The paw pads of a dog are fluffy and squishy, capturing your attention with their cuteness. However, these paw pads serve a significant purpose and require delicate care. In this article, essential aspects of caring for a dog’s paw pads will be discussed, as they are closely linked to the dog’s overall health.
Paw Care During Walks
A dog’s paw pads have a thick stratum corneum, functioning like shoes for humans. While walking, they act as shock absorbers, mitigating the impact from the ground. Prolonged walks on hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt can inadvertently harm the paw pads. When taking a dog for a walk, it’s advisable to choose routes with soil or grass, minimizing the risk of paw pad injuries.
Preventing Burns in Summer
The sweltering summer heat affects not only humans but also animals. Surfaces like asphalt can become excessively hot due to absorbing sunlight. The asphalt temperature in direct sunlight can exceed 60 degrees Celsius, posing a burn risk to a dog’s paw pads. To prevent burns, it’s recommended to avoid walking dogs during the hottest parts of the day and opt for cooler mornings and evenings. Even at night, the ground might retain heat, so a quick touch test before the walk is wise.
Winter Walks and Snow
When walking a dog in snowy conditions, using doggy socks is advised. De-icing agents like calcium chloride, often spread in snowy areas, can lead to paw inflammation and danger when walked upon. Dog paw pads contain sweat glands used for temperature regulation. Extended exposure to snow can cause hypothermia, affecting circulation and body temperature regulation. Caution is essential for dogs not accustomed to cold, those with short coats, and vulnerable groups like puppies and elderly dogs. Besides socks, consider adding warm clothing and shortening the walk duration for safety and comfort.
About Dry and Cracked Paws
Canine Paw Pads and Dryness
Observing a dog’s paw pads may reveal signs of dryness and rigidity that often go unnoticed by owners. A closer examination might unveil the presence of cracks as well. Dry paw pads can compromise their crucial functions if left unattended. Preventative measures are imperative to maintain their well-being.
Frequent exposure to concrete or asphalt surfaces during walks can contribute to dry paw pads. The friction, impact, and heat generated by these hard surfaces can gradually lead to wear and tear on the paw pads. Dogs that pull on leashes while walking are particularly susceptible to such damage due to increased rubbing.
Even though many pet owners wipe their dog’s paws after a walk, the method employed should be considered. Using damp tissues or cloths for wiping, while effective in removing dirt, can strip the paw pads of essential oils, causing them to dry out. Additionally, dampness left on paw pads and fur can foster bacterial growth. Opting for a dry cloth to gently pat the paw pads during cleaning is advisable. In cases of excessive dirt, washing is acceptable, provided thorough drying follows.
Moreover, as dogs age, their metabolism slows down, resulting in reduced moisture content within their bodies. Consequently, dryness and cracks can develop in the paw pads. Given the inevitability of this process, diligent care for the paw pads becomes pivotal.
Recommended Approach to Paw Care
Owners need not forgo walks due to the presence of dry paw pads. Through consistent daily care, rough paw pads can regain their suppleness and softness. Here, we outline a recommended care regimen.
Upon returning from a walk, diligently cleanse the paw pads using a clean cloth. Alternatively, specialized paw disinfectant sprays or cleaning cloths from pet stores or online sources can be employed. Once dirt has been thoroughly removed, apply paw cream to moisturize the pads. For those dogs comfortable with paw handling, massaging the cream gently onto the paw pads can provide extra benefits, particularly for areas exhibiting dryness or hardness. This interaction also offers a means of bonding with the dog.
Should excess cream be applied, a tissue or similar item can be used to eliminate the surplus. Following cream application, dogs may attempt to lick their paws, necessitating preventive measures. Diverting their attention with toys, treats, play, or holding smaller breeds can be effective in deterring licking. As the paw cream ingredients are absorbed within a few minutes, it’s advisable to redirect the dog’s focus during this period.
Factors to Consider When Selecting Paw Cream
In the current market, a variety of paw protection creams are accessible, which can make choosing the right one a bit overwhelming. While personal preferences play a role, here are several key aspects to keep in mind when deciding on a suitable cream:
- Opt for products made with safe ingredients that are harmless for puppies to ingest, such as 100% natural materials, horse oil cream, jojoba oil, camellia oil, and olive oil.
- Choose creams that are unscented, colorless, and free from alcohol.
- Prioritize creams with a mildly acidic pH.
- Look for creams with a soft texture that can penetrate effectively.
Online pet supply stores offer an extensive array of pet products, including supplies for dogs and cats. It’s advisable to explore these options as well. When making a purchase, refer to the aforementioned guidelines and select a product that provides comfort while containing moisturizing and protective elements for your canine companion. Consulting customer reviews from popular cream rankings can also aid in making an informed decision based on the experiences of other buyers.
Thoroughly review the product details to find the perfect cream for your cherished dog. Some services, such as free shipping, might also be available, so be sure to inquire about them. Moreover, while human lip balms are an option for paw care, this only applies to those free from chemical ingredients. Hand creams, used similarly to lip balms for addressing dryness, are also accessible, but it’s important to note that they should not be used on dogs.
Vaseline’s Applicability for Dog Paw Pad Care
In discussing the versatile applications of Vaseline, its potential utility expands beyond human use. Given its composition and protective properties for skin, Vaseline can be extended to canine care. This accessibility is due to its widespread availability in pharmacies, making it a common household item.
Optimal Vaseline Selection
Different variants of petroleum jelly, including White Petroleum Jelly, Sun White, Propeto, and Vaseline, exist in the market. Among these options, the most recommended choice for dogs is White Petroleum Jelly. Its heightened purity, catering to sensitive and dry skin concerns even in babies, renders it fitting for canine application. It’s worth noting that this specific variant might entail a slightly higher cost compared to alternative petroleum jelly products.
Simplicity in Paw Care via Vaseline
The inherent spreadability and texture of Vaseline facilitate efficient usage in small quantities for paw care. When addressing dryness or notable cracks, a slightly more generous application of Vaseline onto the paw pads, coupled with gentle covering using plastic wrap for a brief duration, can induce a pack-like effect. This method intensifies moisturization, proving particularly valuable for preemptive dryness management. It’s important to recognize a dog’s comfort level – if resistance is evident, forcing the procedure is unnecessary. Even a thin layer of Vaseline applied to the paw pads yields significant effectiveness. Observing the dog’s response during this process is advisable.
Due to the multiple important functions of paw pads, these areas require regular care. However, canine paw pads are also sensitive regions where they may exhibit reluctance to tactile contact. For dogs exhibiting such sensitivity, the process should begin with gradual and gentle acclimatization to paw handling, employing treats or rewards to facilitate the process. Once comfort is established, progression can be made to cautiously handling the complete paw, inspecting the paw pads, and incrementally extending the interaction. Throughout this process, consistent positive reinforcement and encouragement are essential.
Moreover, it is essential to exercise moderation in paw pad care, even with the intention of maintaining their softness. Excessively soft paw pads can potentially become more susceptible to injuries and discomfort during walks. Striking a balance and pursuing appropriate firmness in paw pad texture is advisable.