wax prior to going out in the snow. I recommend buying Musher’s Secret Paw Protection as it forms a dense protective barrier around the paws, protecting not only against ice and snow but also from hot surfaces.
As you’ve seen, paw care is essential for our furry friend’s quality of life. Healthy paws allow them to explore and enjoy new experiences with comfort and pleasure. If you have a different paw care routine, share it with us in the comments below!