How to take care of dogs’ pads?

Dogs’ pads are very resistant and are prepared to walk and run without being damaged. However, it is also a sensitive area to which we must pay special attention so that they are always in good condition. Dogs’ paws are in constant contact with the ground and, if we are not careful, they can get injured, cracked or burned. Keep in mind that the type of ground your pet walks on has a great influence on their paw pads, especially in dogs that are active or take long walks.

Dog pads

Dogs have four digital pads with fatty deposits; these deposits provide elasticity to reduce impact when resting on the ground and cushion the blows when running.

They have sweat glands in them, which are responsible for keeping them moist so that they do not crack, as well as regulating their temperature. A healthy pad is soft and hard, not dry or cracked. Surely you have seen your dog rubbing his paws against the floor, usually after relieving himself; this is a way of marking the territory with his scent through his glands.

Hair and nails

The care of the hair and nails is as important as the care of your dog’s pads. Some breeds have hair growing between their toes that must be trimmed to avoid knots and deformities. The same happens with the nails: if we do not cut them and let them grow too long, they will become deformed and cause the dog to not step properly, negatively influencing its joints.

Many dogs do not need nail clipping because they wear them out with their activity, but this is not always the case. It is very important to know how and where to cut them so as not to hurt them and avoid bleeding. We leave you an article in which we explain step by step how to cut your dog’s nails correctly.

Problems or injuries to the dog’s pads

Not only can the pads be damaged by a sharp object wound or cracked due to lack of hydration. Temperature also has a great influence on this hard skin that functions as a shoe for the dog. Asphalt or hot concrete in summer, as well as walking on an icy area, can cause severe abrasion burns. That is why we must be very careful with the terrain where we walk with our furry and avoid certain pavements at certain temperatures.

Injury to the dog’s pad

If your dog has made a small wound on the sole of the paw, clean it very well with water and neutral soap, removing any dirt or foreign bodies such as pebbles or sand.

Once cleaned, use a special pad cream to keep it moisturized and promote healing. Afterwards, cover it with gauze to protect the wound, prevent dirt from getting into it and prevent the dog from licking it. And if he has suffered a deeper cut, it is best to take your dog to the veterinarian for advice on how to act and heal the wound.

Cracked dog pad

Cracks usually appear in the cold months due to dryness and loss of elasticity due to low temperatures. They can also appear due to excessive wear. You should not worry too much, but you should take measures to make these cracks disappear as they can cause injuries.

You can cure the cracked pads with betadine and warm water baths mixed with salt, which act as disinfectants. You can help yourself with a gauze for its application or directly put the paws in a container with the mixture. You can also use pure petroleum jelly for the cracks. In order to prevent it, it is enough to keep the pads moisturized with a cream suitable for dogs.

Abrasion burned pad

Pad burns due to high temperatures

Dogs’ paws are very sensitive to temperature. The excessive heat of the asphalt in summer (which can reach 70º C) can cause serious burns on their paw pads. Therefore, always avoid the hottest hours of the day and try to take your dog to shady areas and gardens.

You should also be careful with the sand on the beach. To do this, check the temperature of the ground yourself to see if it burns too much before exposing your dog to it.

Pads burned due to cold effect

Likewise, walking on an icy surface can cause dogs to suffer severe abrasions on their paws due to the extreme cold. Exposure to cold and wet snow can cause burns on the pads of dogs, as well as chafing and cracking. In such cases, the use of pad protectors is usually recommended.

If your dog has a minor burn from any of these causes, keep his paws moisturized and apply a healing cream. It is best to visit your veterinarian to recommend an antibiotic cream and, if necessary, put a bandage over the burn to protect it.

Cushion damaged by erosion

Erosion wounds may also appear due to rubbing and wear and tear of the skin. This usually happens when walking on very hard floors or when doing a lot of exercise. Similarly, dogs’ pads can also be injured by lack of activity, as the skin becomes softer and therefore more vulnerable.

How to cure a dog’s pads?

  • Wash the wound with warm water and soap, removing any remaining dirt, sand granules or pebbles.
  • You can use betadine, chlorhexidine or warm water with salt to disinfect the area with the help of a gauze.
  • Apply a healing ointment or cream and protect the wound until it heals.
  • If necessary, you can bandage the wound so that nothing interferes with healing as the paw is still in continuous contact with the ground. Change the bandage 2-3 times a day and repeat the healing each time.
  • If the dog has a lot of hair around the pads, trim it to facilitate healing and prevent infection.

How to protect the pads of dogs?

  • Moisturizing cream for irritations and cracks.
  • Home remedies: petroleum jelly, olive oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, rosehip.
  • Special shoes or boots for long walks or complicated terrain.
  • Always avoid asphalt and hot sand, rough or sharp rocks and ice.
  • Neither excessive exercise nor a sedentary lifestyle.

In addition, the best way to prevent injuries to the pads is to harden them. To do this, the ideal is to alternate different types of surfaces so that they become accustomed to all types of terrain. Walk with your dog on asphalt, sand or rocky areas and also in gardens so that the paws get used to different footprints. The level of hydration also plays a very important role.

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