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Paw: Pad Care

Take care of those feet!

Our furry babies romp and walk over all types of terrain when they are outdoors. When they are in the yard, there’s grass, dirt, plant and tree debris which can be pointy and sharp, and perhaps pebbles and rocks.The rule of thumb is if you would not walk barefoot on it, keep your dog off it. The pads on the bottom of their feet protect their bones and cushion the joints. They also safeguard your dogs’ feet as they walk over rough surfaces, and provide insulation during extreme weather.

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If you notice your dog limping, check for pebbles, thorns, glass or any other type of debris between their toes and pads. Keep a tweezers handy to extract anything that has been hammered into the flesh by her romping about.
Also check if her toenails are too long and are clicking across the floor, or getting snagged in the carpet. Get out the nail clippers, or make an appointment with the vet or groomer to get them trimmed.
In the summer, try to walk your dog before the sun has heated sidewalks, roads, and driveways, if that is where you are walking or jogging. Remember, if it is too hot for your feet, or testing with your hand, your dogs’ feet may burn and blister.
Never use people products on your dogs’ pads (hand lotion, or other people moisturizes), or any product from the pet store that is for external animal use only. That means the product contains chemicals that could be toxic to your dog. When her pads are rough and cracked, grab some coconut oil, which is a natural antibacterial, and massage on the pads and in between the toes. You can also use coconut oil on your dogs’ coat to relieve dry, itchy patches of skin.
If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can also use extra-virgin olive oil. Whichever one you use, slip some old socks on her feet and secure at the ankles with either tape or ribbon. You want to keep the socks on until the oil has a chance to be absorbed into the pads.
Winter brings other hazards. Rock salt, road, driveway and stair chemicals to melt ice all contain toxic ingredients. Beware of antifreeze puddles and other chemicals your dog may walk through.
Remember, dogs are lickers by nature. If they lick their feet after walking through any of those hazards, they are ingesting poison. Dip your dogs’ feet in warm water to remove any hazards, or run an inch or two of warm water in the bathtub and have your dog stand in the water for a minute.
Dry her feet with a towel. If you notice her pads are rough, grab the coconut oil and rub into her pads. Don’t forget the socks!
Remember to keep your Puppy Baby Book up-to-date! If you don’t have one, get one now! https://dawngreenfieldireland.com/