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5 tips for caring for your canine’s paws

If you have ever taken a look at your dog’s paws, you’ll realize they are the toughest part of his exterior. There is good reason; they have several jobs to perform. They do more than merely protect his feet. They function as padding that protects his joints when he walks or runs. They also insulate the bottoms of his feet, which is invaluable when the ground is cold or hot. There is also soft tissue beneath your canine’s pads that is protected from injury.

It is for these reasons that many dogs are hesitant to allow strangers to touch their feet. Many canines don’t even enjoy their owners handling their feet. But it’s important that you do everything you can to care for your pooch’s paws, so he’ll remain comfortable when he walks. The following five tips will help.

1 – Apply A Moisturizer

Even though the pads are extremely tough, they can crack over time. Ask your canine’s veterinarian to recommend a moisturizer you can apply on them. Don’t use a moisturizer that is designed for people. Use one that is specifically tailored for dogs.

2 – Avoid Hot Surfaces

Have you ever walked on hot pavement or sand? It becomes painful within seconds. Your dog also experiences this pain. While his paws are tougher than the soles of your feet, heat can become uncomfortable after an extended period of time. It’s not uncommon for dogs to suffer blisters on their feet from having to walk on hot surfaces.

Unfortunately, owners are often unaware of the pain their pets experience because they assume their feet are fine. Often, they are not. Inspect your pooch’s pads on a regular basis. If you notice blisters, use an antibacterial agent to clean them. Then, place bandages over them to prevent further problems. In the meantime, avoid taking your pet on long walks in places where his only alternative is to walk on extremely hot pavement.

3 – Check For Foreign Objects

Pieces of glass, sharp rocks, and even metal shavings can become stuck in your pet’s paws. When they do, they can cause him pain and make walking uncomfortable. This is another reason to check them periodically. If you see items that have punctured his pads, remove them with a pair of tweezers. For cuts that have caused bleeding, wash and clean his feet thoroughly, and bandage them.

4 – Wash During Winter

If you live in an area that receives snow during the winter, you’ll need to take extra precautions with your canine’s paws. Rock salt is often used on the roads and sidewalks to melt ice. The problem is, rock salts are especially tough on your pet’s pads. Prolonged exposure can cause blisters and sores. If they are not addressed, infection might set in.

When returning from a walk during the winter, wash your dog’s feet to clean them of the rock salt. This will prevent blisters and sores from developing.

5 – Visit The Veterinarian

If you have treated your dog’s paws after he sustained a puncture, cut, or developed blisters, and he is not healing, take him to his veterinarian. There may be a more significant problem than is obvious. The veterinarian will be able to examine your canine’s feet more closely, determine why they have not healed properly, and recommend treatment. If you wait too long before taking your dog to the vet, a relatively small problem with his paws – or the underlying tissue – can quickly worsen.

The most effective way to ensure your canine’s pads remain in good condition is to check them daily. Look for blisters, burns, and signs of injury, such as cuts and punctures. If you see them, treat them and make sure they heal properly.

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