Your dog might soon suffer from an injury on one of his paws. Your dog’s paws are used almost all of the time.
The goal here is to possibly prevent dog paw problems, distinguish the potential causes and problems as early as we can, and to share the knowledge about the treatment at home, or if it’s needed, to see the vet.
1. Check the Paws Weekly
If a dog starts to walk weakly, most people will quickly check the feet or legs to see the problem.
However, it’s more important to check each foot weekly, regardless if your dog’s acting fine or not.
What to do:
1. Sit or kneel on the floor, or you can place your dog on your lap.
2. Carefully check the top and bottom of the foot, between the toes, the foot pads and in between, and the nails.
3. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding, tenderness, cuts, or signs of irritation.
4. Press the food pads gently, around the toes, and on the nail bed.
5. If your dog shows signs of discomfort, like pulling away, winces, or whimpers, then you have to look closer and pay more attention. The most common things that are causing discomfort are foreign bodies such as slivers, weed seeds, gum, tiny pieces of broken glasses, etc.
2. Be Aware of Burrs and Awns
If your little ones love to hang around in the green fields, it’s quite possible for their toes to pick up some burrs or awns or any other rough grasses. These extremely irritating things can be picked up easily, which may result in paw problems in the future.
Daily paw check-up is recommended. For spiny burr grass, trimming a little hair is needed. You can also apply mineral oil to remove it.
For grass awns, you can use a pair of needle-nose pliers.
3. Regular Trimming
For long-haired dogs, it’s quite common to develop some mats between their foot pads. These may cause irritability for them.
Make a habit of trimming the hair between your dog’s feet to prevent discomfort. It will also be easier to get rid of those tiny foreign bodies like burrs and awns.
4. Keep the Paws Dry
Too much moisture in your dog’s paws can be annoying for them. Whenever the paws are exposed to liquid, dry it off as often as you can.
You may use a towel or any thick cloth. Excess moisture sometimes comes from never-ending licking if your dog has a bacterial or fungal infection. Bathing your pet regularly is a good thing. Y
ou can add a couple of inches of water in the bottom of the sink or tub. Adding some Epsom salt would be better.
5. Instantly Cure Painful Dog Paw Cracks
If too much moisture in the paws is annoying for them, too much dryness can lead to unwanted cracks, too!
Apply some lubrication, like wax, to prevent snow or ice balls from forming. It gives the paws a light feeling.
6. Never Let the Paws Burn
There are some cases where pet owners let their dogs walk above hot asphalt or concrete. It looks entertaining for some people, but is it safe for your little ones?
Just remember that if a surface is hot for the palm of your hand, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.
7. Salt Can Cause Paw Problems
During winter, avoid walking your dog in places where there are salt or other deicers because it can irritate the paws and cause too much dryness.
When you go out for a walk, and you accidentally walk through these offending substances, just wash or dip your dog’s feet in the water and dry with a towel.
8. Getting Rid of Paw Gunk
There are different kinds of substances that your dog might walk on, like chewing gum, motor oil, tree sap, etc. Yes, it’s really hard to avoid foreign bodies, but it’s easy to get rid of them.
Simply wash the feet with dishwasher or olive oil. If you can’t get rid of the gunk, trimming or heading to the vet might be needed.