Dog paw pads are very similar to human feet except that they have calluses on the pads and those calluses are specially designed to prevent further damage. Oftentimes, when people decide to take their dog for a walk in a rough area, they do not follow precautions and pads then become too hard and more prone to drying and cracking, which makes their paw pads more vulnerable to infections as well.
If the cracks in the dog paws don’t seem very deep and are not bleeding, you can try these tips at home and see how they respond.
Moisturize: While you can buy dog footpad moisturizers from pet shops, you can also use household products to restore moisture. Apply small quantities of petroleum jelly or cold-pressed, food-grade coconut oil onto the foot pads, using just enough to absorb it into the flesh. Massage the substance into cracks and dry spots. Distract the dog with a chew toy, or they can be tempted to suck away the moisturizer, negating its efficacy.
Clean Between Pads: A dash of mild soap and quick rinse makes it easy to clean off all the debris and mud. It’s also a great way to wash any scratches and scrapes. Also be sure to apply some ointment to any cuts or wounds after cleaning. For a quick clean up, wipes are a great option and can easily be carried with you in the car or bag.
Keep Your Dog’s Paw Pads Trimmed and Mat-Free: Keeping the skin or hair short between your dog’s paw pads can also help keep their paw pads healthy and provide more traction on slippery surfaces. When their paw pads are trimmed, it’s easier for you to inspect and clean their paws, and keep the ice from between their toes during the snowy weather. It also helps prevent any mating between the toes of your dog, which can be painful and cause your dog to chew at its feet.
Give Your Dog Pedicures: Grooming allows you to remove dead hair and skin from your dog’s coat. This will not only enhance the look of the coat, but will also increase the circulation of air to the skin. This is particularly important during the summer months when it is hot and humid.
Apply First Aid: It is necessary to ensure the proper care of your dog’s paw pad. Chances are that a dog’s paw pad injury can occur in your household. With proper protection, the necessary resources, such as a pet first aid kit, and the expertise and guidance of your veterinarian, your companion will be back on their paws and play in no time.