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Dog’S Paw Pads Care Guide: 8 Simple Ways!

Grooming is an integral element of pet ownership. You're surely aware that brushing is essential, particularly for canines with longer coats.

Unfortunately, this is not the end. Frequent handling of your dog's paws will make it easier to clip their nails and do other health-related duties. We advise not waiting until there are clear indications that anything is wrong.

Paw maintenance is neither complicated nor time-consuming. When it's time for your pet's yearly exam, your veterinarian will also appreciate your efforts.

If you haven't examined your dog's paws closely, we'll start with a few definitions and descriptions to get you up to speed in "Dog's Paw Pads Care Guide: 8 Simple Ways!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).


Paw Anatomy 101

The paws of a dog are similar to our feet and hands, except that they have thicker skin and greater padding, i.e. insulating fat.

The four digital pads correspond to our fingers, with the bottom, inverted V pad representing our palms. The carpal pad is located around the wrist-ankle region. There are also the claws.

Due to the dog’s evident claw markings, a dog’s footprints are frequently noticeable in mud and snow. They are frequently unnoticeable in foxes and coyotes, among other wild canines, since running wears them out. Your dog’s paws endure a considerable lot of abuse from the surfaces they walk on alone. The pads are great shock absorbers for a Greyhound, which can sprint up to 45 miles per hour.

Certain dog breeds have dewclaws on all four limbs. Similar like our thumbs. It may appear to serve no function in some dogs, but in others, such as Great Pyrenees, it can improve traction and assist the dog avoid harm when negotiating steep terrain.

Signs of Problems

Your dog’s paws are probably just as susceptible to skin diseases and injuries as yours. If something is wrong, you will immediately recognize it by your pet’s behavior.

Signs of danger include:

  • Limping or favoring one leg
  • inflammation or redness
  • Cracking
  • Extreme licking

Do not be startled if your dog refuses to allow you to touch their paws. If something is plainly wrong, please consult your veterinarian. In rare instances, moderate sedation may be required for a complete examination.

Preventing Issues

When it comes to feet, dogs and humans are comparable. As a result of injuries or other ailments, they are unable to do nearly any activity.

Injured paws typically take longer to recover, especially if your pet becomes obsessed with them and regularly licks them.

Moreover, this can increase the likelihood of subsequent bacterial infections. The state of your dog’s paws is dependent on the surfaces they tread on.

If you walk your pet regularly on concrete, its paws will certainly become rougher. Similarly, a dog whose activity consists of running around the backyard may have softer pads. If so, we recommend a gradual transfer to new surfaces to minimize blisters and other difficulties.

  • Avoid walking on sidewalks and asphalt during summertime strolls.
  • Keep an eye out for potential dangers, such as glass, on the way ahead.
  • Examine your dog’s paws after wintertime walks.
  • Get your pet some booties.

8 Ways To Take Care of Paw Pads

1. Turn it into a Game

Ask your dog to shake or offer you their paw, and treat them accordingly. This will facilitate the formation of a favorable link between the two items.

We recommend teaching your dog to perform this trick with either of its front paws.

2. Inspect Your Dog’s Nails

Overgrown nails can injure the pads of your dog’s paws. Also, consider their form and color.

Ringworm is a fungal condition that can cause the abnormal growth of your pet’s toenails. If they are too long, they should be trimmed rather than waiting for the click-click sound to indicate that it is time.

3. Inspect the Distance Between Their Toes

If your dog enjoys running in the woods, he or she may have picked up burrs or other trash. Examine the paw for any symptoms of redness or damage, especially if the dog is hesitant to let you touch it.

Cuts can be treated with an antibiotic ointment. Leave more severe conditions to your veterinarian.

4. Trim the Hair Around the Paw

Using Scissors With a Blunt Edge.
Trim the hair around the paw with care. This will prevent ice from forming between their toes throughout the winter months.

Remove any mats or burrs you discover with care. Maintaining control of your hair will aid in preventing a repeat of these concerns.

5. Inspect Your Dog’s Paws

Check for symptoms of injury first. You can apply a balm to soothe them and prevent them from cracking if they feel particularly tough. Use only items specifically designed for dogs. Human goods may include potentially hazardous substances.

Note that just because you can utilize something does not always imply your dog can as well. In addition, you probably won’t lick your feet after applying it, like your dog will undoubtedly do.

Check their dewclaws and, if required, trim them. Some owners neglect to inspect this, resulting in a painful ingrown nail.

6. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the Other Front Paw

Treats are effective, especially if you’ve trained your pet to shake with either paw. It is crucial to thoroughly inspect these front paws, especially if your dog likes to dig. This renders them more susceptible to harm.

Like with humans, canines have a right-left paw preference. Humans are predominantly right-handed, whereas dogs are almost evenly split.

See which paw your dog uses to grasp a Kong toy packed with a tasty treat to determine which species he or she belongs to. It can also explain why your cat may be reluctant to offer one paw over another. That is likely similar to humans, where the weaker hand is the one that is less dominating.

7. Encourage your dog to lie down and work on its hind legs

It is crucial to get your pet to lie on their back feet when working. Create a game to promote a happy experience. You will discover that if you do this while grooming is not involved, it will be simpler to examine your dog’s paws when the time comes.

You may notice that your pet is less receptive to handling their hind paws than their front paws. It makes frequent care so crucial.

8. Repeat each step using both rear paws

The procedure is identical to that of the front paws, right down to hydrating any tough pads. If your dog has back dewclaws, inspect those as well.

Final Thoughts

It is advised that you take care of your dog’s paws as part of grooming. You can prevent problems from becoming painful concerns for your dog.

As can be seen in Dog’s Paw Pads Care Guide: 8 Simple Ways!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we cannot stress the importance of handling your pet’s paws and ears enough. It will make your work (and the task of your veterinarian) easier and faster if your dog is accustomed to it.

Consider it bonding time with your dog that will aid in establishing trust.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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