Researchers have found that a dog’s paws have complex circulation systems designed to keep them warm, thus offering great protection when walking on different terrains like snow. However, they aren’t made out of steel. With that said, it’s important to keep your dog’s paws properly maintained at all times in order to keep your furry friend both happy and healthy, no matter what breed you have. From paw moisturization to weather protection and even nail maintenance, here’s what you need to know.
The Importance of Moisturization
Just like our hands, a dog’s paws can crack and even bleed if they happen to get too dry; however, it’s important to keep in mind that lotion meant for people isn’t the answer, as it can be harmful to your dog if licked/ingested. Thankfully, there are pet-safe balms out there that can help keep your pet’s paws nice and moisturized — in fact, happiestdog advises that through regular use, balms can restore the natural layer of your dog’s paw pads while healing and soothing them at the same time. For dogs that do have dry or cracked paws, using a balm in conjunction with a bootie can help trap in the moisture and help it heal, all the while keeping it clean, too.
Minding the weather
Whether it’s sunny or snowy, the weather can certainly play a major part in your dog’s paw health. Extreme temperatures and other weather-related factors can cause injury — from burns to frostbite. For example, taking your dog out for a walk during the summer might sound like a good idea, though walking your dog on asphalt or concrete can have serious consequences if it’s too hot – such as burns and blisters on your dog’s paw pads. One great way to check if the pavement is too hot is to touch it with the back of your hand first. If it’s too hot to comfortably hold it there for five seconds, then it’s far too hot for your dog to walk on, meaning that sticking to shady, grassy areas is best.
On the other hand, winter weather can also take a toll on your dog’s paws, too for instance, snow can easily hide debris, which can lead to injury (such as glass that can cut, etc). Frostbite can also become an issue if the conditions are right for it as well, and salt that is used to melt snow can potentially cause burns. In order to protect your pup, winter booties or even a pet-safe paw wax could save the day for those winter walks. Otherwise, staying indoors might be the safer bet.
Nail Maintenance is a Must
Proper nail maintenance is a must when it comes to keeping all aspects of your dog’s paws in a healthy condition, and for several reasons. For instance, nails that are too long can not only be uncomfortable for your pup, but they can snag on things (like your clothing or blankets) and cause injury. In more extreme situations, your dog’s nails can even curl and grow into the paw itself, causing a very painful situation for your pup. Luckily, with regular trims this can be avoided, though it’s important to cut the nails carefully. For those whose dogs don’t look forward to getting their nails trimmed, there are options available – such as tools that can effortlessly and painlessly sand down the nails instead.
For many dog owners, a dog’s paws might be one of the last things on their mind. However, maintaining the health and wellness of the paws (and claws) through regular nail trims, minding the weather, and keeping the paw pads moisturized is a necessity for a happy and healthy pup.