Your dog uses their paws for almost everything. Whether they’re walking, playing fetch, wrestling, playing with toys, or just generally trying to get around, your dog is using their paws. For this reason, dog’s paws need to be cared for to protect your dog’s well-being.
There’s more to paw pads than meets the eye, though. Your dog’s paw pads help absorb shock, insulate from heat and the cold, and give support on rough ground. Your dog needs their paws to be in great condition, and they can’t maintain them on their own. Its up to you to help keep your dog’s paw pads in tip-top shape! Here are our tips to help your dog maintain healthy paws.
1. Watch for Chewing and Licking
If you notice your dog licking or chewing their paw pads, it could be a sign that there’s something irritating their paws. Anything causing irritation should be cleared off before your dog further damages their pads. Just as you wouldn’t pick at a sore or wound, you shouldn’t let your dog do that either!
2. Trim your dog’s nails
Your dog’s nails should barely touch the ground. If your dog clicks like a tap-dancer as they walk on hard surfaces, it’s time for a trim. Here’s why that matters: Nails that are too long can get snagged and cause injuries or even break or remove a nail.
How often you should trim depends a lot on your dog, and some breeds may not need to be trimmed much at all.
3. Moisturize when needed
Your dog’s paws can crack and bleed if they get too dry. However, its important not use lotions or moisturizers meant for humans on your dog’s paws. These can soften the pads and lead to further injury. Instead, we recommend finding a lotion specifically made for dog paws. Your veterinarian should be able to help you here.
Apply it to your dog’s paws as directed, and take the time to give your pup some pampering. This can be both a healthy experience and a bonding experience.
4. Avoid Hot Surfaces
Its important to keep your dog’s paws off of hot surfaces. How hot is too hot? A good way to check to see if a surface is too hot is to place your palm on the pavement. If you can’t rest your palm comfortably for five seconds, the ground is too hot for your dog.
As a reminder, Watch for chewing and licking, trim your dog’s nails regularly, moisturize their paws with dog friendly lotion, and avoid requiring your pet to walk on surfaces too hot for your own hand.