Dogs' paws are made up of a metacarpal pad and digital pads. These pads are made up of fat under a thick, rough layer of skin that protects from injuries and abrasions. Some breeds will have a fifth claw next to the carpal pad that is sometimes removed when they are young to prevent snagging and potential injury. Pads protect bones and joints by cushioning them and providing insulation against temperature extremes. They help the dog on rough terrain by protecting tissues inside the paw and are therefore very important for their wellbeing. Here are a few tips for keeping your pet’s paws healthy.
Give Your Dog Pedicures
Your dog's nails should just barely touch the ground when they walk. Loudly clicking nails are a sign that you need to get the nail trimmers out. Get recommendations from your groomer or veterinarian on which nail trimmers to buy and ask for instructions on using them properly.
Trim Paw Hair
It can get matted, which can be painful. To prevent this comb the hair between the pads out and cut it even with the pads.
Clean Between Pads
Pebbles or even broken glass can be caught between the digital pads; therefore, you should check them regularly. In most cases, it will be possible to remove the object using tweezers.
Moisturize Pads to Prevent Cracking
Choose ones made specifically for dogs as moisturizers for humans can soften pads and cause injury. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a good moisturizer for pads.
Massage the Pads
This can have a relaxing effect on your dog and improve their circulation.
Choose the Right Time to Start an Exercise Program
If your dog has spent most of its time indoors and you want to start giving it more exercise, start slowly. An inside dog's paws will not have built up a tolerance to rough surfaces, cold or heat. It is, therefore, important to start by going on short walks and gradually lengthening the distance.
If your dog gets a cut on one of its pads, you will need to apply first aid. Start by cleaning the cut with an antibacterial wash and follow that with some antibacterial cream. Bandage the paw. This may not be easy to do with some dogs, but it is important to do as much as you can to help keep your pet healthy.