Although dog paws are made to be resistant, this part of their body is a super sensitive place as it is exposed to various potential problems due to their contact with the ground, like cuts, burns, spikelets and many other. Continue reading for some tips to take care of them and prevent sores, wounds and other problems.
The dog paws are the only part that is in direct contact with the ground; they are covered with a thick layer to protect the fragile and highly sensitive epidermis layer. The slightest cut can, therefore, become very painful for your dog and lead to lameness, infections or other annoying irritations.
How to take care of dog paws in the summer
Taking care of your dog’s paws should go through your routine; inspect their paws each time they return from a walk, especially if you have been to the park, beach, countryside or any other place with risky surfaces such as stones, gravel, bitumen or hot concrete, frozen floors, broken glass.
Be attentive to behaviors during and after every walk, lameness, intensive licking, leg held in the air, reluctance to walk on certain floors can all be signs of pain in paws. Check that no foreign body is trapped between the paws and that they show no cuts or redness. If a paw is irritated or injured, clean and disinfect the affected area. Pay attention to the spaces between the paws and between the dog’s toes, where the skin is very thin.
How to deal with cuts and wounds in paws
If you found a cut, start by rinsing it or using a soft antiseptic wipe. Avoid the use of cotton, which could leave fibers in the wound. Make sure to remove all residues both between the paws, fingers and claws.
It may be necessary to cut the hair around the affected paw, then disinfect the area using a sterile compress and an antibacterial solution: betadine, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide. Next, apply a herbal antiseptic ointment if you have one and make a bandage.
Protect the paws from heat
If you are taking your dog for a walk during hot weather, a veterinary tanning balm can be beneficial which helps strengthen and protect the paws from burns in summer. However, in all cases, try to avoid taking your pet out in extreme weather conditions.
Depending on the size of your dog, special shoes can be handy. Although they might not be very comfortable, they are super protective, and you won’t have to worry about regularly applying ointments and balms.
Natural beeswax balm also creates a protective layer for your dog, preventing daily irritation and injury.